The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Professor Dame Janet Finch, recently published their report on how the UK can move towards Open Access to published scholarly articles.
The Finch Report largely came out in favor of the UK moving towards what has been called the “Gold Route” – where authors pay to have their research published, and accessing journal articles would be free with the hope that this would expand overall use and access of existing research.
Read articles on the Finch Report:
This report is not without controversy. One particular concern amongst academic researchers is where these new “author fees” would come from, particularly as research grants have lately become smaller and less frequent.
The issue of author fees, and where they will come from, will likely prove to be of particular concern to social science as they often work with fewer funds and more reluctant sources. However, given that the results of social science research often have massive implications for the public, industries, and policy makers, the potential benefit of increased access to social science journals cannot be underestimated.
We will have more on the Finch Report and what it means to the social sciences in the coming days.