Gates Foundation to require immediate free access for journal articles
By Jocelyn Kaiser 21 November 2014 1:30 pm
Breaking new ground for the open-access movement, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of global health research, plans to require that the researchers it funds publish only in immediate open-access journals.
The policy doesn’t kick in until January 2017; until then, grantees can publish in subscription-based journals as long as their paper is freely available within 12 months. But after that, the journal must be open access, meaning papers are free for anyone to read immediately upon publication. Articles must also be published with a license that allows anyone to freely reuse and distribute the material. And the underlying data must be freely available.
Is this going to work? Will researchers be able to comply with these requirements without harm to their careers? Does the Gates Foundation fund enough research that new open access venues will open up to publish this research (and if so how will their operation be funded?), or do sufficient venues already exist? Will Gates Foundation grants include funding for “gold” open access fees?
I am interested to find out. I hope this article is accurate about what their doing, and am glad they are doing it if so.
I note that the policy mentions “including any underlying data sets.” Do they really mean to be saying that underlying data sets used for all publications “funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation” must be published? I hope so. Requiring “underlying data sets” to be available at all is in some ways just as big or bigger as requiring them to be available open access.