Aus way behind the White House on open access

The Biden Administration expands open access – the reasons why apply here.

The US Department of Energy is expanding open access to the “thousands of research papers” it supports annually on, climate, energy, environment and basic/applied R&D.

“When this plan goes into effect, these findings will be available immediately at no cost,” DoE announces.

Key elements of the new arrangement include:

  • no embargo on journal articles or final accepted manuscripts resulting from federal funding
  • “immediate access” to data in or underlying publications
  • “broad adoption of persistent identifiers” for outputs, organisations, awards and contracts, and people.

The new OA arrangement will apply from end of ’25 but DoE is silent now as to any support for article processing charges publishers may want to impose, to recoup revenue lost by the OA arrangement.

The Department of Energy’s announcement enacts the White House Office of Science and Technology’s policy last August which requires “taxpayer-supported research” to be available without “embargo or cost.”

Writing in Campus Morning Mail, Ginny Barbour (then director of Open Access Australasia) called that, “a substantial game-changing move for open access globally.”

Way ahead of here

The National Health and Medical Research Council requires new papers based on work it funds to be OA from pub date – this will apply to previous research from January next. And the Council of Australian University Librarians has negotiated open access for research published by staff of member institutions in journals owned by a range of publishers, including the major commercial houses. Publication charges are covered by universities journal subscriptions.

However the Australian Research Council only requires OA within 12 months of publication, although June 30 was the policy review date.

Chief Scientist Cathy Foley has been working for years on open access for all Australians, based on a national agreement with publishers but details are yet to emerge. She briefed the Australian Library and Information Association in November ’21, HERE.

The White House also reports “listening sessions” with early and midcareer researchers and  service providers on OA, which called for;

  • equity in OA for “recognising and addressing uneven access to open science infrastructures, expertise, training, and funding”
  • funding and resources for ECRS “who tend to be self-taught and are often not afforded dedicated time to learn open science practices”
  • “rewards for sharing of research outputs beyond publications, such as scientific data and software



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