COPIM response to new UKRI Open Access Policy | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

COPIM (Community-led Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) welcomes the announcement of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s open access (OA) policy, which will:

include monographs, chapters & edited collections from 1 January 2024;

require the final version of a publication or accepted manuscript to be made open access via a publisher’s website, a platform or a repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication;

and recommend Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensing, while other Creative Commons permissions such as Attribution Non-Commercial (BY NC) and Attribution Non-Derivative (BY ND) licences are also permitted.

At COPIM, we believe that a shift to open access for academic books is not only possible, but necessary. We — together with a larger network of projects committed to community-led and not-for-profit approaches to scholarly publishing — are developing infrastructures and business models to support publishers and authors in making their long-form research output openly available without relying on embargoes or author-facing charges (otherwise known as Book Processing Charges or BPCs). These infrastructures are already supporting university and scholar-led presses to publish open access books without these constraints.

We are pleased to note that both UKRI’s summary of the responses to its consultation on the new policy and its explanation of its policy changes emphasised that COPIM is well positioned to support a transition towards open access for long-form academic work, and we look forward to doing so.undefined

The experience of our consortial partners who publish open access books is that there is a wide and deep appetite among readers for open access to long-form academic research. Furthermore, given the importance of the book to the creation and dissemination of Humanities and Social Science research, it is vital that we achieve immediate and equitable open access routes for books. The alternative is a future in which access to Humanities and Social Sciences research is limited and expensive, and these disciplines increasingly marginalised.

In this response, we would like to briefly outline how COPIM and COPIM’s consortial partners are already supporting embargo- and BPC-free open access for books, and in what ways the infrastructures and models built by COPIM will help to support other presses to do so. We would also like to outline how we feel the UKRI open access policy could be extended further, and what we would like to see from any future policies for open access books, based on our initial response to the UKRI open access consultation.

ALPSP Copyright Committee Responds to UKRI Open Access Policy

“The ALPSP Copyright Committee is concerned that the announcement of the UKRI’s new open access policy will have a negative impact on progress made to date.  Limiting the opportunity for funded articles to publish in hybrid journals does not benefit learned society authors as it restricts their choice on where to publish.  Whilst many ALPSP members are investigating whether a transformative/transitional agreement may be a viable option, many learned societies have found that the complexities involved in setting up and maintaining these agreements can be extremely  difficult, particularly for smaller societies who may only publish a few journals.  This may inadvertently put these smaller publishers at a distinct disadvantage and result in their journals no longer being selected by UKRI funded authors.

Additionally, making hybrid journals fully gold open access may not be possible in the near future if there is insufficient gold open access content to include in these journals.  This could well lead to major economic difficulties for many learned and professional societies.  Finally, requiring the publication of Accepted Manuscripts with no embargo and under a CC BY licence fails to recognise the significant investment learned societies will have made in getting to that version, including in terms of peer review and related value added publishing services.  As an unintended consequence, this would dilute the Version of Record and slow the speed of transition towards open access, as publishers and societies would continue to recover their investment through subscriptions.  Ultimately, without significant additional funding being added to the ecosystem in the short term to cover this, we are very concerned about the impact of this new policy on the UK publishing industry generally and on learned societies in particular….”

UKRI announces new Open Access Policy | UKRI

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new policy will increase opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused.

Following extensive consultation with the sector, UKRI has published a single Open Access Policy for research publications that acknowledge funding from its councils.

UKRI’s updated policy requires immediate open access for peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022.

Monograph requirement

It also includes a new requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication.

UKRI will provide increased funding of up to £46.7 million per annum to support the implementation of the policy.

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:

The new UKRI Open Access Policy is an important step towards realising our vision of a more open and transparent research culture, which is widely shared across the research and innovation community.

I am grateful to the many people and organisations who contributed their views during the development of the policy and we look forward to continuing to work together to implement open access.

Access, share and reuse research outputs

Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, UKRI Executive Champion for Open Research, who has overseen the policy development, said:

The UKRI Open Access Policy will ensure increased opportunities to access, share and reuse the outputs of research across all of the disciplines UKRI funds, benefiting the research community and generating greater social and economic impact.

