The Government commissioned Finch Report on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings was released yesterday. The working group, which included publishers, funders, librarians and figures from universities and learned societies, was set the task of looking at how the UK might go about adopting an open access approach to publicly funded research, what the benefits might be to the UK as a whole and what the costs might be.
The recommendation of the working group is that the ‘Gold’ approach to Open Access, whereby journal articles are made freely available upon payment of a fee, should be adopted. The report outlines a number of possible scenarios ranging from a situation whereby the adoption of an open acess policy across the HE sector would result in a saving of several million pounds to the possibility of increased costs to the sector depending on the charges levied by publishers to publish in an open access manner and a possible change in the number of articles published each year.
The report is a key indication that the UK government supports the principles of open access – what now needs to be determined is the best manner in which to achieve it. Universities and funding bodies are now considering the report and its implications.
There is not a great deal of discussion of repositories such as Enlighten in the report, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for us.
Comments on the report have appeared in a wide range of sources:
Guardian – Open access is the future of academic publishing, says Finch report
Times Higher Education – Push for gold will cost millions, open-access report says
Wellcome Trust response – Wellcome Trust responds to Finch Report on open access
RCUK response – RCUK welcomes the ‘Finch report’
BBC – Report calls on government to back open access science