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Open Access in the UK

A UK government panel has released a report encouraging open access, says ScienceInsider's Kai Kupferschmidt. The report — authored by the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, which was chaired by Keele University sociologist Janet Finch — says that open-access journals should be "the main vehicle for the publication of research." However, the report also warns that the UK could lose more than $80 million a year in publication charges if this happens, Kupferschmidt adds.

The report is being greeted with both optimism and skepticism. Wellcome Trust Director Mark Walport released a statement praising the report, but open-access advocate and University of Cambridge mathematician Timothy Gowers says the report is too sympathetic to researchers, too concerned with openness, and not concerned enough with reducing costs, Kupferschmidt says.