Chief Scientist gets the nod on open access

Cathy Foley’s workplan is signed-off by the minister – she will have to get cracking

Industry Minister Christian Porter ticked the plan last week – which is good, except that it is for 2021.

Most of the tasks are of the standard advise and participate kind, but two give Dr Foley space, if not time, to get things done

* create a government scientists group, “to leverage the government’s investment in science and identify opportunities for collaboration.” She is also tasked with increasing awareness of the scitech advice available to government “including improvement of mechanisms for its delivery.”  Perhaps this could encourage her to suggest an independent parliamentary science office, as knocked-back by the government the other week (CMM August 12).

* “Champion Open Access … including development of a roadmap, with links to research integrity.”  This is an issue the Chief Scientist is already engaged with. In March Dr Foley was “closely considering” OA as one of her priorities. “Access to information is the great enabler for innovation and for research commercialisation.  Lack of access to information is a real roadblock, and hinders our ability to compete internationally,” she said (CMM March 18).