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Reading research should be free, says Minister

More people to read science for free. 'Open access' to scientific publications gets a boost by Government minister, reports

Publicly-funded research should be made available to everybody, according to Minister for Education Morten Østergaard who is pushing lawmakers to introduce new legislation. Denmark backed EU conclusions about the availability of research in 2007, but successive governments have failed to act, according to

»Politicians have had a tendency to beat around the bush on this but the time has come to make demands on researchers,« he said to the Information newspaper.

The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation launched its own policy of Open Access – free, immediate, permanent online access to the full text of research articles for anyone, ‘webwide’ – last week, the same model as the Green Open Access now endorsed by the Minister who said it’s unfair that universities are forced to pay millions to scientific journals in order to access their own and others’ research.

Taxpayers should not fund huge profits

Under the minister’s new ‘green model’, researchers will still be required to submit their articles to scientific journals, ensuring quality control, but will no longer have to request permission to publish the article in the university’s own database, which would become free for all after an agreed waiting period.

Legislation has been delayed for so long because publishers have argued whether Danish-language journals could survive financially if their articles were made available for free.

»I’m not opposed to publishers making money, but it’s completely wrong that taxpayers should fund huge profits for them« he said.

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