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UK Research Funders: Publicly Funded Research Must Be Publicly Available

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the bought-and-paid-for dept.

Government 61

scibri writes "The UK's research councils have put in place an open access policy similar to the one used by the US NIH. From April 2013, science papers must be made free to access within six months of publication if they come from work paid for by one of the UK's seven government-funded grant agencies, the research councils, which together spend about £2.8 billion each year on research (press release). The councils say authors should shun journals that don't allow such policies, though they haven't said how those who don't comply with the rules will be punished."

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Sense being made by the UK government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672597)

This truly is the apocalypse!

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (2)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672715)

Don't worry we'll manage to introduce some feature which renders the process self-defeating.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (3, Interesting)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672927)

The 'feature' is probably that the government will be paying their mates in the content industry (publishers) to ensure that they facilitate open access. Where does the money come from for this? The science budget of course.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674281)

Well, I think they should reallocate funds from the Ministry of Silly Walks to pay for it then.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (1)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674701)

Thank you for being one of the few people who has noticed that this is not actually good news.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674965)

Or it could just come from reduced profits in the scientific publishing industry (Reed Elsevier making 36% on revenues of $3.2 billion in 2010 for example, and Elsevier accounted for 28% of the revenues of the Reed Elsevier group in 2006 but made 44% of the operating profit).

Its a cash cow ripe for profit normalisation.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (4, Insightful)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675591)

Yeah, it could, but if you read the Finch report, you'll find that they're recommending what's known as gold open access. Researchers will be expected to pay an preposterously high per-article fee during the publication process -- a fee that they will be expected to write into their proposal for funding. This means that shedloads of funding will be going from research groups to publishers. A 2,000 UKP per publication 'article processing fee' has been proposed, although with gloomy predictability, higher-profile publishers with better impact factors have generally made it known that their article processing costs, seeing as how they're Quality and all, may (alas) be somewhat higher. They can get away with it.

This, incidentally, means that people who happen to do research and receive public funding, but don't happen to have any project funding (and this is far from rare), are going to find it very difficult to afford to publish. We're going from a situation in which the general public can't afford to access/read research to a situation in which only a subsection of academics will be able to afford to publish, thus privileging themselves on the REF (latest incarnation of the research evaluation exercise) and denying the stragglers. Publishers are content with this because they're on the gravy train for life. Many academics aren't unduly concerned because they have project funding and it's just another system of fees. And hey, screw the riffraff, right? They can stay in the low impact factor ghetto where they belong.

Open access is a good idea. This, on the other hand, is just your typical everyday lunatic you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours moneywasting. The actual solution is within the government's reach (hint: it involves privileging legit open access journals in the REF, rather than paying wodges of cash to Nature), but that won't get anyone invited to any dinner-parties at all, so we'll just keep throwing money at publishers instead.

I'm in a situation right now where my own funder both mandates open access and refuses to pay for it, which, regrettably, is the sort of laughably schitzophrenic thinking I have come to expect from them. In the words of Douglas Adams, 'They're all a load of useless bloody loonies.'

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676061)

Forego the journals and publish on the internet?

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (2)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676927)

Publishing on the internet is the popular suggestion, yes. It has one major problem, which is the aforementioned REF. If you're after an academic career, then you have to create the type of research outputs that the system requires and rewards.

There already exist large-ish semi-academic parallel subcultures within UK universities, call them 'academic related' if you like. These result in streams of publications that, although they attract international interest/kudos, won't get you a 'real' academic career any time soon, because the venues in which they appear just don't get that sort of rating. JISC funded activities, for example, are prone to causing academic-related career blight for exactly this reason. 'Publishing on the internet' won't help your research achieve a 4* rating, as evidence seems to indicate that 4* results are mostly handed out to papers that appear in discipline-leading journals. Perhaps that's because all the best work is published in said journals -- but frankly I doubt it.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (3, Insightful)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40684217)

I wrote to the minister responsible about this, pointing out that if funding is predicated on high-impact publications, but the government wants open publications, then wouldn't it be better to predicate funding on openness. I received a response from the 'BIS Ministerial Correspondence Unit' containing this information: "It may be helpful if I explain that an underpinning principle of the REF, as with the Research Assessment Exercise before it, is that all types of research and all forms of research output across all disciplines shall be assessed on a fair and equal basis. The REF Panels will not make use of journal impact factors, rankings or lists, or the perceived standing of the publisher, in assessing the quality of research outputs submitted. Hence whether the research output has been published in an open access journal, in a 'traditional' journal, or not in a journal at all, will not affect the assessment of its quality in the REF. You might like to be aware of the "Panel criteria and working methods" document which sets out how the REF panels will assess submissions. This is available on the link below: http://www.ref.ac.uk/pubs/2012-01/ [ref.ac.uk] I hope that this response addresses the issues you have raised." As you can see, it did not address my concerns, it just pointed to an obscure paragraph buried somewhere that says impact factors are not taken into account in the REF, which from what I understand is the exact opposite of the truth.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40684227)

I guess the problem is that the leaders of the scientific publishing industry went to the same schools, and now go to the same dinner parties, as the people who allocate the science budget.

