AAP Supports Finch Report Recommendations for Sustainable Expanded Access to Scientific Publishing

Acknowledging its many similarities with the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, the Association of American Publishers joined stakeholders across the worldwide scientific community in commending ideas set forth by the Finch Group report, the British government-funded project to identify sustainable strategies that could effectively expand access to published scientific research.

The report, “Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications” is the result of a year-long initiative that brought together disparate stakeholders from academia, funding groups, libraries, learned societies and publishing. While the final report is focused on the UK research community, many recommendations have implications for driving policy worldwide. Among them, it calls for government to support the publication of research in open access or hybrid journals, fully funded by article processing charges. Where total funding is not available, it recognizes that publishers must have an appropriate embargo period to avoid undue impact on recouping costs.

“The Finch Group report injects thoughtful, balanced and viable solutions into a debate that has at times wandered off into shortsightedness and even hyperbole,” said Tom Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, AAP.

“Working from the premise that the fundamental changes underway in high-quality scientific communications require a longterm collaborative strategy that cannot be achieved cost-free, the report recognizes publishers as proven innovators critical to the solution and the necessity of sufficient funding. It also identifies the key policy questions as: how does this community mutually promote and manage the shift in an ordered way to best deliver the benefits while minimizing risk?

“AAP agrees with the report’s conclusion that a mixed economy of subscriptions, licensing, open access, repositories and pay-per-view will exist for the foreseeable future and all stakeholders need to work toward an environment for the best public good.”

Allen noted numerous similarities between the Finch Report, tenets of the America COMPETES Reauthorization and collaborative practices already underway between US publishers, funding agencies and research institutions to broaden access to information. These include publishers’ engagement with such federal agencies as the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with the recently-announced FundRef as one of several projects in development. In addition, publishers have launched Research4Life in collaboration with the United Nations, Emergency Access Initiative with the National Library of Medicine and patientINFORM with voluntary health organizations.
 

About the Association of American Publishers

AAP is the national trade association representing nearly 300 premier US publishers of high-quality entertainment, education, professional and scholarly content, produced using the most current technology, reaching the world.

Members of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of AAP publish, in print and electronic form, the vast majority of materials produced and used by scholars and professionals worldwide in science, medicine, technology, business, law and the humanities. PSP members produce books, journals, computer software, databases and digital content. Its membership encompasses commercial companies, not-for-profits, professional societies and university presses.

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