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Wiley to change journal licensing 'immediately'

John Wiley & Sons is changing the way it licenses journals published under its Open Access programme "immediately" in response to recent government proposals to make some papers free to access by 2014.

The academic publisher will now use a Creative Commons Attribution license, which will allow commercial use of articles published under its Wiley Open Access program, for free.

Last month, universities minister David Willetts announced that all publicly-funded scientific research would be freely available by 2014 saying “massive” economic benefits would be reaped for the country from the exercise.

Today, Wiley said: “Wiley is responding to recent developments in funder and government policies and supports the sustainable evolution of scientific publishing. The change will be implemented immediately.”

Rachel Burley, vice-president and director of Open Access, said that the publisher was also reviewing the licensing arrangements for its hybrid OnlineOpen programme—an open access option for individual articles published in subscription journals.

“In consultation with our publishing partners, we aim to continue to develop and deliver sustainable open access products providing author choice and high levels of service,” Burley said.

She added: “Wiley is committed to meeting the evolving needs of the authors who wish to provide open access to the published articles that convey the results of their research.”  

The government made its decision to allow free open access to publicly-funded scientific journals by 2014 after the publication of the Finch report, made by Professor Dame Janet Finch, which strongly recommended journals should be classified as having "gold" open access status, which would help to protect the business models of journal publishers by using revenue from library budgets to fund science budgets. The alternative "green" open access classification allows researchers to make their papers freely available online after they have been accepted by journals.