Re:Sense being made by the UK government? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672799)

Makes one wonder why it took so long!

A sudden outbreak of... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672605)

Common sense!

old story (-1, Redundant)

mynamestolen (2566945) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672667)

only two or three days behind the news cycle on this story

Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers... (4, Insightful)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672669)

facilitate the process like they do with the NIH requirements. It's so much easier than dealing with a journal that does rather than one that doesn't.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672837)

i actually meant the comment as an author. however, it's also much easier as a reader as well. if i'm not connected to the uni, it's really nice to have the open access option.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (5, Interesting)

LourensV (856614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673007)

One of the options they mention is to put the paper in an institutional repository (i.e. on a web server run by your university). Even Elsevier currently already allows you to put your final submission online yourself, so that shouldn't be a problem. This is not such a big step as it seems in that respect.

What I do very much like is the required use of the CC-BY licence if any processing fees are paid. To see why that is such a big deal, here's what e.g. Elsevier normally offers authors: 1) You write the paper, 2) we get a volunteer editor to look at it, 3) the volunteer editor gets some volunteer reviewers to review it, and you scientists go back and forth until the editor says that it's accepted, 4) you sign over your copyright to us, 5) we typeset it, 6) we give electronic and/or paper copies of your article to anyone who pays us for a subscription, and 7) we give electronic and/or paper copies of your article to anyone who pays a per-access fee. Recently, with all the Open Access discussion going on, they've added an option: 8) You pay a $3000 "handling fee" to cover our expenses, and we'll give access to anyone for free.

Note the catch: you the scientist do most of the work yourself, and pay the publisher for their part of the work, but the publisher still gets exclusive rights to your work! That seems grossly unfair to me. In this new policy, the publisher may still own the copyright even if they get paid, but with a CC-BY licence, everyone else essentially gets the same rights they do, so it's toothless. That is a step in the right direction.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673129)

Technically, you're most likely using the taxpayers' money to conduct the research in the first place, so I find your argument that the publisher still gets exclusive rights to your work, hard to grasp.

You've already been hired/paid to complete a project and by accepting the funding, you usually agree to give most of the rights away already (not all rights, most are negotiable, and are usually already negotiated between the Grants Management Office at your institute/university/center/etc... and the NIH/NSF/BBRC/ERC/etc... before the money is even distributed.)

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673767)

Technically, you're most likely using the taxpayers' money to conduct the research in the first place, so I find your argument that the publisher still gets exclusive rights to your work, hard to grasp.

They get exclusive rights to the article. I have published a few times and the copyright transfer with some companies is unbelievable because in some cases I am not allowed to give away copies of my articles to anyone. In some cases, if I produce an extended version of a previous article I have published, and publish it elsewhere, I could be sued for breaching copyright on an article I have already written.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673873)

My argument is that you never really had the "rights" in the first place. Try to patent something (in the US) while working at a university on an NIH-funded project and let me know how it goes.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674507)

Good point. The academics doing the work should not agree to the terms attached to a grant if they are not happy with them. All I'm interested here is in increasing the proliferation of grants and universities which focus on bringing knowledge into the public domain, at least when everything is funded with taxpayer money.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (3, Insightful)

LourensV (856614) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675439)

Technically, you're most likely using the taxpayers' money to conduct the research in the first place, so I find your argument that the publisher still gets exclusive rights to your work, hard to grasp.

I fully agree. As a publicly funded scientist, of course the results of my work (as in, the work done by me) belong to everyone, and so when I'm done, I want to share them with everybody. The problem is that before I can do so, I have to have the paper peer-reviewed and published to make sure it's up to scratch, and in the course of that, I have to give away the rights to share it with the people who paid for the research!

I don't want the copyright for myself (what am I going to do with it?) The only reason I want to have the copyright is so that I can distribute the paper under a free licence, so that anyone can benefit, rather than just the publisher, its shareholders, and whoever is rich enough to be able to afford the access fee.

