The Finch Report, the Government’s acceptance of its key recommendations, the new RCUK policies on open access, and the consultation by the Funding Councils on possible open access requirements for material to be submitted to the REF expected in 2020, have changed the open access landscape in the UK. All those with a stake in the scholarly communications process – research funders, universities, publishers and not least researchers themselves – are responding to that new landscape and the issues to which it gives rise.
The final act of the Finch Group has been to review progress, in the year since the publication of its report, in the implementation of its recommendations. A report published in November 2013 points to a number of areas where further action is needed, but above all to the need for continued cooperation between all the key stakeholder groups, and for co-ordination of their activities. The Government has responded positively to all the recommendations.
As part of its work since the Finch Report, the RIN has convened a working group of representatives of funders, libraries, universities, publishers and learned societies to consider and make proposals for the configuration of a set of indicators that can be used to assess progress towards open access in the UK. A report has now been published and is available here.
That report is now being considered by an Open Access Co-ordinating Group convened by Universities UK, which met for the first time on 23 May 2014. The group also considered a brief paper on key developments since autumn 2013, and a copy is here. A similar paper on key developments in the second half of 2014 is here.