10 September 2013

Open Access in the UK reviewed again

In the UK, Parliament's Business, Innovation and Skill Committee has published its report on the state of OA in the UK. In doing so they come the conclusion that the policy advocated by the Finch Committee that the route to take was the Gold route of "OA journals" (i.e., more money in the pockets of publishers) was mistaken and that more should be done to promote the Green route of depositories. So far, so good, and it gets better: not only are the publishers hammered for their excess profits, but the Committee recommends that author payments should be made only to "true" OA journals (like Information Research) and not to the "hybrid" OA journals, i.e., those that make author charges, but also charge subscriptions. It also recommends that the government should work to lower the VAT charge on e-journals (print journals in the UK are not subject to VAT at all). All in all, this seems like an excellent piece of parliamentary committee work. I haven't yet read it in its entirety, but look forward to discovering what those who submitted evidence had to say. The Finch Committee was stacked in favour of the publishers, since three or four of is members were publishers. It is interesting to see when a less biased group of people consider the situation!