Tuesday August 30, 2005
Publishers and learned societies are fighting a last ditch action to stop the research findings of thousands of British academics being made freely available online.
The UK research councils, which control billions of pounds worth of funding, have announced their intention to make free access on the internet a condition of grants in a bid to give British research more impact worldwide as it is taken up and cited by other researchers.
The move has been backed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, and other academics.
But publishers who fear that open access will hit sales and damage the UK's 25% share in the £7bn worldwide learned journals market are lobbying hard against the proposal. Both sides believe the battle has reached a critical stage...