Free access to British scientific research will give us more and cost us less than we realiseThe Guardian called the recent government announcement that all UK-funded research will be open access within two years, "the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet". That's not an exaggeration: the web will finally achieve what it was initially created for: the free exchange of research. The payoff is literally incalculable: as a rough guide, the Human Genome Project's decision to make its results similarly open has yielded economic benefits exceeding 200 times the project's costs. As research outputs that were previously only available to academics become available for uses we can't even imagine yet, we can expect significant advances in medicine, education and industry.But the news is even better than the announcement suggests. The government's statement was in response to the Finch report, and takes at face value...
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