Through the increased funding we are providing in support of the new policy we aim to ensure researchers and research organisations are sustainably supported to implement open access and achieve value for money.

Amanda Solloway, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said:

Opening up the UK’s research system so that it is accessible to all will be crucial in underpinning collaborative, world class research and accelerating new discoveries, as highlighted in our new R&D People and Culture Strategy.

I’m delighted that UKRI’s new Open Access Policy will enable UK researchers to share their expertise and findings more easily, ensuring that the benefits of their research are felt across industry and all parts of our society.

Supporting actions

UKRI aims for the new policy to be as easy as possible to implement for all stakeholders and will put in place supporting actions including:

policy guidance
stakeholder engagement
support to help up-take of open access journal agreements.

Monitoring and reporting will be more automated and light-touch. UKRI has worked with the higher education funding bodies to ensure that any open access policy within a future research assessment exercise will seek commonality with the UKRI policy.

UKRI recognises the importance of international coordination to increase open access to research and our new policy aligns closely with those of other international funders, including other members of cOAlition S.

Requirements of the new policy

For peer-reviewed research articles, key requirements of the new policy include:

immediate open access for research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
either via the version of record in a journal or publishing platform, or by depositing the authors accepted manuscript (or if permitted by the publisher the version of record) in an institutional or subject repository
CC BY licence and CC BY ND by exception, including a requirement to notify publisher of licensing at the point of submission.

Key requirements of the new policy for monographs published on or after 1 January 2024 include:

the final version of a publications or accepted manuscript being made open access via a publisher’s website, platform or repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication
CC BY licence preferred, but NC and ND licences are permitted.

The UKRI Open Access Policy will replace the existing research councils Policy on Open Access, which applies to peer-reviewed research articles acknowledging research council funding and was published in 2013.

The policy is the outcome of the UKRI open access review, which commenced in autumn 2018. UKRI consulted on a draft position during spring 2020, receiving 350 responses.

Science Minister announces UKRI’s open access policy – GOV.UK

“Many journals took the necessary step to make all their papers relating to COVID-19 freely available.

By sharing research as openly and quickly as possible, and learning quickly from negative results and any unsupportable conclusions, we delivered the vaccines and treatments that are our surest way to stopping this deadly pandemic in its tracks.

This should be an example to all of us of what’s possible when research culture changes, and when behaviour changes. And what can be done when open research practices are widely adopted, with no excuses. But this isn’t a new imperative. Open research is an agenda where the UK has long been in the global lead. When it comes to the UK’s position on this agenda – I’m a believer!

And we should recognise that we have made good progress. Significant amounts of publicly funded research have been made free to read and reuse.

Studies show that at least 28% of articles are now free to read – increasing to perhaps half of all articles by some measures. And a recent study of 1,207 universities found that some made as much as 80 to 90% of their research free to read in 2017 – with 40 of the best-performing 50 in Europe being UK universities….

And I am thrilled that we were able to get a strong G7 commitment to open science this summer as part of the UK G7 Presidency, with agreement to incentivise open science practices; and promote the efficient and secure processing and sharing of research data across borders that is as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Publishers, on the whole, have been responding to the incentives – and should be praised for showing leadership and not shying from the challenge we have set. Read-and-publish deals have been struck with Springer Nature, Wiley and the Microbiology Society. The pioneering open access publisher PLOS is piloting a new pricing scheme to eliminate author charges. And the ground-breaking Open Library of Humanities is now supported by over 300 institutions, making research across its 28 titles openly fully available to a wider audience….

Of course, there will be hurdles to overcome as everyone adapts. But the prize of open research is more valuable than any one stakeholder or business model.

The truth is that we must all go further.

There are still far too many articles that end up locked away behind paywalls – being cut off from an unimaginable range of useful applications in industry, in healthcare, or in wider society.

