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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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I'm pleased to say that I was able to participate in the first meeting of the HEFCE Expert Reference Group on Open Access Monographs a few weeks ago. Having confirmed with HEFCE, I can also now make available the minutes of that meeting on the 4th November and would be interested to hear from anybody with comments by either email or Twitter.

I have a few thoughts of my own on the document and on the process itself but will confine myself to just one here. There is a strong focus on an evidence-based approach throughout, which is, of course, to be commended. In many cases, though, and from my experience on other projects, I wonder whether the type of data that would ideally be collected are also impossible data. They might also be strongly normative data, reflecting a description of the current environment, without ever broaching the possibility of how things could look (aside from the enormous practical problems of any kind of metric in publishing).