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The Summer of Access

It has been a summer for open-access advocates, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education. The British government has adopted a policy calling for publicly supported research to be made freely available to the public and the European Commission is making open access part of its Horizon 2020 framework. It's not just Europe, the Chronicle says, adding that Australia, too, is moving in the open-access direction. The new CEO of the Australian Research Council, Aidan Byrne, tells the Chronicle that he is studying the issue and he "will be making a determination on this issue quickly to ensure clarity for the sector."

However, the Chronicle notes that there has been criticism of the new policies, mainly in that they seem to favor a certain type of open-access model that gives publishers more control. "As the systems evolve, they're going to figure out what works and what doesn't work," Berkeley researcher and PLOS founder Michael Eisen says. "It's really the guiding principles that are important."