RLUK welcomes publication of UKRI’s new Open Access Policy | Research Libraries UK

RLUK welcomes the publication today of a new Open Access (OA) policy applying to research outputs that result from UKRI funding. The new policy is the result of an extensive consultation period during which the views of all relevant stakeholders – including the research library community and RLUK – were sought and heard.

The new policy is clearly informed by the consultation and represents an evolutionary development of the current policies covering Research Council-funded research outputs.  Within the new policy, RLUK is particularly pleased to see:

A single, consistent policy covering all UKRI-funded output
A continued commitment to move to 100%, embargo-free open access;
The support of both green and gold OA as valid routes to compliance;
A commitment from UKRI to maintain block grants to institutions in support the policy;
Clarity that the use of those grants to pay APCs for articles in ‘hybrid’ journals that are not part of a transitional agreement will not be permitted; 
Acknowledgment of the vital role that rights play in scholarly communications and a requirement that both versions of record and author’s accepted manuscripts should carry the most liberal rights appropriate;
Encouragement for the use of OA preprints to facilitate open research practices; 
A measured approach to long-form works, although we note that the challenges around OA for these outputs are significantly different to those of journal articles.

RLUK and our members look forward to discussions over the coming months with UKRI on issues around allocation and management of block grants, reporting requirements, and management of exceptions. We will also work with our members to ensure that institutional repositories meet the technical requirements outlined in the policy.

Twenty years ago, the Budapest Open Access Initiative described the move to open access as unlocking ‘an unprecedented public good’. Providing access to research outputs reduces inequalities, encourages economic growth and knowledge transfer, and promotes rapid innovation (seen most dramatically over the last 18 months in the unprecedented speed with which vaccines against COVID-19 have been developed). As a result of open access policies over the past two decades, the UK has made great strides in ensuring its research outputs are available to all interested readers. This new policy from UKRI will help accelerate that change and move us closer to 100% open access.

UKRI’s new open access policy will help to unlock the benefits of research for society | UKRI

by Professor Sir Duncan Wingham

Open access plays a key role in ensuring that the benefits of research can be felt across the research and development ecosystem, society and the economy.

Elsevier lobbying UKRI last minute over funder’s OA policy – Research Professional News

“Head of research libraries consortium “concerned” over move “undermining” consultations on open access

The publishing company Elsevier has made an eleventh-hour push to see its agenda better reflected in the forthcoming strategy on open access, to be published by the UK’s research funding agency, UK Research and Innovation….”

Being transparent & privacy aware: ditching third-party trackers in Strathprints | Open Access @ Strathclyde


George Macgregor
Scholarly Publications & Research Data, University of Strathclyde

Over the years, and like a lot of websites, Strathprints has historically made use of third-party integrations. Some of these integrations have provided us, and Strathprints users, with useful functionality over the years. But because these integrations involve the implementation of tracking code within Strathprints, they have also entailed third-party cookies being attached to our users. This is most notable in our use of Google Analytics and AddThis, the former providing analytics on web traffic and the latter providing convenient social sharing buttons and web analytics. In fact, the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) also entails the DoubleClick cookie used to enable remarketing for products like Google Ads, while AddThis engages in browser fingerprinting.

Given the tracking that is increasing occurring within the scholarly publishing industry generally, and the sometimes-nefarious purposes to which the collected data are being put, we feel it is inappropriate for an open repository like Strathprints to continue to use additional and unnecessary forms of tracking. We have therefore recently removed Google Analytics from Strathprints altogether and have implemented alternative social sharing options to replace AddThis. An additional benefit of removing these tools is that Strathprints is serving less Javascript, which helps to promote quicker page loading – so the benefits go beyond superior privacy to include a better user experience!


