[Oa-italia] Fwd: [GOAL] Where now for OA in the UK?

Tessa Piazzini tessa.piazzini a unifi.it
Gio 28 Nov 2013 12:22:41 CET

Scusandomi per il cross posting
Recentemente Ŕ uscita la revisione del Finch report del 2012 e le 
relative posizioni del governo inglese e dei RCUK's, in risposta alle 
critiche mosse dal BIS Committee.
Per chi fosse interessato la mail sottostante fa un breve riepilogo 
delle maggiori novitÓ e segnali i link a cui sono accessibili i documenti.
Buona lettura

Tessa Piazzini
Responsabile del Servizio di informazione e comunicazione all'utenza
Biblioteca Biomedica http://www.sba.unifi.it/biomedica
UniversitÓ degli studi di Firenze
Largo Brambilla 3
50134 Firenze
tel. 055 4271137
fax 055 4221649
e-mail: tessa.piazzini a unifi.it
Blog Bibliomedica In-forma: www.bibliotecabiomedica.wordpress.com

-------- Messaggio originale --------
Oggetto: 	[GOAL] Where now for OA in the UK?
Data: 	Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:20:58 +0000
Mittente: 	Friend, Fred <f.friend a ucl.ac.uk>
Rispondi-a: 	Global Open Access List (Successor of AmSci) 
<goal a eprints.org>
A: 	Global Open Access List (Successor of AmSci) <goal a eprints.org>, 
LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <LIBLICENSE-L a LISTSERV.CRL.EDU>

Three recent official documents have presented marginally different 
views of the future of OA in the UK: the Review of the 2012 Finch 
Report, the Government Response to the criticisms from Parliament's BIS 
Committee, and the RCUK's Response to the same Committee. Although all 
three documents (links below) maintain the previous position that the 
future model for OA in the UK will be APC-paid "gold", there are now 
subtle but potentially significant differences between the new policy 

It is now clear that the UK Government has listened to criticisms of its 
policy and is no longer willing to support the Finch Group 
recommendations in the unthinking way it did in July 2012. One example 
of this modified approach comes in the warm way the Government 
now writes of the value of OA repositories and their long-term role. 
Both the recent Finch Group Review and the UK Government Response point 
to the reality of a "mixed economy" of green and gold OA. While the 
Finch Group have also been listening to criticism of their side-lining 
of repositories, their acceptance of a "mixed economy" appears to be 
limited to the length of the transition period to full APC-paid gold 
OA. The Government now concedes that "what the final destination looks 
like is not yet clear" and is likely to be the "mixed economy" of green 
and gold that the Finch Group see as a transition. On this issue 
(surprisingly in view of their policies of several years ago) RCUK now 
come across as the hardest supporters of the APC-paid future, as "RCUK 
expects to be providing sufficient funding to cover the publication 
costs of the majority of research papers arising from Research 
Council funding".

 From the Government Response also comes across a greater willingness to 
listen to university institutions and to authorities in other countries. 
In 2012 the Government rushed out its support for the Finch Report 
without consulting UK universities and without any substantial knowledge 
of the way OA had been developing in other countries. The new Government 
statement recognises the important role of the JISC (a recognition 
missing from the 2012 documents) and of HEFCE. The listening over the 
past year has not changed the Government's policy fundamentally but it 
has led to a more consensual approach to the issues raised by the 
policy. There is now more of an emphasis on the future being determined 
by the publishing decisions of researchers rather than by a policy laid 
down from Whitehall. Again the RCUK Response comes across as the most 
"dirigiste", pointing to RCUK's "duty" to ensure that high-quality 
papers are made available to the public, a duty they see fulfilled 
through APC-paid gold OA.

All three recent documents perpetuate the myth that high-quality 
research can only be made available through the existing publishing 
infrastructure. All three bodies - the Finch Group, the UK Government 
and the RCUK - have accepted the view of research communication 
presented to them in the lobbying by publishing vested interests. The 
Government may be correct in its belief that new OA publishers will 
force the more long-standing publishers to offer lower APCs and also to 
be more flexible on embargo periods (a big contentious issue for the 
future), but as a result of more than a year's discussion of the Finch 
Report and two Parliamentary enquiries the control over the 
dissemination of UK publicly-funded research remains firmly in the hands 
of publishers rather than in the hands of researchers or universities. 
The Finch saga has done nothing to change the IPR regime through which 
publishers control the infrastructure, nor is the process leading to 
true competition whereby there would be a choice for users between two 
suppliers of the same research paper.

In summary OA developments in the UK will change as a result of these 
three new documents, which can be found at 
http://www.researchinfonet.org/implementing-the-recommendations-of-the-finch-report/ and 
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmbis/833/83302.htm . 
The changes are subtle, and some may see them as cosmetic, but they do 
represent an opportunity for OA supporters in the UK to work within a 
structure than is a little less rigid than was set out for us in 2012.

Fred Friend

Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL

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