Accessibility Sustainability Excellence How to Expand Access to…

Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications : A Review of Progress in Implementing the Recommendations of the Finch Report :

« The Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (2012) – which has become known as the Finch Report – was based upon balancing the three criteria in its title: accessibility, sustainability and excellence. In this new report (2013), the same group reviews progress in implementing our recommendations one year after the publication of the 2012 Report. This report thus fulfils the Group’s final responsibility. »


Open access: brave new world requires bravery

The year 2012 heralded significant developments in open access (OA) that impacted the relationships between the major stakeholders in scholarly publishing: researchers, funders, publishers and governments.

In the UK, the clear preference for a gold OA policy enunciated by the government-backed ‘Finch Report’ is now being implemented by the research councils. Although the policy has been modified to include green routes to OA publishing, arguments continue about the optimal route to a system of open access that can work on a global scale. Resolution of these disputes will require courage and imagination.


Testing the Finch Hypothesis on Green OA Mandate Ineffectiveness

« We have now tested the Finch Committee’s Hypothesis that Green Open Access Mandates are ineffective in generating deposits in institutional repositories. With data from ROARMAP on institutional Green OA mandates and data from ROAR on institutional repositories, we show that deposit number and rate is significantly correlated with mandate strength (classified as 1-12): The stronger the mandate, the more the deposits. The strongest mandates generate deposit rates of 70%+ within 2 years of adoption, compared to the un-mandated deposit rate of 20%. The effect is already detectable at the national level, where the UK, which has the largest proportion of Green OA mandates, has a national OA rate of 35%, compared to the global baseline of 25%. The conclusion is that, contrary to the Finch Hypothesis, Green Open Access Mandates do have a major effect, and the stronger the mandate, the stronger the effect (the Liege ID/OA mandate, linked to research performance evaluation, being the strongest mandate model). RCUK (as well as all universities, research institutions and research funders worldwide) would be well advised to adopt the strongest Green OA mandates and to integrate institutional and funder mandates. »