Open Access after Finch and the new RCUK policy


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Slides from a talk I gave at the Open Research and Data meeting held at Birkbeck College London on Mon 22nd October 2012 (organised by LSHTM and others)

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Open Access after Finch and the new RCUK policy

  1. 1. Open Access after Finch and RCUK A personal view ProfessorStephenCurry ImperialCollege 1
  2. 2. Life scientist and blogger 2
  3. 3. The Research Works Act (USA)… No Federal agency may engage in any policy that-- (1) causes network dissemination of any private- sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work Authors: Reps Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) - and publishers? 3
  4. 4. …was shocking ‣ their content? ‣ surprise at subscription costs (RLUK negotiations in 2011) ‣ re-ignited amateur vs commercial tensions Jan 2012 4
  5. 5. Academic Journals were a great idea… 5
  6. 6. …but the web changes everything 6
  7. 7. The relationship of academics with Open Access 7
  8. 8. Open Access is not: ‣ the same as file-sharing ‣ a race to the bottom ‣ the end of peer review ‣ only for wealthy life scientists 8
  9. 9. Open Access is: ‣ an inevitable consequence of the internet ‣ economical and fair ‣ a challenge for publishers, learned societies and academics 9
  10. 10. Policy in the UK - 2012 Dame Janet Finch: “The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable.” Rt Hon David Willetts MP: The "funding model is surely going to have to change even beyond the welcome transition to open access and hybrid journals that’s already underway. To try to preserve the old model is the wrong battle to fight." 10
  11. 11. Membership of the Finch Working Group Dame Janet Finch 3 academics 2 society reps 3 publishers 2 librarians 3 funder reps 1 BIS observer Dr Michael Jubb (RIN) 11
  12. 12. RCUK policy (clarified Sept 2012) ‣ Funds paid to institutions ‣ Authors must publish in OA journal ‣ Preference for gold (and CC-BY) but green is allowed ‣ If journal only offers gold OA, author must use that route ‣ If journal only offers green OA, author must deposit post-print in appropriate repository ‣ If the journal offers Gold and Green OA (embargo < 6 mo), author and their institution decide on the most appropriate route
  13. 13. Why are we not there yet? Opposition of some publishers ‣ adherence to a profitable model. Hence: ‣ insistence on copyright acquisition ‣ Elsevier support for RWA ‣ confidentiality clauses on subscription deals But others are more forward-thinking ‣ Gold OA can be made to work: PLOS, BMC ‣ Innovation - eLife, PeerJ ‣ market in need of a shake-up 13
  14. 14. Why are we not there yet?Scientists are ill-informed and conservative ‣ too few understand: ‣ their obligations ‣ how OA works ‣ subscription costs ‣ access problem (in wealthy institutions) ‣ weak sense of public duty? ‣ fear of losing a traditional model ‣ invented the web but suspicious of it? ‣ addicted to impact factors ‣ concerns for scientific societies, humanities 14
  15. 15. Impact factors must go Aug 2012 Welcome Trust OA policy: "affirms the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author’s work is published, that should be considered in making funding decisions." 15
  16. 16. The inexorable rise of Open Access UK: 35% Green OA World: 17% Gold OA Published 2 2-Oct-2012 oA P C) (n eo nly n lin APC) O (no nlin e only O Print sub/ OA online 16
  17. 17. Residual concerns ‣ getting the message out ‣ unifying the broad church of OA (gold vs green) ‣ international cooperation ‣ establishing APC payment mechanisms that are visible to authors ‣ establishing mechanisms that work for all fields ‣ duration and cost of the transition? Questions? 17