So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on
Looking at different open access policies it becomes clear that the institutions and funders behind them ‘believe’ that open access will benefit research and society. With the publication of the Finch Report in 2012, the UK embarked on one of the most expensive open access experiments in the world with the RCUK Open Access Policy. This was with the goal of increasing access to UK research and acting as a transition for journals ‘flipping’ to an open access model. So how has it gone? Certainly more UK research is openly accessible but publishers are no closer to flipping. In fact, it could be argued that the main outcome of the RCUK policy transition period is that it has given large publishers time and space to adapt their practices. Manipulation of embargo periods, confusing information, and a graduated charging system for different licenses all work towards ensuring a second income stream. Far from moving to an open access future we seem to be trapped in a worse situation than we started. It is time to move away from belief – let’s consider the evidence.