Southampton scientists welcome Parliamentary report
Researchers at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science have welcomed the conclusions of the report into the future of academic publishing conducted by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and published today.
The Committee has recommended that all researchers should self-archive their papers within a month of publication, and that universities should be funded to provide the facilities to allow them to do this. This fulfils the vision and principles under which the ECS scientists have been working, as part of the Open Access movement. 'The Committee's conclusions, if followed by universities in this country, will improve the visibility and impact of UK research,' says Dr Les Carr, who has been leading the digital archiving research at ECS.
ECS researchers have been at the forefront of the Open Access movement, promoting and demonstrating the benefits of Open Access archiving of research output, as well as developing software to allow institutions to easily set up their own archives (software.eprints.org). Their work has been funded by JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) and has been instrumental in advancing the Open Access debate.
'In a move two years ago that prefigured the conclusions of the parliamentary report, it was made mandatory for our own researchers in the School of Electronics and Computer Science to self-archive all their research papers, resulting in the most populated institutional archive in the UK (eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk),' said Dr Carr. 'This has provided a very positive and personal example to us of the benefits that can derive from Open Access. Everyone wants to see their research papers reaching as wide an audience as possible and Open Access provides the best way to achieve this.'