The ‘Open’ environment is about a commitment to sharing pre-competitive ideas and innovation as part of a worldwide community. This is the most effective way to support knowledge transfer and ensure that universities and colleges can play a leading role in stimulating the knowledge economy. Open access is one element in this broader environment.
Open access to the outputs from publicly funded research has clear benefits for research, higher education and the UK economy. It is important that it is implemented quickly and cost-effectively across the sector, especially at a time of restraint in public finances.
A range of public and private sector organisations are committed to Open Access, and have (as appropriate) OA policies, statements of principle or relevant business models that are wholly supportive of OA. This, on its own, has not yet been sufficient to see a major shift toward OA in the UK higher education sector, despite the clear benefits that such a shift would bring. It is proposed that more effective and regular coordination between these organisations will lead to a significantly increased rate of movement toward OA in UK higher education.