Britain's Wellcome Trust has thrown its support behind open-access publishing of scientific research, after a report it commissioned came to the conclusion that the publishing status quo does not operate in the interests of scientists or the public.
The trust, which plans to distribute more than £400 million (approximately $662 million) in funding to biomedical sciences in the year 2003–2004, commissioned economic development consultants SQW to undertake a thorough investigation into the £22 billion (approximately $36 billion) scientific publishing industry.
What it found was a clash of priorities among those involved—commercial publishers who want to better their business position, libraries who struggle to buy journals on tight budgets, and researchers who want their research published in reputable journals.
"The current market structure does not operate in the long-term interests of the research community," the report says.
Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said his organization is committed to...