The UK has been discussing the merits of making the research it funds available to the public. The Nature News Blog notes that UK funding agencies have required scientists to make their papers freely available since 2006, though now they plan to enforce that policy. UK science minister David Willet gave a speech to the UK Publishers Association yesterday, the Nature News Blog reports, in which he discussed different open-access models (will the papers be free immediately or will there be a wait?), cost, and the consequences of other countries not following suit on open access to research. A working group report on some of these points is due in June.
In addition, Willet has enlisted Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as an advisor to help determine how to make research accessible, adds ScienceInsider. Wales will be aiding in the Gateway to Research effort, a database linking British researchers to their funding source and research finding. Wales's exact role is unclear, Nature says, adding that science publisher Jan Velterop posted to a mailing-list discussion about Wales' appointment, saying: "Strict logic is not what we win the battle for open access with. Some celebrity involvement is to be welcomed."