We Need To Talk About Open Access

Stephen Curry | Reciprocal Space | November 24, 2012

Last week I spoke on open access at the annual conference of Research Libraries UK (RLUK). I did so at the end of a session that also featured Dame Janet Finch, who had chaired the working group set up by the government to make recommendations on expanding access to the scholarly literature in the UK, and Mark Thorley, the public face of the new policy on open access developed in the light of the Finch report by Research Councils UK (RCUK), the body that oversees much of public spending on research.

Mark and I had already met, at an open access debate at Imperial College back in September but this was the first time I had encountered Dame Janet. Having spent time reading her report back in the summer, I was pleased to discover that she had in turn read some of my output on the topic of OA.

The conference was a good opportunity to talk to both Mark and Dame Janet and to get a better insight into the thinking behind the Finch report and the new RCUK policy. Some of the more colourful remarks made are off the record, I’m afraid, but there is still plenty of information to be gleaned from the presentations made, which were recorded and have been uploaded to YouTube (thanks to the good offices of RLUK’s Melanie Cheung)...