"Twelve months after the publication of the Finch Report, during which the new RCUK policy on open access has been published, dissected, debated (including by committees in both Houses of Parliament), revised and implemented, it seems an apposite moment to step back and take stock.
A collection of essays published today by the British Academy under the title Debating Open Access presents one attempt to do just that. Given that the essays are published under the imprimatur of the British Academy there is an emphasis on the perspective from the humanities and social sciences — I am the only natural scientist among the eight contributors. This is healthy in my view, since the open access debate often appears to be dominated by scientific interests. That domination may simply be due to the fact that money talks — the natural sciences take the lion’s share of funding from the UK Research Councils — but, as Rita Gardner points out in her essay, around half of all UK academics are from the humanities and social sciences."