Reaction to the Finch report

Today the long-awaited and heavily leaked Finch report on Open Access came out. It’s 92+ pages ( ) Cameron Neylon has read it so I’ll take his analysis rather than depressing myself by reading it in full.

It’s been reported in the Guardian by Alok Jha ( ) and this seems balanced (unlike the Daily Mail).

So here are my simple takes:

  • Everyone (yes everyone – government, publishers, politicians) think Open Access is a GOOD THING
  • Moving to Open access will cost money
  • The UK publishing industry is so important we mustn’t do anything to harm it.


  • Finch isn’t going to tell us how anything will happen, just that something should.

No – that’s not true. She’s thought of the #scholarlypoor. People outside academia, who pay for the research (taxes, charities) but can’t read it:

walk-in access to the majority of journals to be provided in public libraries across the UK should be pursued with vigour, along with an effective publicity and marketing campaign; ”


So that’s all right (assuming your local one hasn’t been closed down). And no doubt we can pay the publishers to run it for us.


Cameron describes the report as “good steps but missed opportunities”. I would replace this with “good intentions and missed opportunities”.



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