Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications

The Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (2012) - which has become known as the Finch Report - was based upon balancing the three criteria in its title: accessibility, sustainability and excellence. In this new report (2013), the same group reviews progress in implementing our recommendations one year after the publication of the 2012 Report. This report thus fulfils the Group's final responsibility.

Uncertainties about costs have led some universities to build on their investment in repositories by adopting an explicit preference for Green rather than Gold Open Access and it is believed that a number of universities have increased the number of full-text articles deposited and accessible via their repositories.

While publishers, libraries, Jisc and others have co-operated in efforts to develop the necessary infrastructures for both Gold and Green OA, much remains to be done to improve interoperability and effective flows of data between different systems, and to build a co-ordinated infrastructure of repositories.

The Working Group holds to the view that a transition via a mixed economy to Gold OA, where publication costs are met mainly by the payment of APCs, is the most effective way of balancing the objectives of increased access, sustainability and excellence.