Finch Report Reignites OA Storm 2012-07-12


“The global research community and governments are looking to the U.K. for recommendations and solutions to funding and delivering open access (OA) models with the recent announcement of the report, ‘Expanding Access to Published Research Findings...’ However, a switch in model of economic delivery for OA from the Green to Gold route has sparked a more contentious debate, leading some experts to ask, is this remedy worse than the disease? Many leading industry experts believe this shift to the Gold model from Green favors the publishing sector more than it meets the needs of the global research community. The publishing industry has generally had a more positive and upbeat reaction to the Finch report. The U.K. Publishers Association believes that ‘it does provide a consensus from different stakeholders across towards a sustainable path,’ according to CEO Richard Mollet. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) comes out very strong in support too. Tom Allen, president of AAP, considers Finch to provide ‘balanced, thoughtful and viable solutions into a debate that has at times wandered into shortsightedness and even hyperbole.’ The context for Finch can be readily found from the first half of 2012 and the criticism of scientific journals publishers. This so-called ‘academic spring’ led The Economist to ask, what is the price of information. The root of the argument is that academic research, largely funded by taxpayers, is locked behind paywalls that cost about £200 million for U.K. academics institutions to access. The Obama administration has also felt the weight of activism with a 17,000 strong petition from academics requiring that all articles funded by U.S. public funding should be available free... The Gold route of article charging is seen by Finch as the ‘main vehicle for the publication of research’ in the future. There are a couple of caveats for making this work though. Public funders of research need to establish better arrangements for payment of articles... The second caveat is that licences also need to be extended for non-OA content to all U.K. Higher Education and the health sector. The Finch report pulls no punches when it claims that Green OA policies of research funders and universities have yet to show a major effect in ensuring that all publications are accessible via institutional repositories... However, the Finch report comes under criticism for not capitalizing on the U.K.’s already strong lead in Green OA from professor David Price, vice provost (Research) at University College London... He believes the necessary funds to deliver Gold OA from existing budgets will cause cuts elsewhere and could cripple the research university system. The pro vice chancellor for research at Oxford University estimates a worst-case scenario that Oxford’s expenditure on publishing could rise by 350%. The one thing that both parties agree on is that a new model could cause a split in subject publication types. Social sciences and humanities favor the research monograph—would they be funded so easily? Finch skims over this issue... A compromise seems to be offered by a dual Green and Gold system, currently being investigated by the JISC Open Access Implementation Group ... Another role, and already mentioned by Finch, is the role for open data for university repositories. The mention seems rather off-hand and superficial... Open data is not just about access—it is a much deeper issue for the scientific process... The fundamental question for some is whether science or profit is the driver in OA. Finch in many ways has re-opened this can of worms... Finch wants international cooperation but Australia is opting for Green. Would the U.K. be out of step with everyone else?”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.policies oa.licensing oa.comment oa.government oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.copyright oa.societies oa.australia oa.aap oa.fees oa.rcuk oa.recommendations oa.publishers_association oa.finch_report oa.access2research oa.repositories oa.libre oa.journals



Date tagged:

07/12/2012, 16:04

Date published:

07/12/2012, 16:19