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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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The written evidence for the BIS Inquiry on Open Access has now been published and is available on the website for the UK parliament.

The inquiry follows the past House of Lords inquiry and continues the bitter rivalries and feuds between advocates and detractors. I must say that there is still a great deal of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) in circulation. For instance, the Tavistock Institute's report contains the following: "many authors will want to retain the need to gain permission to cite research". Really? They're suggesting that, as a researcher, you think you should have the right to stop other people citing your work? For me, this simply does not compute. Scholarly and scientific publication is an entrance into dialogue, not the right to preach ex cathedra and this is enshrined in fair use copyright law: even at the moment, you can't stop this.

Anyway, highlights of the report, that I've read so far (I'm not going to get time, I suspect, to read the full 500 pages) include: