academics declare research free-for-all
Scientists from all major Dutch universities
officially launched a website on Tuesday where all their research
material can be accessed for free.
Interested parties can get hold
of a total of 47,000 digital documents from 16 institutions the
Digital Academic Repositories. No other nation in the world offers
such easy access to its complete academic research output in digital
form, the researchers claim. Obviously, commercial publishers
are not amused.
DAREnet was already launched about a year
ago, but for demonstration purposes only. The €2m DARE programme
- a joint initiative by all the Dutch universities, the National
Library of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts
and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific
Research (NWO) - harvests all digital available material from
local repositories, making it fully searchable. Aside from bibliographical
information, the content can be full text, or even audio and video
The initiative is clearly not welcomed by
commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science. Increasingly,
universities complain about the high cost of scientific journals
and many argue that the research results should be distributed
freely or at significantly less cost to library subscribers.