Clarification of the new open-access policy at the Research Councils UK (RCUK)

On July 25, 2012, I had a long, helpful phone conversation with Mark Thorley, convenor of the RCUK Research Outputs Network (RON), the group responsible for developing and implementing the RCUK Open Access policy.

I initially contacted him to talk about what I took to be important differences between the new RCUK policy and the Finch recommendations , especially on (1) embargoes, (2) open licenses, and (3) the role of green OA. I knew that the RCUK disbursed public funds but was independent of the government. I wanted to learn more about that independence, and in particular whether the RCUK felt free to depart from the Finch recommendations, especially after David Willetts, the UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, accepted all the major Finch recommendations on behalf of the UK government.

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