[Open-access] Criticisms of Finch proposals

Reckling, Falk, Dr. Falk.Reckling at fwf.ac.at
Sat Dec 8 16:34:39 UTC 2012

I fully agree with Ross. It makes no sense to criticize<http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/english-german/criticize.html> the RCUK policy without having proper alternatives. Sure, the RUCK policy is an experiment. But we need such experiments like this or SCOAP³ because other alternatives (incl. green) do not really work, especially they do not obviously change the publication system based on subscriptions so far. (To my mind, PLoS and similar gold models have been affected the system more effectively than most of the puristic "green-only-policies".)

One of the major lessons from databases like www.journalprices.com<http://www.journalprices.com/> is: If we do not want that oligopolistic commercial publishers dominate the prices for publications, public research funders, public research institutions and charities and should increase their support for cost-effective alternative models like PEERJ, Forum of Mathematics, IZA Journals, elife and others ...

And finally, who cares that publishers make profits if the costs are reasonable?



Von: open-access-bounces at lists.okfn.org [open-access-bounces at lists.okfn.org]" im Auftrag von "Ross Mounce [ross.mounce at gmail.com]
Gesendet: Samstag, 08. Dezember 2012 16:31
An: Jonathan Gray
Cc: open-access at lists.okfn.org
Betreff: Re: [Open-access] Criticisms of Finch proposals

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: http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/apc2/

  *   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<http://www.sagepub.com/sageopen/landing.sp> just $195<http://www.sagepub.com/sageopen/landing.sp>

  *   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 tbh.

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<mailto: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:


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,


[1] http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/boai-10-recommendations

Jonathan Gray<http://jonathangray.org/> | @jwyg<http://twitter.com/jwyg>
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Ross Mounce
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Fossils, Phylogeny and Macroevolution Research Group
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