At the second annual global meeting of the Global Research Council in Berlin, a group of research-funding agencies called for increased public access to the studies they fund. In a seven-page action plan toward openness, the group of roughly 70 separate agencies offered guidelines for how different institutions might grant wider access.
While the guidelines are fairly general, the paper puts the Global Research Council on one ideological side of a debate in the scientific community that sounds a lot like the debates dividing governments and media: namely, who should have access to what, and at what cost.
There is a widespread notion that research, funded by the public through government grants, should find its way back to them. Even if the average person does not make a habit of lying down in bed and perusing the latest abstracts in Science, she may have still paid for it, if only in a very small part.
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