Elsevier is bad, says 112 page report.
Brussels delivers blow to Reed Elsevier
· Pricing of journal papers 'impedes science progress'
· Internet access proposal puts lucrative trade at risk
Wednesday April 19, 2006
Scientific research funded by the European taxpayer should be freely available to everyone over the internet, according to a European commission report - a blow to the lucrative scientific publishing operations of media groups such as Reed Elsevier and Germany's Springer.
The report, produced by economists from Toulouse University and the Free University of Brussels for the EC, shows that in the 20 years to 1995 the price of scientific journals rose 300% more than the rate of inflation over the period. In the 10 years since then, price increases slowed but still significantly outpaced inflation.
"While it is important to stress the societal value of the existing publication system, it is also important to acknowledge the societal cost linked to high journal prices, in financial terms for public budgets, but also in terms of limits on the dissemination of knowledge and therefore of further scientific progress," the report concludes.
The report, published this month and open to consultation until the summer, recommends open access to publicly funded research. It proposes that researchers who receive EU funding should be "mandated" to place copies of articles published in subscription journals on web-based archives that can be accessed by everyone for free.
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