The Gardian reports that the UK government will unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014. The controversy stems from the plan that ensures the financial security of journal publishers by swapping their revenue from library budgets to science budgets.
"Though many academics will welcome the announcement, some scientists contacted by the Guardian were dismayed that the cost of the transition, which could reach £50m a year, must be covered by the existing science budget and that no new money would be found to fund the process. That could lead to less research and fewer valuable papers being published.
British universities now pay around £200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay "article processing charges" (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online. The typical APC is around £2,000 per article."