I very much hope that my own will not be the only voice in favour of Fred Friend's Sense over Finch/Willetts Folly at the Westminster Forum on Implementing Open Access Policy in London on November 5th. ---- S.H.



Bravo to Fred Friend for his trenchant account of the UK/OA saga:
"How did the UK government manage to spoil something as good as open..."

(Only one item was missing from Fred's list of 9 perverse effects of the Willetts/Finch sell-out -- that it also runs roughshod over UK authors' freedom of choice as to which journal to publish in -- but Fred has informed me that it was in his original list and had to be cut to meet the word-limit!)

Whether or not BIS and the UK goverrnment have the good sense to follow the wise and timely advice of their own 2013 BIS Select Committee on how to repair the RCUK OA Mandate, nothing prevents HEFCE and RCUK from following that advice (just as they followed the advice of the 2004 Select Committee and mandated OA even though the government rejected the advice).

And irrespective of any of this, nothing prevents UK researchers from publishing in their journal of choice and depositing their final drafts in their institutional repositories immediately upon acceptance for publication, as Fred suggests, releasing the immediately deposited paper either immediately as OA, or after an embargo of 6 or 12 months. RCUK has already stated that it will not be enforcing the Green OA ....

(And meanwhile the repositories' facilitated copy-request Button will be making it possible for authors to provide individual copies of embargoed deposits to requestors for research purposes with one extra click per request, if they wish -- if, but only if, the paper is deposited immediately upon publication rather than after the embargo.)

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