Research Councils UK (RCUK) welcome the establishment of a new independent working group to examine access to research findings.
Drs. Astrid Wissenburg, Chair of RCUK Impact Group said: “Research has an impact on all our lives and ensuring the widest possible access to research outputs is essential to the economic growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. This new working group will help in the endeavour to make publically funded research available to the public now and remain accessible for future generations.”
The Research Information Network (RIN) made the following announcement about the new working group:
“A new independent working group has been set up to examine how UK-funded research findings can be made more accessible. The group will propose a programme of action and make recommendations to government, research funders, publishers and other interested parties on how access to research findings and outcomes can be broadened for key audiences such as researchers, policy makers and the general public.
The group emerged from transparency discussions initiated at a high level round table meeting by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science. It is made up of representatives of the HE sector, research funders, the research community, scholarly publishers, and libraries. It is chaired by Dame Janet Finch DBE, Professor of Sociology at Manchester University and independent co-Chair of the Council for Science and Technology.
Focusing on academic publications – specifically journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs – the working group will take into account parallel work relating to research data and other outputs being conducted by the Royal Society.
The group’s work is supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills; the Publishers Association; Research Councils UK; and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (working with the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland). The Research Information Network will provide the Group’s secretariat. The group will hold
its first meeting in mid-October, and aims to produce a report in the spring of 2012.”
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RCUK Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592
Notes to editors
The Working Group will adopt an evidence-based approach to its work. So far as possible it will work collaboratively and will seek to achieve consensus. Where that is not possible, it will identify precise points of difference. It will seek to identify the key goals and guiding principles that should underlie public policy on publication of and access to research findings; and in the light of those principles to identify possible routes and mechanisms in order to achieve the key goals, along with the associated costs, risks and benefits. It will take account of relevant policies and practice in other countries, and propose a programme of action for all interested parties in the UK.
Further information: Dr Michael Jubb, Secretary to the Working Group
Tel: 020 7412 7285.
The Group is supported by: Research Councils UK, The Publishers Association, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils. We invest annually around £3 billion in research. Our focus is on excellence with impact. We nurture the highest quality research, as judged by international peer review providing the UK with a competitive advantage. Global research requires we sustain a diversity of funding approaches, fostering international collaborations, and providing access to the best facilities and infrastructure, and locating skilled researchers in stimulating environments. Our research achieves impact – the demonstrable contribution to society and the economy made by knowledge and skilled people. To deliver impact, researchers and businesses need to engage and collaborate with the public, business, government and charitable organisations. www.rcuk.ac.uk.
The seven UK Research Councils are:
- Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
- Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
- Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
- Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
- Medical Research Council (MRC);
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
- Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).