Government response to the Finch Report

16 July 2012

Commenting on the Government response to the Finch report Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We are committed to open access but we would have liked to see the Government give more consideration to the possibilities of the ‘green’ model, perhaps supported by national licensing, during the transition period to full international ‘gold’ open access in the future. 

“The Finch report itself said universities should not be expected to bear the brunt of additional costs of moving to open access. The Government’s plan to reduce shrinking research pots in order to fund open access is robbing Peter to pay Paul and the true costs are as yet unknown. Spending as much as £60 million on gold open access is, for example, the equivalent of more than 1,000 PhD studentships

“And our competitors abroad will get free access to our research while we will still have to pay for journal subscriptions to gain immediate access to theirs.

“All our universities are working to maximise the impact of their world-class research, and the wider dissemination of peer-reviewed publications is a key part of that, but they are already dealing with substantial and growing funding pressures.

“We are also disappointed that the Government has announced their response to the Finch report without more consultation with the major research-intensive universities on whom this could have a disproportionate impact.

“We would now like to work with the Government, research funders, publishers and the wider academic community to resolve issues in this crucial area.”

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