I may have missed an email or two on this discussion, and if you all know this
already, I apologise.
But there certainly seems to be a way (in the UK at least) of making papers
freely and publicly available through University websites/archives. UCL do this
as a matter of routine - see this website:
I understand Lancaster may do it also (though I couldn't find a weblink).
Essentially, a University sets up an archiving system through a website, where
researchers post their work and it is public-access. The University does the
work of getting permissions from publishers. You can post 'forthcoming' papers
there that have been accepted but are not yet in their final published form.
The problem is that not every University does this and I'm sure there is
considerable resistance within institutions. Perhaps a focus of effort, for
those working within Universities, is required to make this more widely
Town and Regional Planning
University of Sheffield