January 25, 2022

Open Access: Free Access to British Scientific Research to be Available Within Two Years

UPDATE: Here’s the Full Text of Today’s Announcement:
Re: UK Government Opening Publicly Funded Research (via UK Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills)

We’ve also embedded the full text of the UK Government’s Formal Response to the Finch Report at the bottom of this post and added direct links to more information.

From The Guardian:

The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.

Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.

In an interview with the Guardian before Monday’s announcement David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said he expected a full transformation to the open approach over the next two years.


Though many academics will welcome the announcement, some scientists contacted by the Guardian were dismayed that the cost of the transition, which could reach £50m a year, must be covered by the existing science budget and that no new money would be found to fund the process. That could lead to less research and fewer valuable papers being published.

British universities now pay around £200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay “article processing charges” (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online. The typical APC is around £2,000 per article.


In making such a concerted move towards open access before other countries, Britain will be giving its research away free while still paying for access to articles from other countries.

Read the Complete Article

UK Government: Formal Response to Finch Report

Additional Materials

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.



  1. […] a lot of press both pro and con.   The battle lines continue to be drawn.  InfoDOCKET reports an article in the Guardian that notes the UK government “is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded […]