Open access

Following the Finch Review on Open Access (OA) that in summer 2012 recommended the gold version of OA, the SLSA Executive Committee has been monitoring the situation and responding as appropriate. This page aims to gather together resource relating to OA in order to keep members informed of developments over the coming months as this initiative is moving forward very quickly. If you know of any resources or links not included on this page that you think would be of interest to fellow SLSA members, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SLSA material on OA is listed first followed by other material arranged alphabetically as follows:



SLSA material on OA

SLSA Guidance on Open Access

The SLSA Guidance on Open Access was prepared by a working group of the SLSA Executive Committee. The original draft was revised in response to feedback received from consultation with SLSA members and has now been finalised in line with HEFCE’s policy for submissions to the next REF.

Other SLSA Open Access documents

In April 2014, there was a special session on OA at the SLSA annual conference. Rosemary Hunter's presentation is now available for download.

In October 2013, the SLSA Executive Committee submitted its response to HEFCE's consultation on Open Access in the Post 2014 Research Excellence Framework

In January 2013, the SLSA Executive Committtee submitted evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Open Access.

In February 2013, the SLSA Executive Committee submitted evidence to the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee Inquiry into Open Access.

In March 2013, the SLSA Executive Committee responded to HEFCE's call for advice on OA: SLSA response to HEFCE pre-consultation.

In March 2013, the SLSA Executive Committee submitted a response to RCUK's call for feedback on its Supporting Guidance for its Policy on Open Access: SLSA response to RCUK.

Socio-Legal Newsletter

Open Access: What future for academic publishing, SLN 68:6–9: in this article in the winter 2012 issue of the Socio-Legal Newsletter, Rosemary Hunter, Stephen Bailey, John Bell, Richard Hart and Sol Picciotto contributed a variety of perspectives on the OA debate.



Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)

In March 2013, the AcSS submitted a response to RCUK's call for feedback on its Supporting Guidance for its Policy on Open Access: RCUK OA guidance.

In May 2013, the AcSS published its letter of response to Science Europe's position statement on the transition to open access.

In September 2014, the AcSS published its submission to the Independent Review Panel call for evidence on the implementation of RCUK OA policy.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The AHRC has a webpage dedicated to information on OA. 

The AHRC also has published information about future OA for mongraphs.

BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

In March 2013, BIS publlished a policy paper analysing the cost-effectiveness of policy options for increasing OA to UK research publications.


 Daniel Allington's blog posting: 'On open access, and why it's not the answer

Robert Dingwall blog posting: blog on OA.

British Academy

In April 2014, the British Academy published a report on aspects of OA entitled: Open Access Journals in Humanities and Social Science. It is available free to download here.

The British Academy submitted evidence on OA to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry on Open Access.

The British Academy has published Debating Open Access, a collection of eight specially commissioned articles on OA.

British Sociological Association

The British Sociological Association's president, John Holmwood's blog post on OA.

Cambridge University Library

Cambridge University Library has an OA Website with links to recent articles on the subject.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The ESRC statest on its website that it is 'committed to ensuring our research community makes the outputs from ESRC-funded research publicly available'. 

Finch Report

Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch. The Working Group reported in June 2012 recommending the gold model of OA and the government accepted the group's recommendations on 16 July 2012.

 In October 2013, the Working Group has published a review of progress since the publication of its original report.

House of Lords Science Committee

In March 2013, the House of Lords Science Committee responded to RCUK's call for feedback with recommendations for further changes to RCUK's revised OA policy and guidance.

House of Lords Select Committee on Open Access

On 22 February 2013, the House of Select Committee on Open Access published its report. The report criticises Research Councils UK’s (RCUK) failures in its communication of its OA policy. The report says the previous lack of clarity about RCUK’s policy and guidance was ‘unacceptable’. The full report is available here.

Research Councils UK

Visit RCUK's OA page for details of its policy and related material and events.   


Routledge have collated all articles published in its journals on an OA basis and put them all on one page. The page is updated whenever OA research is published.

Social Science Space

Social Science Space brings social scientists together to explore, share and shape the big issues in social science, from funding to impact. This online social network features blogs with the most current thinking from key players in social science, a forum for discussions, a resource centre with free videos, reports and slides that support these discussions, as well as funding and job opportunity notices. Follow the link to read Stephen Pnfield's article 'Unlocking the real cost of gold OA'.



Global Research Council

The Global Research Council (GRC) has a long-term objective of fostering multilateral research and collaboration across continents to benefit both developing and developed nations. 

Science Europe

Science Europe is a Brussels-based association of 51 European national research organi sations. It was founded in October 2011 with the aim of promoting the collective interests of members and providing them with a platform to collaborate at both policy and activity level. More information is available on the website. The organisation recently published a position statement on the transition to open access.


SCRIPTed is a high-quality, online, international, interdisciplinary and multilingual journal of peer-reviewed articles, analysis pieces, case and legislation critiques, as well as commentaries, reports and book reviews pertaining to law, society and technologies in the broadest sense. In a recent article (December 2012), Daithí Mac Sithigh and John Sheekey discuss some of the options for OA including the 'diamond' option: 'All that glitters is not gold, but is it diamond?'

Law and Society Association

The Law and Society Asssociation (LSA) has published executive summaries of two reports on OA:

  • Report to the Trustees on Open Access Publishing and Its Implications for LSA,
    by Robert Dingwall and Bert Kritzer

  • Short, Alternative (Minority) Report to the Trustees on Open Access
    Publishing and its Implications for LSA, by Jeff Handmaker

The full reports are available to LSA members via the members' area of the website.

New York Times

Article on pseudo-academia and open access: 'Scientific articles accepted (and personal checks too)', by Gina Kolata.


Read John Bohannon's article 'Who's afraid of peer review?' about problems with quality control in OA science journals.

Society for Scholarly Publishing: The Scholarly Kitchen blog

The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing is to 'advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking'. The Scholarly Kitchen is a moderated and independent blog aimed to help fulfill this mission by bringing together differing opinions, commentary, and ideas, and presenting them openly. David Crotty's February 2013 article 'Expanding public access to the results of federally funded Research: first impressions on the US government’s policy' comments on the recent White House Office of Science and Technology Policy guidelines for Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research.


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