[Open-access] Criticisms of Finch proposals

Ross Mounce ross.mounce at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 15:31:16 UTC 2012

Everything I've read on that blog site (not just that post) is extremely
(overly) negative about the Finch policy IMO. I've so far resisted on
directly commenting on it because I think it's so obviously misguided but
since you've asked...

   - Calling 'Gold' Open Access 'pay-to-say' is plain exaggeration. There
   are many different good, high-quality Gold OA journals that offer £0 APC
   (fee-free) publishing. E.g. Acta Palaeontologia Polonica, Journal of
   Machine Learning Research, eLife...  Furthermore, more than half of the
   journals listed in DOAJ are £0 APC (fee-free) source:

   - Even of those journals that do charge, the fee is small, averaging
   just $906 as per the Solomon & Bjork DOAJ-based study. Humanities journals
   like Sage Open are charging just

   - That post itself seems to completely ignore that Finch allows the
   Green route. So one can publish as much as one likes via that route for
   free. There's no need to 'lobby' for green OA - it's expressly allowed and
   inevitably *must* be used - we can't afford to do 100% Gold in yr 1.

'Academic Freedom' is not imperilled because not all publications will have
to be paid for by the author, free Gold options & Green routes exist and
are allowed and encouraged. I'd argue the policy actually lessens 'Academic
Inequality' because now everyone will be able to read all our outputs,
instead of just rich-institution researchers. As previously mentioned,
no-one need 'pay-to-say' as there are plenty of free options.

The bit about the British Copyright Council (no source given either) being
strongly opposed to the usage of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(CC BY) also cracked me up! Of course they would be! I doubt the British
Copyright Council would support the usage of *any *Creative Commons licence

Green is allowed, the policy has been made, it's not going to change...

I'd much prefer if people spent their time & effort on positive,
constructive activities like raising awareness of journals that allow
RCUK-compliant Green OA, or low or no-cost Gold OA journals. This is the
action they should be taking IMO.

On 8 December 2012 11:30, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm sure many of you will be aware of the criticisms of the UK
> government's Finch open access proposals. For example:
> http://thedisorderofthings.com/2012/12/04/open-access-hefce-ref2020-and-the-threat-to-academic-freedom/
> While the inclusion of CC-BY as a standard means it is compliant with the
> latest Budapest Open Access Initiative recommendations [1], as a humanities
> researcher I can see why people are complaining about the Article
> Processing Charges (dubbed ‘pay-to-say’).
> I wonder if anyone who has been following the debate knows of any concrete
> suggestions for improvements to the Finch model which retain CC-BY as a
> standard, but which would enable scholars to have more choice as to where
> and how they publish?
> All the best,
> Jonathan
> [1]
> http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/boai-10-recommendations
> --
> Jonathan Gray <http://jonathangray.org/> | @jwyg <http://twitter.com/jwyg>
> The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/> | @okfn<http://twitter.com/okfn>
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Ross Mounce
PhD Student & Open Knowledge Foundation Panton Fellow
Fossils, Phylogeny and Macroevolution Research Group
University of Bath, 4 South Building, Lab 1.07
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