Mandate Open Access to Maximising Research Progress
Research is funded by public taxes in order to provide benefits for the public in the form of the growth of knowledge and applications. The reason universities and research funders mandate that researchers must "publish or perish" is that research findings that are not published cannot be used to contribute to the growth of knowledge and applications. But even published research is not accessible to all its potential users because no university or research institution can afford to subscribe to all or even most of the 25,000 research journals that exist across all fields. The digital online era has now made it possible to make all research articles accessible to all potential users. For this reason, universities and research funders (such as Harvard, NIH and Istituto Superiore di Sanità) are now extending their "publish or perish" mandates: It is no longer enough to publish one's research findings. The authors must make them Open Access by self-archiving them in their university's Open Access Repository. Studies have already shown that the impact of research in all fields is doubled if it is made Open Access. OA self-archiving needs to be mandated by universities and funders worldwide.