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Research: Should it be free to access?

by on July 15, 2013

Our alerts picked up a reference to a recent report ‘The Ageing Workforce – What’s Your Strategy?’ by talentsmoothie, a firm of OD consultants.

On their website they describe the report as “highlight[ing] a significant new demographic challenge for employers, [which] will help you establish how well prepared your organisation is and what it needs to do to transform the ‘ageing workforce situation’ from a serious strategic threat into an opportunity”.

We see reports on age at work from time to time from a range of organizations though mostly these are free to download.  A printed copy of this report however costs £345 (a free sample of the report can be downloaded as a PDF).

So our question is, who would buy this? Should ‘primary research’ (which is how talentsmoothie describe what they have done) be free to access? There’s an ongoing debate within academia about this – the ‘Open Access’ issue. It’s been extensively discussed in this series of articles on the British Academy website and in this series of blog posts on the Guardian’s Higher Education Network.

We’d be interested to hear what organizations outside academia think about this issue.

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