Major U.K. University Goes Open Access

University College London has joined the growing list of universities that are moving forward with open access, which means they will post copies of faculty members' published journal articles in a free online repository. Today, UCL announced a new board that will implement a policy adopted by faculty last October. It follows the lead of Harvard and Stanford Universities, where some schools adopted open access "mandates" last year, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which voted for university-wide open access this spring.

Like most other institutions, UCL will observe journals' copyright policies, which means they don't post the papers until the journal itself has made the full text freely available (most now do so within 12 months). But even though the article may already be online, proponents say these institutional archives are important because they provide one-stop shopping for a school's research and make the articles easier for the public to find. United Kingdom open access experts powwowed on the movement's impact at a meeting last Friday; the slides are here.