UK biological sciences support Open Access publishing provided it is adequately funded
The Biosciences Federation supports increasing access to science research articles, and sees Open Access publishing as a workable approach for most disciplines, provided that research funders can make sufficient money available, and that policies are both flexible – to reflect the differences between journals – and well understood by researchers.
Open Access publishing would also reduce the risks of self-archiving, which could otherwise damage the viability of journals and thus threaten the substantial other contributions which learned societies make to UK science. The Federation is commissioning a study to quantify these contributions in order better to understand what the impact might be.
The Biosciences Federation, (http://www.bsf.ac.uk), an organisation of nearly 50 UK Learned Societies and other bodies in the Bioscience field, today issued a position statement on Open Access http://www.bsf.ac.uk/journals/BSF_position_statement1_open_accesss.pdf .
Maximising access to research articles is entirely in line with the mission statements of the Federation’s members. Open Access publishing is a workable way of achieving this, provided it is adequately funded so that the viability both of journals, and of the various activities which are made possible by journals income – conferences, meetings and other educational events as well as grants, bursaries and research funding – are not threatened.
In order to inform the debate on the level of funding required, the Federation has commissioned research from Morris Associates. The study will establish the scale to which publishing income supports member Society activities, as well as exploring learned societies' current and future response to Open Access initiatives, and their members' attitudes and behaviour in relation to Open Access.
The results of the research studies will be published early in 2008.
Emma Southern | alfa
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