Bigger Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673323)

Will it require that the data supporting the research be archived and available?

Re:Bigger Question (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673683)

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (The German Research Foundation) requires that this is addressed during proposal submission.

2.4 Data handling

Improving the handling of research data is a priority both for national and international research organisations and for science in general. In order to enhance the long-term preservation of research data, the DFG funds projects that seek to achieve an efficient and sustained use of research data.

If research data will be systematically produced using DFG project funds, describe what measures will be implemented to ensure their management, curation and long-term preservation for future reuse. Please regard existing standards and data reposito-ries in your discipline where appropriate.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673565)

One of the options they mention is to put the paper in an institutional repository (i.e. on a web server run by your university).

And Who is going to pay for that?

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673731)

At least they typeset it. Newer journals expect you to produce a publication ready PDF for them.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673793)

I never do that. I don't pay US$ 100,- per page for nothing.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676537)

They also tend not to charge.

Re:Great idea ... let's just hope the publishers.. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40676839)

I never noticed that.

Sorry, this is not a good thing (2)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674689)

Unfortunately this is more of a case of the government facilitating matters for the publishers. It is frustrating to see well-intentioned people (with sufficient knowledge ONLY to see that something called "Open Access" would be a good idea) rejoicing over this. The Finch report has completely discounted the Green OA strategy in favour of Gold OA. Rather than allowing publishers to adjust to modern reality by reducing their role in the dissemination of research, they are instead going to be paid big stacks of public money to carry on with their exorbitantly-priced open access options .

Finch's open-access cure may be 'worse than the disease' - Times Higher Education http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=420392&c=1 [timeshighe...tion.co.uk]

Why the UK Should Not Heed the Finch Report - Stevan Harnad http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/07/04/why-the-uk-should-not-heed-the-finch-report/ [lse.ac.uk]

Good news (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672705)

Sounds like good news to me. But seriously, who *actually* reads journals any more? Pre-print services are more far more convenient. All we need to do is latch on some peer review and ranking system onto the arXiv (or similar) and we get rid of all of these outdated journals.

Re:Good news (3, Interesting)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673001)

But seriously, who *actually* reads journals any more?

Only the best scientist and researchers in the world.

All we need to do is latch on some peer review and ranking system onto the arXiv (or similar) and we get rid of all of these outdated journals.

Sounds like a restricted wikipedia and we all know that wikipedia is immune from mis-information. Honestly, I don't see any issue with journals. They are peer reviewed and most are digital and fully-indexed these days. Journals provide about the only reliable, authoritative documentation on the internet.

Re:Good news (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673763)

Every scientist who wants to be taken at all seriously. Preprint services are just online document aggregators. Anyone can put anything they want there. And no, a group ranking system won't fix that. Even fields that have preprint services STILL have journals.

Journals currently provide two essential services - they put their reputation behind their review and publication procedures, and they maintain archives. If bad papers get through, the journal's reputation suffers. They don't want that, so they have a vested interest in making sure bad papers don't get through.

"Decoupled Journals" (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674105)

What you propose has been around for more than a decade with what are called overlay journals [wikipedia.org] .

But the thing is, you're only dealing with published items, so there's no built-in way of improving the article. (asking for clarifications, improving poor grammar, etc.)

Another alternative was proposed in Jason Priem (known for the Altmetrics Manifesto [altmetrics.org] ) and Brad Hemminger's Decoupling the scholarly journal [frontiersin.org] (PubMed), discussing the different functions that journals perform, alternatives (such as overlay journals, PLoS One, post-publication review, etc.), and then breaking it down into bits that can be separated from each other.

You can then either do that bit in-house, or outsource specific parts, without having to deal with those cases where a society sells (licenses?) their journal to Elsevier or Wiley.

Re:Good news (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674207)

You often need these 'outdated' journals to get an idea of the history of the thing you research. You also need them because not all knowledge is in the newest papers. To be able to read those papers you need a minimal amount of knowledge, which is often in 'outdated,' as you call them, papers that are referred to in the new ones.

Re:Good news (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40677281)

The back issues are stacked in the library anyway. Keep those and give Elsevier the much deserved kick in the arse. I'd say we just expropriate the parasites and if they dare to say anything against it, string the fuckers up on the next lamppost. Worst bottomfeeders in the history of science.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672719)

Research funded by the public should be free to be read by the public. They pay for it, they should get it. And maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand the benefit of keeping it behind a paywall for six months first. Why shouldn't people get what they paid for right now, not six months from now?

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672771)

Because they put a lot of work into their studies, they should have a short headstart to process that information. The public should most certainly get the work that it pays for and IMO 6 months is perfectly fair.

