User numbers released on Access to Research project

User numbers released on Access to Research project

More than 14,000 people have made use of the Access to Research project, which sees academic content from dozens of publishers made free in public libraries.

The two-year programme launched in February this year as a recommendation from the Finch Group includes content from publishers such as CUP, Elsevier, OUP, SAGE, Wiley and Taylor & Francis. Altogether, more than 10m academic papers have been made available across a wide range of subjects.

After six months, 163 UK library authorities (80% of the total) are signed up to the programme, with 14,500 individual users making use of the service. Popular searches on Access to Research so far include "fracking", "anticoagulants" and "common cold".

It is hoped that students, independent researchers and small businesses will be able to benefit from the Access to Research scheme, which is being led by the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS).

When it launched earlier in the year, universities and science minister David Willetts said: "This will connect people, including students and small businesses, to a wealth of global knowledge - maximising its impact and value."