SPARC Supports UK Research Councils' Commitment to Provide Access to Publicly Funded Research

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For Immediate Release
July 14, 2006

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Heffelfinger
jennifer@arl.org
(202) 296-2296 x121

Washington, DC – SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) strongly supports the recent commitment by Research Councils UK (RCUK) to ensure access to publicly funded research. The RCUK statement, which says that “ideas and knowledge derived from publicly funded research must be made widely available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as possible,” requires deposit of research articles in open access repositories. Three individual Research Councils have announced policies mandating this to date.

“RCUK, and the UK by extension, have taken a tremendous leap forward that will benefit researchers, scholars, teachers, patients, and citizens,” said SPARC Director Heather Joseph. “We have seen overwhelming evidence that making the deposit of research papers in open access repositories a condition of awarded grants ensures the widest compliance and greatest benefits for research. We encourage all individual Research Councils to institute policies for open access.”

SPARC submitted a letter in support of RCUK’s new policy during the comment period. A copy of this letter is available on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/oa/RCUK.html.

The RCUK statement is available at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/access/2006statement.pdf.

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SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and SPARC Europe are an international alliance of more than 300 academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.