3. Expanding Access to Published Research Findings: The Finch Report

What/Who is the Finch Group?

Dame Janet Finch, CBE chaired a research group tasked with investigating ‘Expanding Access to Published Research Findings’.  The group was active from October 2011 until it produced its report 'Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications' in June 2012 - read the Executive Summary.  The recommendations of the group, as set out in the report, were accepted and published by the UK Government in July 2012.

How did it come about and who was part of the Group?

The group was formed out of a high level round table meeting held by the Minister for Universities and Science, The Rt Hon David Willetts MP.  You can find more information about the group and minutes of their meetings here.

What research did they carry out?

The Finch Group was set up to investigate models and methods for increasing access to research publications, collecting and reviewing evidence from the research, library, funding and publishing communities, with a view to producing guidance and recommendations based on the principles of access, usability, quality, and cost and sustainability.

Whilst the Terms of Reference of the Group included only peer reviewed journal article, conference papers and monographs, evidence concerning grey literature, reports and data are touched on in the report as being part of the wider mechanism of research communication.  The Group investigated the publishing landscape, the platforms under which research publications are made available, the shortcomings of these platforms, and the current situation with regard to copyright and licensing of content for reuse.