Open-access warning

November 25, 2005

The push for researchers to make their papers available free online via open-access journals and repositories could be "disastrous", according to a statement released this week by the Royal Society. The research councils are consulting on plans to encourage scientists to embrace the open-access model. But the society has called for them to undertake a proper study first.

The statement says: "The worst-case scenario is that funders could force a rapid change in practice, which encourages the introduction of new journals, archives and repositories that cannot be sustained in the long term, but which simultaneously force the closure of existing peer-reviewed journals that have a long track record."

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