Open access to scientific publishing

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A page of links and downloads to reports, responses and information about open access to scientific research


'Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to expand access to research publications’, the report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, which was chaired by Dame Janet Finch CBE.

The report of the Working Group chaired by Dame Janet Finch published on 18 June recommends a programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research. Better, faster communication of research results will bring benefits for public services and for economic growth. It will also bring improved efficiency for researchers, and opportunities for more public engagement with research.

Science Minister David Willetts has since announced that he will accept the recommendations of the report making publicly funded research available to anyone for free. Further information is available in the Department of Business Innovation and Science's news story

Science Council member bodies' responses

Institute of Physics

Royal Society of Chemistry

Society of Biology

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee undertook an inquiry into Open Access in January 2013. A number of Science Council member bodies submitted evidence to that inquiry.

British Psychological Society

Geological Society

Institute of Physics

London Mathematical Society

Royal Astronomical Society

Royal Statistical Society

Society of Biology

Society for General Microbiology

One-Year Review 

A 1-year Review of Implementation Progress Report was published by the Working Group in October 2013. Among the comments it said that publishers and learned societies have taken "significant steps" by increasing the range of Open Access options available through their journals. The Working Group also noted the important fact that learned societies start from different positions in engaging with their transition to Open Access, and while some are relatively well-advanced, others have been slower to address this.

It recommends that universities, funders and publishers, including learned society publishers should "keep under review, in a co-ordinated and transparent ,way, key elements that feed into current uncertainties about costs and funding, and undertake further cost-modelling". 

Further comment

PhysicsWorld article (Volume 25 No 7 July 2012)

Guardian article on government acceptance of Finch report (16th July 2012)