In a recent post to its Impatient Optimists Blog, the Gates Foundation states “…we are adopting an Open Access (OA) policy to enable the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded by the foundation, including any underlying data sets. ”
The Foundation went into further detail in an email to SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition):
“Our new Open Access Policy goes into effect on January 1, 2015 We are really excited to make the research we fund more accessible to our grantees and researchers, policy makers, and to governments around the world. Our new Open Access Policy enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed, published research, including underlying datasets. We join many other institutions in the Open Access movement, such as the Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. We believe this policy will help accelerate identifying solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”
” As noted, the policy goes into effect on January 1, 2015, but will be fully implemented over a two-year period, at which time all peer-reviewed published research, and underlying data sets resulting from foundation funded research will be immediately available upon publication. The implications are as follows:
For all agreements that are currently signed, there is no change.
For all new agreements, signed after January 1, 2015, the Open Access Policy will apply.
This policy will be implemented over a transition period over a two year period to allow for new standards around immediate access and data repositories to be adopted and developed. We will focus on developing a process that minimizes operational impact.
The Gates Foundation has an asset trust endowment of $42.3 billion. Total 2013 grant payments were $3.6 billion (source: Foundation Facts)
Insider Higher Ed has a lengthy analysis of the announcement.