Wellcome backs campaign to break stranglehold of academic journals and allow all research papers to be shared free online
One of the world’s largest funders of science is to throw its weight behind a growing campaign to break the stranglehold of academic journals and allow all research papers to be shared online.
Nearly 9,000 researchers have already signed up to a boycott of journals that restrict free sharing as part of a campaign dubbed the “academic spring” by supporters due to its potential for revolutionising the spread of knowledge.
But the intervention of the Wellcome Trust, the largest non-governmental funder of medical research after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is likely to galvanise the movement by forcing academics it funds to publish in open online journals.
Open Access has been pushed into the mainstream more and more. Now, a large foundation might just shake up things even more.
The Wellcome Trust can afford to do this and not make much off of it. Not too surprising since it took the publishers of Nature a couple of decades to become profitable.
I expect Nature and Science to do well but some of the minor periodicals from for profit publishers should be worried.