Sunday, December 10, 2017

Failure of UK Research Open Access Policy

Dr Danny Kingsley, Head of Scholarly Communication at Cambridge University Library has concluded that the UK's policy for free and open access to publicly-funded research has failed: "Manipulation of embargo periods, confusing information, and a graduated charging system for different licenses all work towards ensuring a second income stream. Far from moving to an open access future we seem to be trapped in a worse situation than we started." (Kingsley, 2017).

I was intrigued by Danny's inclusion of "scheduled tweets" to accompany the presentation. 

To answer the question at the end of the presentation "How do we get out of this mess?", I suggest a modestly funded initiative to encourage new Open Access publishers. This could use the start-up infrastructure already established around universities, such as Cambridge

Academic staff and students could be trained and funded to set up new companies to provide OA publishing in competition with existing closed-access ones. These new companies would aim to be profitable, in the long term, while providing publications without a fee to the subscriber. The main question to be answered by any such start-up would not be publishing infrastructure (which there is plenty of free-open-access software for), or revenue streams (which are feasible), but what incentives could be provided to induce academics to choose a new, unproven publisher.


Kingsley, D. (2017). So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on [Presentation file].

No comments:

Post a Comment