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Australia to make health research open access

What the public funds, the public gets to use

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While America seriously considers the insane Research Works Act (banning the open publication of publicly-funded research), Australia is moving in the other direction. Its National Health and Medical Research Council has announced that all funded research will be made available to the public starting July.

Without detailing what license will be used for publication, the NHMRC’s CEO Professor Warwick Anderson has announced the move in this post at The Conversation.

While Australia’s public research is not under the same attack as is taking place in the USA, the question of open access to academic research is a growing debate. Australian researchers are lining up with their international peers in opposing the dominance of Elsevier in academic publishing.

The NHMRC is a major player in Australia’s scientific research, allocated nearly $AU800 million in the 2011-2012 budget and disbursing thousands of research grants annually. It also supports research fellowships of various kinds, and provides career development and scholarships to researchers.

In announcing the decision, Professor Anderson cited similar policies espoused by the UN’s National Institutes of Health, the UK’s Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust. ®

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