back to article US plans to open up government-funded science research papers to all

Fourteen years after the late Aaron Swartz published his Guerilla Open Access Manifesto calling for the liberation of publicly funded scientific literature, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has called for taxpayer-funded research to be made available to the public at no cost. Dr Alondra Nelson, the head …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    So the USA will save $800M

    By giving their citizens something they've already paid for.

    About time too. But:

    - will access be available for non-US citizens/residents, and

    - when will the UK do the same? And the EU? And all the other university publications out there?

    It is *extremely* frustrating that one can search - as a private citizen - for a paper easily, to be led to a paywall of lesser or greater height with absolutely *no* guarantee that the paper will answer the question you're asking.

    1. elDog

      I doubt there will be any restriction at the national level. How could there be?

      Unlike some captive internets (Russia, China) the US does not have any way to enforce traffic restrictions based on geography (that I know of.) Proxies and VPNs make this likely impossible to enforce.

      Enjoy!!!

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So the USA will save $800M

      Eu unlikely, Elsevier and Springer-Verlag have a substantial 'taking politicians out for lunch' budget.

      Post-Brexit UK has a more out-of-the-box solution to the problem of access to public funded scientific research

      1. some shmuck

        Re: So the USA will save $800M

        is the solution to have no public funded scientific research?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: So the USA will save $800M

          Well done. Do you want a cabinet post ?

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: So the USA will save $800M

          is the solution to have no public funded scientific research?

          Hell No! Science* is all about advancing knowledge. Public funding is very important because it can be used to study areas of science that may not have any obvious application. Yet. Future researchers may stumble across past research, go Aha! and develop applications.

          So it's a GoodThing(tm). Mostly. Assuming it does actually advance knowledge. But part of me thinks proposals don't go far enough, so should include 'Dark Data'. So there's a lot of public funding research that may not result in any publications, ie don't lead to peer-reviewed papers. But that data has been paid for, and still potentially very useful to other scientists, ie what not to try, or what to try if an experiment is tweaked a little.

          *There are some exceptions, and based on my posting history, you can probably guess what they are. Then again, we've poured collosal amounts of public money into that field, which has improved our knowledge. Well, for those who are sceptics anyway.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: So the USA will save $800M

          "is the solution to have no public funded scientific research?"

          This solves two problems. The other is that it means there are no experts and We Don't Like Experts.

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: So the USA will save $800M

      EU-funded research must be made open access already. The Dutch Research Council has a similar approach. I think that is a good thing.

      1. TVU

        Re: So the USA will save $800M

        "EU-funded research must be made open access already. The Dutch Research Council has a similar approach. I think that is a good thing"

        I agree. If taxpayers are ultimately paying for research to be done then that research ought to be available to those same taxpayers free of charge. The welcome arrival of PLOS all those years ago is having an effect publishing giants like Elsevier and even JSTOR has a free access option these days.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: So the USA will save $800M

          I have always found reading those papers to be very helpful, certainly these days it can be very difficult to get a copy of the paper but I now have a very large collection of papers that discuss fields that I work with. Public research must be public ... reading research papers is always very educational and helpful.

    4. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: So the USA will save $800M

      @Neil Barnes "By giving their citizens something they've already paid for."

      Hell I can't even get free (behind a paywall) access to a UK paper* I contributed** to.

      *Published about 23 year ago.

      **Not an author but I am named as a contributor.

    5. DrSunshine0104

      Re: So the USA will save $800M

      The papers will most likely be available to general public regardless of the readers nationality, except for may those will national security implications. While many research paper are published by the university, government publications usually either are public domain or ironically copyrighted similar to Creative Commons.

      I think there is some US code that defines all this, and this is a bit all second-hand and from personally working in the US government but not really involved in the publication of information.

  2. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Rembering Aaron

    This move is a good thing a decade too late, Aaron was treated horrendously. I hope this provides some tiny solace for his family and friends.

    We used to break into British military nuclear bases, rarely taken to court, a few folk got six months inside. 35 years for liberating published science papers is mucked up.

    1. Inkey
      Unhappy

      Re: Rembering Aaron

      Agreed.... the mask slipped of the face of the establishment around that time ... the way some people who showed it up with the new fangled interwebs, were treated ... the guys from lolsec, napster and ross ulbricht ... was bad..

      ... examples made etc...

      But the way they handeled the Aron Swartz situation was disgusting.... what a fucken waste

  3. 502 bad gateway
    Thumb Up

    Hooray

    At last, I for one am fed up with paying $40 for 8 pages of irrelevant research based on a misleading snippet.

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