Originally posted on paidContent (old):

The UK government has told academic journal publishers it will make freely available online the publicly-funded research they currently charge for, labelling “paywalls” “deeply unhealthy”.

The news will prove unpopular with academic publishers, which license and peer-review researchers’ work and charge libraries to make it available.

“As taxpayers put their money towards intellectual enquiry, they cannot be barred from then accessing it,” science minister David Willetts said in a speech to the Publishers Association on Wednesday (transcript).

“They should not be kept outside with their noses pressed to the window – whilst, inside, the academic community produces research in an exclusive space.”

A group led by Dame Janet Finch will shortly advise the government on how to accomplish Willett’s aims online. But Willetts revealed it is likely to moot a “green” option, which would see journal publishers granted a short exclusive window on publishing publicly-funded research, and a…

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