EPSRC & RCUK Changes to Policy on Access to Research Outputs
Increasingly the vast majority of UK research funding bodies require that academics make copies of all research publications available through an open access route, such as the Leicester Research Archive (the LRA) or an appropriate online open access subject repository. Increasingly these organisations have started auditing new funding applications from previous grant holders to check that their requirements have been met. As a consequence any researchers whom have not complied may find their applications for funding declined.
This week it was noted that the RCUK councils are beginning to issue reminders of the need for all funded research publications to be published as freely available documents to anyone with access to the internet. This policy would be fully implemented for all research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 September 2011, making the matter of ensuring open access to research publications even more critical for University staff.
EPSRC Introduces a New Policy
This June the EPSRC Council have been the latest funder to announce that they are implementing a new policy on access to research outputs. The policy requires that all published EPSRC-funded research articles which are submitted for publication as from 1 September 2011 must be made available on an Open Access basis.
The policy is not prescriptive about how this is done: authors have the flexibility to choose an approach best suited to their field of research either by post-publication archiving in an open access repository or through publishing within an open access publication. Choosing to publish as open access normally carries with it a publication fee of between £1,500-£3,000 which must be paid by the grant holder. However, a fund supporting open access publication for those researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust is maintained by the Research Support Office.
However, where publishers have open access prohibitive policies this means academics may need to reconsider the title within which they chose to publish. You can discover if your key journals are restrictive or permissive to open access by searching the SHERPA/RoMEO site. Increasingly major publishers, such as Springer or Elsevier, are making open access publication possible within their key titles, although a publication fee is charged as above.
Checking your Funders Requirements
The SHERPA/JULIET website maintains an easy to understand list of all major research funders' policies with respect to open access availability of funded work for all major UK and international funding bodies. For example:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- British Heart Foundation (BHF)
- Cancer Research UK (CRUK)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- European Research Council (ERC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
- Wellcome Trust
University of Leicester's Open Access Mandate
Over and above these mandates Senate introduced in 2009 an institutional mandate (University's Research Open Access Publishing Policy) which requires all researchers to deposit the full text* of their publications with the LRA, and the bibliographic details onto the Research Expertise Database (RED) for items published from 2006 onwards. This requirement is in addition to any deposit within any external repository or open access publication. Deposit with the LRA will be made even easier later this year as it becomes integrated with the new RSO IRIS research publications management system.
Further Help and Advice
For assistance with RED or IRIS, contact Juliet Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 0116-252-2029).For help with Wellcome Trust funded open access publishing contact Steve Loddington (email@example.com, tel 0116-252-2751).
*This is normally the author's finally submitted version, after any peer-review and correction but before copy editing. The LRA cannot normally archive the final published version of materials due to publisher licenses.