The UK Open Government Manifesto.
The table of contents is presents an admirable 28 point program. I like the looks of each one. But because I'm especially committed to one particular front of open government, I zeroed in on Point 15: "Ensure the open and timely publication of government research."
The language gave me hope that Point 15 is recommending open access (OA) to publicly-funded research. But it isn't. On closer examination, it calls only for government-commissioned studies to be listed on a registry. It doesn't call for the full-texts to be OA. Nor does it call for OA to research funded rather than commissioned by the government. Other UK policies already require that sort of OA, but in my view imperfectly and in need of a nudge from a well-conceived manifesto. In fact, Point 15 doesn't even call for the registry itself to be OA, though we can suppose that's what it meant. However, an OA bibliography of government studies isn't enough, even where it would count as a forward step. A more thorough open government manifesto would call for OA to publicly-funded research and get into the weeds on exceptions (such as classified research and unpublished notes), vehicles (journals or repositories), embargoes, and open licenses. Even if this manifesto didn't want to be thorough on each point, it could have been more explicit on the main features of this point.
I doubt that the authors oppose OA for publicly-funded research. I suspect they merely believe it isn't part of open governing
. But that's a mistake. It's like saying that open governing could pursue the public interest by spending public money on important research, and then avert its eyes to how the results are distributed.#oa #openaccess #opengovernment