UK House Of Commons Select Committee Publishes Report Criticising RCUK’s Open Access Policy

Richard Poynder | Open and Shut? | September 10, 2013

The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee has today published a critical report on the Open Access (OA) policy introduced on April 1st by Research Councils UK (RCUK).

While it welcomes the Government’s desire to achieve full OA, the Committee is critical of the way it is going about it, and critical of the way in which the Finch Report (which was commissioned by the Government) looked at the evidence and arrived at its conclusions — conclusions on which the RCUK policy is based.

Above all, the BIS Committee is highly critical of the Government’s and RCUK’s preference for Gold OA, and their failure to give due regard to the “vital role” that Green OA and repositories can play in moving the UK towards full OA.

“[A]lmost without exception, our evidence has pointed to gaps in both the qualitative and quantitative evidence underpinning the Finch Report’s conclusions and recommendations,” the report says, “most significantly a failure to examine the UK’s Green mandates and their efficacy.”