RAS responds to RCUK on dissemination of research proposals
In particular RCUK has proposed that :
* for all grants awarded from 1 October 2005, subject to copyright and licensing arrangements, wherever possible, a copy of any resultant published journal articles or conference proceedings will have to be deposited in a freely accessible e-print repository. Deposit should take place at the earliest opportunity, wherever possible at or around the time of publication.
* award-holders will also be encouraged, but not formally obliged, to deposit articles arising from grants awarded before 1 October 2005.
* applicants for grants will be allowed, subject to justification of cost-effectiveness, to include in the costing of their projects, the predicted costs of any publication in author-pays journals.
The Research Councils's position is that technology offers new possibilities to communicate the results of research, through developments in electronic publishing such as open access journals and e-print repositories. Their full statement can be read
on the RCUK website at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/access/index.asp
The RAS has made a comprehensive response which puts a major focus on peer review and stresses that the sustainability of peer review is an important management issue for the Society. That leads naturally to the financial impact of the RCUK repository policy. The RAS takes the position that the jury is out on this issue and that more debate, guided by quantitative data, is essential. But since the impact is currently unknown it's a risk that the Society must treat as a major issue and manage appropriately. The financial risk is best managed by gradual change and thus the RAS opposes dramatic change, such as mandatory deposit as from October 2005 would cause. The response also takes the opportunity to flag the need for a broader review of support for peer review - to address
the need for scientists to have working time to act as referees and editors.
The full RAS submission can be read here RAS_response_to_RCUK.pdf (41.92 KB)