Re:Good (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672887)

You mean to tell me there are people who publish their studies before even processing the data? Even under a public-funding=public-access system, you can get as much of a head start as you want by delaying publication. Is that not a suitable arrangement?

Re:Good (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673799)

Sometimes we do very large studies that generate enough data for more than 1 paper. We'd like preferential access to all that data we spent months/years generating until we have a chance to get out all the papers we know we can. Before that, opening the data set to our competitors lets them take the citation credits and screws over the people who spent the time doing the actual work.

Re:Good (1)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674729)

That doesn't make sense. Couldn't your competitors just subscribe to the journal that you publish in? (thus negating the justification you give for the paywall)

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

vivian (156520) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672965)

Who exactly should get a head start, and a head start on whom?
The journal publishers? Researchers sometimes even have to pay a fee to submit papers for publication in the first place.
The peer reviewers? they aren't paid by the journals or by the researchers.
The researchers? they have already processed the information, which is why they are submitting for publication.

Leaving a 6 month clause just begs to have endless lobbying to get it extended to 12 months, then 2 years, etc.
If you are actively researching in a field, you will still be forced to get the expensive peer reviewed journals, usually bundled with a bunch of other journals you don't want at all, but are more or less forced to buy because of the prohibitive cost of buying articles one at a time.

Journal Publishers basically get all the content written and submitted by scientists for free, selected by peer reviewed by another bunch of scientists for free, then slap a cover on a bunch of them and sell them at obscene prices. The price increases have way outstripped the CPI since the mid 80's and it's way past time the greedy bastards got a shake up.

Re:Good (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673849)

The researchers who spent months/years of their lives generating the data should get a head start on their competitors, who do no work, but take the resulting data set and beat them to the punch publishing some of the multiple papers that come out of a large study. The researchers who did the actual work now lose out on all the citation references that go to the competitor. Citations matter a lot in what type of job you might get next or whether you are going to get that next grant funded or not. Allowing the folks who did the work to actually get the reward for the work is only fair.

Re:Good (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672841)

they 6months limit is a compromise to please the journals.

I don't think they're going to be too pleased about it though. large part of their business is selling access to their archive - which is what certain type of scientists can't avoid since they need to use those archives as sources...

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672993)

Because generally-speaking, the government and the public pays for the research, not for its publication. While the government does contribute in the form of some government publications (e.g., government reports by their salaried workers), and sometimes there are page charges in regular journals that are covered by government-funded research grants, this doesn't encompass the great majority of scientific journals out there. Traditionally the publication side of scientific communication has been run as a business, and therefore any transition to free public access in any form has been strongly opposed by those business interests.

Putting it another way, why should publishers provide journals for free if they aren't getting paid by the public somehow to cover the real costs?

In reality, of course, the publishers get a HUGE subsidy from the government in the form of all that "free" writing from grant-funded research, and then the publishers get to charge everyone to read that work. I think the publishers don't appreciate how good they really have it. The writers are finally getting wise to the situation, especially with digital publication getting ever cheaper, and they are realizing they don't have to put up with it any more. They are renegotiating the deal, and the publishers are being forced to go along with it, lest they lose their free writers. On the other hand, there is a recognition that the publishers still have to make enough money to cover their costs somehow, or they will go out of business.

Thus the "6 months". I think that's a fair trade. The public does get their works. They just have to wait a little while.

Not just the UK, but EU (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672745)

This isn't actually a decision from the UK, but from Europe, and applies to all European countries. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/790&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Re:Not just the UK, but EU (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40672883)

Yeah but we can't let the British public know that or they may begin to think that the EU does in fact do things to their benefit and then what would the UK's political machine use for it's populist political scapegoat?

Re:Not just the UK, but EU (1)

OldGunner (2576825) | more than 2 years ago | (#40672915)

All the better.

I first thought this should be a UN initiative, but then quickly came to my senses as the UN would try and turn it into a revenue stream for themselves.

Re:Not just the UK, but EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673123)

Actually, it's two separate decisions. They may well have been coordinated, but they are independent. The EU decision doesn't affect UK funding of UK research; the UK decision does.

and what's the bottom line? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674251)

What does this actually mean for UK research and EU research (excluding UK) as a whole?

No, the EU is not Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40674891)

It does not apply to all of Europe! The EU is not synonymous with Europe!

Re:Not just the UK, but EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40675457)

Nope, you're wrong. That press release you're talking about refers to a specific EU funding programme ('Horizon 2020'). It does not relate to what the UK, or Germany, or France, or any other European country, decides to do domestically. The European Commission would like countries domestically to do something like what the UK are doing. But it can't compel them - at least, it isn't yet.

