VAT divide holds up online research
A digital VAT divide that allows the duty to be levied on electronic academic journals while paper versions are exempt has been blamed for stymieing progress.
Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, warned a committee of MPs, internet-based publishing of research was being discouraged by the tax.
She told the science and technology committee: ‘Our concern is that it is inhibiting a faster move towards digital publication.’
The Guardian reported that many British universities aren’t even able to reclaim the VAT they pay for access to online journals, because they don’t have the necessary commercial status.
The comments came as part of a discussion on ‘open access publishing’, a system which enables free-to-view articles, but which is paid for by authors.