Knowledge generated by government funding should be freely available
Responsible department: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Most of the research in UK universities and colleges is funded by the taxpayer through the government. However, the knowledge generated by this is often controlled by publishers who charge a lot of money, often hundreds or thousands of pounds per individual journal, for access.
These charges put severe pressure on university funding, which mostly comes from (again) the taxpayer, and student fees. Research suffers as academics lose access, on cost grounds, to research in their field. Members of the public cannot afford access to knowledge they have indirectly funded.
Despite many initiatives to make this taxpayer-funded knowledge openly accessible, most of it is still “locked” away in high cost publications.
Publications and knowledge generated by research funded through the government, unless genuinely sensitive (e.g. military or atomic development), should be freely available, in their entirety, within a year. This should be a condition of research funding.
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