Friday 31 January 2014

The Finch Report: A Year On

The Finch Report on increasing access to research publications was published in 2012 and included a list of recommendations and identified steps to achieve them. In October 2013 the Working Group published its findings on the state of progress.

The review stands by the recommendations made in the original Finch Report, that Gold Open Access, primarily funded by article processing or publishing charges (APCs), will be the eventual optimum form of Open Access, although they did 'not recommend a rapid transition'.

In light of the Finch Report, the RCUK announced new policies to which universities adhered. It was noted, however, that universities' actions seemed to only meet requirements rather than to go further. An example being that universities have apparently continued their investments into Green Open Access rather than the recommended Gold Open Access.
The review is keen to note that the Finch Report and subsequent policies 'proved a catalyst for activity not only in the UK, but Internationally'.

The review accepts that areas such as interoperability and sharing data still requires further work and stresses that while there is momentum towards Open Access, concerted effort should be made to ensure that this movement continues.

The review also includes a list of 14 recommendations to help ensure the increased adoption of Open Access. These recommendations include the possibility of pump-priming funding for licenced access to SMEs and third sector organisations and increased co-ordination regarding embargo lengths.

Readers can read all of the recommendations and read the analysis in the Report on Progress. You can also find the original full Finch Report and the Executive Summary online.

Neil Waghorn
Steve Smith

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