More science news – you didn’t know this was a science blog, did you…! We’ve made an announcement today about a pilot project to make the results of EU-funded research more available. Basically research groups that receive money from the EU’s Research Framework Programme will be required to put any articles or reports into a depository, which should then be openly available after an embargo of 6 to 12 months, depending on the research area. This embargo gives time for the results to be published in peer-reviewed journals, but ensures that potentially useful information is not then locked away where people who could really use it don’t have access to it. This is a delicate area, where you have many interests vying – the publishers want to maintain their revenue streams, the scientists want to make sure the peer-review system remains credible, the Commisson wants to make sure that tax-payers ultimately see a return on the public investment in science. By having varying embargo periods during this pilot phase, we can gauge just what the effect is on journals and scientists alike, and by opening up, we hope that smaller businesses that could build on information coming out of research but that they can’t afford to access when it’s only available through specialist journals. It’s an issue we’ve been looking at for a while, with a policy paper brought out last year, after a lot of discussion with people across the spectrum, and looking at examples of open access, such as the Wellcome Trust.
Was out last night at the Royal Festival Hall with the Stitch and Bitch London crowd. Really fun night – it’s amazing how empowering it is doing something a little strange in public with lots of people… Going to eat Southern Indian food in Tooting tonight with The Housemate – if anyone has any suggestions of the best place to go, I’d love to hear them.