Corporate Welfare (1)

ehud42 (314607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673221)

If the government is giving pubic $ to companies for research, then the results of the research should be public. Anything else is corporate welfare. Plain and simple.

There are many large organizations in Canada that utilize the SR&ED http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/txcrdt/sred-rsde/menu-eng.html [cra-arc.gc.ca] that offsets various project costs, but I don't see any publication of what knowledge was gained or discoveries were made.

Re:Corporate Welfare (1)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674749)

If the government is giving pubic $ to companies for research

It's college students who fund themselves by stripping, not professors.

What have they got to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40673341)

Maybe massive fraud?

"Most laboratory cancer studies cannot be replicated, study shows"
http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e2555.full?rss=1

Disgusting torture of innocent animals, perhaps?
http://www.buav.org/article/458/buav-exposes-kitten-experiments-at-cardiff-university

Oh wait, I forgot- I'm on Slashdot - the home for people incapable of empathy. Such brave heroes you are- willing to sacrifice OTHERS to save yourself!

(At least, that would be IF vivisection actually worked, but it doesn't. Vivisection is medial fraud. 92% of drugs which pass animal experiments FAIL human experiments, AKA 'clinical trials'. ALL 'clinical trials' are actually HUMAN experiments, the only reason they do animal experiments, even though they are useless, is because most people are as stupid and gullible as the Slashdot crowd, and believe they work, and thus they can then experiment on humans and get away with it! What happened to the first human heart transplant patient? And the second? And the third? Does that not sound like experimenting on humans to you? What about Baby Fae:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Fae

THAT is what vivisectionists want to do - get their hands on babies to torture.

Isn't it strange how, in a world where video recording technology is now so cheap that the average PC could record hundreds of hours of high quality video, vivisectionists aren't VIDEOING their 'experiments'? You would have thought it would save so much time, having to write down the visible effects of their 'experiments' on animals, wouldn't you... Or maybe it's because the public would then see what these monsters actually do to animals all day, every day, and demand they be punished...

Re:What have they got to hide? (2)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673785)

(At least, that would be IF vivisection actually worked, but it doesn't. Vivisection is medial fraud. 92% of drugs which pass animal experiments FAIL human experiments, AKA 'clinical trials'. ALL 'clinical trials' are actually HUMAN experiments, the only reason they do animal experiments, even though they are useless, is because most people are as stupid and gullible as the Slashdot crowd, and believe they work, and thus they can then experiment on humans and get away with it!

Er, someone doesn't understand trials. The question you should be asking is what percentage of drugs which *fail* animal experiments pass human experiments? If the answer is close to 0, then the animal experiments have produced value - a lot of value, in fact, if a lot of drugs fail animal experiments. Unless you think not exposing human experimentees to potentially horrible side effects is meaningless?

Re:What have they got to hide? (1)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40674793)

ALL 'clinical trials' are actually HUMAN experiments, the only reason they do animal experiments, even though they are useless, is because most people are as stupid and gullible as the Slashdot crowd

Not all research is clinical research. We gained a lot of knowledge about how the visual system works in the brain from neurophysiology experiments performed on cats (check out Colin Blakemore's work for that, and you can have a look at some of his explanation for animal research at the same time).

Extend to all fields, not just science (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#40673601)

Great start. I think this should be funded to all publicly funded research, not just science. If the tax payers have paid for it, surely they should be able to read the results of the work they've funded? Not just 'science' (however this is defined).

But that's just like... socialism! (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675057)

If we allowed every Tom, Dick, and citizen free and open access to the things their taxes paid for, what kind of world would that be? Access to things like that should be reserved for corporate citizens who've proven that they deserve the fruits of public funding, not "the public". That's just crazy socialist talk!

Archiving Data is more important (1)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675069)

Good thing but too often research can't be duplicated because the authors are unwilling to show you the data they used or simply can't because they "lost" it. Make the law require archiving of the data and require access to the data to be open. You don't necessarily have to share all your research data but all that is relevant to the paper.

Doesn't mean much (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40675911)

It doesn't mean much if this is done hand in glove with government suppression, surveillance, and harassment to ensure zero research gets done that would threaten lucrative government policies, such as massive petrochemical pollution and the Harper regime in Canada (it's happened to EPA scientists too, IIRC).

Tony Blair was called a lap dog of US policy, but with strip-mining for tar and draconian DRM bills, little Stephen has eclipsed him.
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