In a meeting organised by the British Academy on Tuesday 27 November, representatives from a range or organisations argued that not enough thought has been given to the consequences of the new model of charging researchers to make publically funded research open access and free to all. Some learned societies and subject associations representing humanities and social sciences have raised concerns about open access publishing following recommendations from the Finch Group and the new research council policies due to take effect from April 2013. Academics also raised questions about the long-term impact of open access publication on highly esteemed learned society journals and on the freedom to publish research in the most appropriate place.
The Academy will continue to advocate on behalf of the humanities and social sciences academic community and ensure their concerns about the impact of the open access policies are given proper consideration by policy makers. A series of commissioned essays on how academics, learned societies and university managers will deal with the new publishing environment will be published from spring 2013. These essays will look at the impact in different disciplines and explore some of the potential risks involved in a rapid move to open access publication.
To listen to the discussion on Open Access for Humanities and Social Science see the British Academy website. For more information about open access publishing see the Open Access Week website.