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UK government comes down in favour of making all publicly funded research “open access”

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4878 (Published 17 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4878
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The government has accepted the recommendations of the Finch report on open access to published research and aims to make all publicly funded research available to everyone.

It agrees with the view of the working group led by Janet Finch,1 professor of sociology at Manchester University, that the “gold model” of open access, where the costs of publication are paid up front by the authors, is the right route. To pay for these changes, Research Councils UK (RCUK) has announced that in future it will make block grants available to universities and other approved organisations, rather than earmarking part of each research grant for this purpose.

However, RCUK gave no undertaking that these block grants will be new money, so they are likely to reduce the amount available for supporting research, at least in the short term. The Finch report estimated that the transition costs would be £50m (€64m; $80m) to £60m a year, caused …

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