And when articles do become openly available, this is too often after a year or two has passed, when the embargo has finally been lifted and when in all likelihood the boat has sailed, the opportunity has passed, and the research field has moved on….

What I’m talking about here is work which is paid for by us all, in taxes. Work that we make a choice to invest in for our collective benefit.

And it’s work which is quality-assured by researchers themselves, through the network of volunteer peer reviewers.

Arguably, it is the ultimate public good….”

NIH-Wide Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2021-2025

“NIH is committed to making findings from the research that it funds accessible and available in a timely manner, while also providing safeguards for privacy, intellectual property, security, and data management. For instance, NIH-funded investigators are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities freely available within 12 months of publication. NIH also encourages investigators to share results prior to peer review, such as through preprints, to speed the dissemination of their findings and enhance the rigor of their work through informal peer review. A robust culture of data sharing is critical to continued progress in science, maximizing NIH’s investment in research, and assurance of the highest levels of transparency and rigor. To this end, NIH will continue to promote opportunities for data management and sharing while allowing flexibility for various data types, sharing platforms, and strategies. Additionally, NIH is implementing a policy requiring that all applications include data sharing and management plans that consider input from stakeholders….”

Luxembourg National Research Fund develops an action plan for responsible research assessment | DORA

“Research culture is influenced by the ways in which research and researchers are assessed. For example, funding criteria such as journal prestige can cause researchers to focus their efforts on publishing in a small subset of scientific journals. Though this increases competition, it can inadvertently lead assessors to overlook other types of research outputs, contributions, and achievements. Because of this, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) is using research assessment as a key mechanism to improve research culture nationally. Sean Sapcariu, programme manager at FNR, shared their strategy at DORA’s Funder Discussion on December 16, 2020. For FNR, Sapcariu says, “The vision is to ensure that research maintains its attractiveness for current and all future generations.” 

A major part of FNR’s strategy is the introduction of a narrative CV format in all funding programs. According to Sapcariu, the goal is to shift how quality is evaluated by adopting a more holistic perspective of good research. The narrative CV format can help achieve this by framing funding proposals in the context of researchers’ wide variety of accomplishments.

FNR’s narrative CV format is based on the Résumé for Researchers, which was developed by the Royal Society in 2019, and consists of a personal statement, academic profile and relevant skillset, and key outputs, contributions, and achievements. Similar to the intent of the Résumé for Researchers, Sapcariu says, FNR is placing a premium on contributions to the generation of knowledge, development of individuals, and contributions to the wider research community and broader society….”

New UKRI policy is a ‘significant driver’ towards open access research | Jisc

Released today, the UKRI open access policy is to be welcomed as a significant driver in the delivery of open access (OA) research in the UK, which will, in turn, benefit the wider community.


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.

ERC Work Programme 2022

“Under Horizon Europe, beneficiaries of ERC grants must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications13 relating to their results as set out in the Model Grant Agreement used for ERC actions. Beneficiaries must ensure that they or the authors retain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with their open access requirements….

In the Track record (see “Proposal description”) the applicant Principal Investigator should list (if applicable, and in addition to any other scientific achievements deemed relevant by the applicant in relation to their research field and project): 1. Up to five publications in major international peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary scientific journals and/or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals, peer-reviewed conferences proceedings and/or monographs of their respective research fields, highlighting those as main author or without the presence as co-author of their PhD supervisor (properly referenced, field relevant bibliometric indicators21 [“except the Journal Impact Factor”] may also be included); preprints may be included, if freely available from a preprint server (preprints should be properly referenced and either a link to the preprint or a DOI should be provided);…”

European Research Council bans journal impact factor from bids | Times Higher Education (THE)

“One of the world’s most prestigious research funders has told academics that they must not include journal impact factors (JIF) in their applications, in the latest sign that the controversial metric has become discredited.

In the European Research Council’s (ERC) latest work programme, applicants are for the first time explicitly told to avoid mentioning the metric when listing their publications.

“Properly referenced, field relevant bibliometric indicators” can be used “except the journal impact factor”, states the new guidance, released on 14 July….”