Institute of Physics’ response to the Finch Report

19 June 2012

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has commented on the publication of Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to expand access to research publications

Scientists in lab coats

Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of the IOP, said, “We fully support the goal of expanding access to research publications but it will be a significant challenge and we are grateful to the working group for conveying how complicated that challenge is.

“The recommendations in the report provide a clear policy direction for the UK and we hope to see a signal from Government that it agrees with the recommendations and that it is willing to fully fund the costs that will make the transition possible.

“The report clearly recognises the challenge the transition poses to learned societies.  With more than two-thirds of the Institute’s charitable projects funded by the gift-aided profits from our publishing company, IOP Publishing, it’s crucial to us that the shift is managed carefully.

“For IOP Publishing and the Institute, publishing is not a purely commercial endeavour; it is part of our mission to successfully communicate research findings and help progress science. We take pride in providing a high-quality service to authors and readers.

“Expanding access to research outputs while ensuring the robustness of new publishing models is going to require a transition period, especially when the international nature of academic publishing is taken into consideration.  The report’s recommendations, when taken together, will help make the transition possible.

“We will continue to innovate; building on our existing open access and hybrid journals – something IOP Publishing has long excelled in – to contribute to a more open access future.

“We are also delighted to see the recommendation to vigorously pursue the plan to introduce walk-in access to the majority of journals in public libraries.  Initially a suggestion from publishers, this initiative can provide great benefit to small businesses and other readers, as well as creating a valuable new role for our public libraries.”

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