Publicly funded scientific research will be made available for free to study by 2014, under controversial government plans which emerged today.
The revolutionary approach to accessing online articles will help researchers and boost the economy, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said.
It follows widespread calls for ‘open access’ to research papers, following complaints from academics that traditional journal publishers are charging too much.
British universities currently pay around £200million in annual subscription fees to publishers for access to research documents on scientific subjects.
Mr Willetts insisted the idea will benefit researchers - and that taxpayers should not pay to view content they have funded.
He told the Guardian: ‘There is a transitional cost to go through, but it’s overall of benefit to our research community and there’s general acceptance it’s the right thing to do.