"Finch Group" Open Access Report: Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications

The Research Information Network has released Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications. Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings. For background on the report, see "Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings."

Here's an excerpt:

This report tackles the important question of how to achieve better, faster access to research publications for anyone who wants to read or use them. It has been produced by an independent working group made up of representatives of universities, research funders, learned societies, publishers, and libraries. The group's remit has been to examine how to expand access to the peer-reviewed publications that arise from research undertaken both in the UK and in the rest of the world; and to propose a programme of action to that end.

We have concentrated on journals which publish research results and findings. Virtually all are now published online, and they increasingly include sophisticated navigation, linking and interactive services. Making them freely accessible at the point of use, with minimal if any limitations on how they can be used, offers the potential

Our aim has been to identify key goals and guiding principles in a period of transition towards wider access. We have sought ways both to accelerate that transition and also to sustain what is valuable in a complex ecology with many different agents and stakeholders.

In "Finch Group report on OA in the UK," Peter Suber said of the report:

Bottom line: On the plus side, the Finch group wants a massive shift to OA. It prefers immediate to embargoed OA, and it prefers libre to gratis OA. Some of its reasons for preferring gold to green OA are based on real virtues of gold. On the minus side, most of its reasons for preferring gold to green OA are based on a distorted and jaundiced view of green. The group implies that green cannot be libre (8.9, 8.28), which is false. It implies that green cannot be peer reviewed (8.26) which is false. It implies that green cannot be immediate or must be embargoed (8.28), which is false. It virtually disregards the role of green OA in disseminating peer-reviewed research and values green primarily for providing access to data, and access to grey literature, and preservation. One can see the effect of publisher lobbying on the group's misinformed disparagement of green OA and the group's high priority to save incumbent publishers from risk.

Read more about it at "U.K. Panel Backs Open Access for All Publicly Funded Research Papers."

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