Articles would either be made immediately accessible online, with the Commission paying up-front publication costs (expected to be 1% of the total research budget); or researchers could make their articles available through an open-access repository no later than six months after publication (or 12 months for social sciences and humanities). The Commission has already developed such a repository – the OpenAIRE repository.
The Commission’s plans are merely proposals at the moment – they face a good year of back-and-forth debate with the Parliament and European Council before they can take effect.
scibri writes: The UK's research councils have put in place an open access policy similar to the one used by the US NIH. From April 2013, science papers must be made free to access within six months of publication if they come from work paid for by one of the UK’s seven government-funded grant agencies, the research councils, which together spend about £2.8 billion each year on research (press release).
The councils say authors should shun journals that don't allow such policies, though they haven't said how those who don't comply with the rules will be punished.
scibri writes: A report commissioned by the UK government has recommended that the country jump straight to "gold" open access: making all scientific papers open access from the start, with authors paying publishers up-front to make their work free to read.
But some advocates of the quicker, and cheaper, option, putting papers in open repositories a few months after publication (green open access) say the report's enthusiasm for gold shows that the authors are more concerned with protecting the profits of the publishing industry than promoting greater access to publicly funded research.