Chief Scientist’s Australian way to research open access

Make a change from the present where research reading and publishing could be costing $460m to $1bn a year in payments to research publishers

Chief Scientist Cathy Foley offers the estimate in an essay on the importance of open access, published (OA) in the new Australian Quarterly.

Dr Foley makes a considered case for a change to existing journal access, now based on subscriptions and pay to read/pay to publish. She also mentions elements of an Australian Model for open access, including,

* national agreements with publishers “negotiated by a central organisation”

* publication of research funded by the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council without publishing charges and free to read

* a later stage could be “a more transformative shift” to open access research data, open code and open research infrastructure.

For the moment, she suggests open access to research articles could be possible for what journal subscriptions and article processing charges now cost. It is, Dr Foley suggests, “a significant reform for which I believe Australia is ready.”

It already appears, in part, to be here. The Council of Australian University Librarians has announced four new deals with publishers, including with journal giants, Springer and Wiley, which including reading access and publishing fees for articles in thousands of their journals, for single subscription prices (CMM November 5).