Scholarly Communications Officer – Jobs at University of Worcester

“We are looking for a proactive and dedicated individual with an eye for detail and excellent communication skills whose primary role will be to help improve understanding and engagement with Open Access and the institutional repository (WRaP) amongst academic / research staff, particularly in light of the requirements for the next REF.  The post holder will report to the Research Librarian and liaise closely with library colleagues as well as Research Office staff and researchers themselves. …”

Commission adopts adequacy decisions for the UK | European Union

 EU Press Release, June 28, 2021:

The Commission has today adopted two adequacy decisions for the United Kingdom – one under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the other for the Law Enforcement Directive. Personal data can now flow freely from the European Union to the United Kingdom where it benefits from an essentially equivalent level of protection to that guaranteed under EU law. The adequacy decisions also facilitate the correct implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which foresees the exchange of personal information, for example for cooperation on judicial matters. Both adequacy decisions include strong safeguards in case of future divergence such as a ‘sunset clause’, which limits the duration of adequacy to four years.

UK Universities and Elsevier negotiations: July update

“UK Universities, which includes the University of Leicester, on behalf of their researchers, are currently negotiating for an open access (OA) agreement with Elsevier. The two core objectives are:


To reduce costs to levels they can sustain
To provide full and immediate open access to UK research. …

50% of all UK research output is now covered by a transitional agreement…”

Liverpool University Press launches Opening the Future OA membership programme | Liverpool University Press Blog

Liverpool University Press (LUP) is pleased to announce that it is adding to its existing Open Access (OA) publishing programmes this June, by launching an innovative monograph funding initiative. In partnership with COPIM, LUP will be rolling out an Opening the Future programme where they’ll offer libraries subscription/membership access to a choice of two modern language backlist series – and in return the Press will use subscription fees to produce new OA monographs, freely accessible to all.

Jisc to manage central licensing and invoicing for Direct to Open from the MIT Press | The MIT Press

“oday, the MIT Press announced that Jisc will handle central licensing and invoicing for Direct to Open (D2O) for their member libraries. An innovative, sustainable framework for open access monographs, D2O moves professional and scholarly books from a solely market-based, purchase model to a collaborative, library-supported open access model. 

Developed over two years with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund, D2O gives institutions the opportunity to harness collective action to support access to knowledge. Thanks to the centralized service, Jisc libraries will not have to negotiate agreement terms and will be able to use the invoicing processes they are used to through the consortium. 

Jisc libraries that commit to support Direct to Open before September 30, 2021 will earn exclusive benefits. They will gain term access to an archive of gated titles, including classic works by Rosalind Krauss, Daniel Dennett, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Sherry Turkle, and many more. D2O participating libraries also receive special discounting on the MIT Press’s trade books collection on the MIT Press Direct platform. If D2O does not reach the success threshold for 2022, participating libraries are assured term access to the archive collection without paying the fee….”

Jisc has joined Sparc Europe – Jisc scholarly communications

“Earlier this year, Jisc became a member of Sparc Europe, which may come as a bit of a surprise since Jisc and Sparc Europe have collaborated on various things over the years, such as the Research Data competition with the University of Cambridge, and Jisc provided founding support for the organisation back in 2003, along with Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and SURF in the Netherlands. Jisc is also a supporter of The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), and Sherpa Romeo, the Jisc service which aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies, is a direct beneficiary of the crowd sourcing initiative.

Part of the reason Jisc joined now, arguably, is precisely because of those engagements, as well as that during COVID, many organisations like Jisc, continue to see the value of promoting open access and open research as much as we can. Sparc Europe was one of the main contributors to the recently published Diamond OA Study, which included an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors; the other major contributor to that study was OPERAS, which stands for “open scholarly communication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities”, of which Jisc is also a member. Jisc is also active in LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries; even though we’re not members of Liber, there is much overlap in how both entities support libraries, and Sparc Europe again is actively engaged in that space. Jisc also has a representative who sits on the board of Sparc Europe. Therefore, it increasingly became obvious that both Sparc Europe and Jisc were working so closely together that it made perfect sense to be even more closely connected….”

George III’s maps and views: 32,000 images released on Flickr Commons – Maps and views blog

“In October 2020 we released 17,000 images of maps and views from George III’s Topographical Collection on the images-sharing site Flickr Commons, which seems to have kept you busy. 

Well, from today, you can find an additional 32,000 images, comprising George III’s collection of atlases and albums of views, plans, diagrams, reports and surveys, produced between 1550 and 1820. These have been uploaded to Flickr with a Public Domain attribution for you to search, browse, download, reuse, study and enjoy….”