Being the first to try something new is nerve-wracking — so it is always a
relief to see someone else follow your lead. When the UK government announced on
16 July that it would require much of the country’s taxpayer-funded research to
be open-access from April 2013, it was not immediately clear whether the move
would set a trend or prove to be an isolated gamble — one that would leave the
United Kingdom essentially giving away its research for free while still paying
to read everyone else’s.