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UK asks Wikipedia founder to help access research

UK asks Wikipedia founder to help access research

The British government said Wednesday it has asked Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to help it make all taxpayer-funded academic research in Britain more widely available online.
Currently, most research is published in academic journals that cost university libraries and researchers hundreds of pounds (dollars) to access.
The government has asked Wales to help develop ways of storing and distributing publicly funded research data and articles online to ensure that those outside of academics with an interest in the research can have access, Britain's Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said.
"As taxpayers put their money towards intellectual inquiry, they cannot be barred from accessing it," he said, according to an advance text of a speech to the Publishers Association. "They should not be kept outside with their noses pressed to the window whilst, inside, the academic community produces research in an exclusive space."
Willetts said the British government would encourage other countries to follow its lead. Britain publishes 5,000 peer reviewed academic journals, out of some 23,000 published worldwide, and Willetts said an open access program is only fair if it is done internationally.
The government was considering various access systems, including one where the information is freely available after a period behind a paywall, Willetts said. He said the government will discuss the matter with the European Union.
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Updated : 2021-02-25 22:24 GMT+08:00