Open Access – are we alone?

Some final thoughts after International Open Access Week:

As you will know, the UK has open access requirements for the next REF and the Research Councils of RCUK also have open access requirements. So, where do these ideas come from and is the UK the only country to be pushing open access?

The movement first started with the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. The signatories recognised the potential of the internet to change the dissemination of research.  They felt that more open literature could “ accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge”. Although this noble aim still has a long way to go there has been progress around the world.



The Pasteur40A project is trying to co-ordinate the open access policies of different member states. The European Commission has open access requirements for its research programmes. Science Europe has set standards for open access publishers. Individual countries are making progress in their own way, for example, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.



BioMed Central has 14 members of staff serving the Chinese research community and China is now the country which submits most articles. In May 2014 at the Global Research Council meeting in Beijing the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Natural Science Foundation of China announced the first open access mandate at national level requiring researchers to make their work free access within 12 months of publication (from Biomed Central blog)

United States

United States

The US has had an open access policy since 2013 and government departments routinely make their research open.



This blog post from Richard Poynder interviews an Indian advocate for open access about progress in his country.

This is just a brief taste of the activity going on around the world. Join in and make your work open access.

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