International Affairs

RCUK-Sponsored Research to Go Open Access

Research Councils UK (RCUK), a partnership of the United Kingdom’s seven research Councils, has announced that beginning April 1, 2013, peer reviewed research papers resulting from research that received support from the United Kingdom government must be made freely available within six months of publication. In addition, the articles must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on Open Access, and must include details of the funding that supported the research, as well as a statement on how the underlying research materials such as data, samples or models can be accessed. The policy applies to both researchers in the United Kingdom and their international collaborators.

Criteria that journals must fulfill to be compliant with the Research Councils’ Open Access policy are detailed within the policy, but include offering a “pay to publish” option or allowing deposit in a subject or institutional repository after a mandated maximum embargo period. In addition, the policy mandates use of the Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ license (CC-BY), when an Article Processing Charge (APC) is levied. The CC-BY license allows others to modify, build upon and/or distribute the licensed work (including for commercial purposes) as long as the original author is credited.

The Research Councils will provide block grants to eligible UK Higher Education Institutions, approved independent research organizations, and Research Council Institutes to cover open access publishing fees. In addition, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, announced that his organization will provide £10 million to 30 research intensive universities to help in their transition to Open Access for research publications.

US State Department Launches New Science Diplomacy Efforts

On July 25, the State Department announced two new science outreach programs: the Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science (NODES) and the Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership.

NODES is a collaborative effort of the State Department, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Academy of Sciences to convene diasporas with skills in science disciplines to build their capacity to develop and influence effective policies and connect their talents with needs in their countries of origin. In an age of increased mobility and connectivity, these knowledge diaspora networks include scientists, students, innovators and entrepreneurs, as well science policy experts that are working outside of their country of birth, speaking a common language, and building partnerships.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership will introduce US science and technology experts to foreign audiences through US Embassy supported public diplomacy programs. The Partnership advances the Department’s efforts to promote economic prosperity, democratic governance, social development, and global scientific knowledge and to share that information with foreign audiences. The State Department is working with 10 scientific societies on this initiative, including the American Institutes of Physics, of which the Biophysical Society is an affiliated society. 

October 2012 Table of Contents