19 June 2012

Finch Report released

The report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (Finch report) has been released.

The report is very clear on its expectation for open access to become the norm in scholarly communication:
The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable.
There is much made of the need to sustain publisher revenue, and therefore many of the recommendations relate to the 'gold' route to open access, looking at business models, licensing and funding for Article Processing Charges (APCs). Funders and universities will inevitably need to look at mechanisms for supporting and managing APCs for their researchers.

Repositories are discussed as both a 'threat' (p36) to commercial publishers (while acknowledging no evidence for a disruption to publisher income, p86) and an option (through the 'green' route to open access) with modest operating costs. Amongst the conclusions there is a comment that 'journals can work effectively with repositories' (p91).

It will be interesting to see how the report impacts on policies such as the proposed RCUK revised mandate, due later this summer.

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