[Irtalk] RCUK Open Access policy

Heila Pienaar Heila.Pienaar at up.ac.za
Tue Mar 20 10:54:41 SAST 2012

>>> Joy Davidson <Joy.Davidson at glasgow.ac.uk> 2012/03/19 04:33 PM >>>

This news item may be of interest to list members.

RCUK plans to extend open access policy
Elizabeth Gibney
Research Fortnight Today 
Issue 3886, 16 Mar 12

Research Councils UK is considering changing its open access policies to mandate that all RCUK-funded papers be made freely available six months after publication. 

The move would extend rules already in place at the Medical Research Council, although initially the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economics and Social Research Council would have lengthier, 12 month, periods. 

Under the plans, RCUK would produce a list of "research council compliant" journals, in which all wholly or partially funded projects must be published.

The changes were revealed in a draft policy published on the EnablingOpenScholarship website on 12 March. 

The move anticipates the findings a working group on expanding access to research findings, chaired by Janet Finch, professor of sociology at the University of Manchester and co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology. Her report, scheduled for publication this spring, is expected to propose a programme of action and make recommendations to government.

RCUK's policy states that access to articles should include unrestricted use of text and data mining tools. The revised guidelines would require all papers to include details on how to access underlying research materials. 

However, although the draft says that research council funding may be used to support payment of authors' fees in open access publishing, it does not go as far as the Wellcome Trust's policy, which extends to paying to publish even when a grant is used up.

The document says RCUK is "aware of the difficulties of the current system" and in the longer-term may revisit the model. In the meantime, it says, RCUK will work with institutions on how they might build an institutional open access fund that draws from the indirect costs on grants. 


Joy Davidson
Associate Director
Digital Curation Centre (DCC)
HATII, University of Glasgow
11 University Gardens
G12 8QJ
Tel: 0141 330 8592
Email: joy.davidson at glasgow.ac.uk

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