March 11, 2013

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Open access plans are ‘attack on academic freedoms’

telegraph.co.uk | By Nick Collins | Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Under proposals backed by David Willetts, the universities minister, publicly funded research will shift to an "open access" model by 2014, allowing anyone in the world to access the latest studies online without having to pay.

But now leading scholarly societies whose members collectively include Prof David Starkey, Sir David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins and Alan Bennett have warned the move could have a serious impact on academic life, The Observer reports.

The new plans will see universities, not readers, pay for articles to be published in journals meaning the decision on when and where to publish new research will rest with university bosses and not academics themselves, critics claim.

The Royal Historical Society, Political Studies Association and Council for the Defence of British Universities agree with making research more accessible but question whether giving more control to university management is the right approach. Read More...

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