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Going for Gold? The RCUK Policy on Access to Research Outputs

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A presentation by Mark Thorley as part of Open Access Week at the University of Exeter.

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Going for Gold? The RCUK Policy on Access to Research Outputs

  1. 1. Going for Gold?The RCUK Policy on Access to Research Outputs Mark Thorley
  2. 2. Research Councils UK £11.2B
  3. 3. Summary – my perspective• Setting the scene – the journey since 2005.• The UK Government’s transparency agenda.• The Finch report and recommendations.• The RCUK Policy.
  4. 4. Research is essential to the growth, prosperityand wellbeing of the UK. Ensuring the widestpossible access to research, both within andoutside of the research community, will meanthat the ground-breaking discoveries made inscience and research can have a greater impacton our lives.Doug Kell, RCUK EG ‘Champion’ for Information,May 2011.
  5. 5. RCUK Position Statement - 2005• Four key principles: – Accessibility to publicly-funded research; – Rigorous quality assurance; – Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; – Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.
  6. 6. RCUK Key Principles• Accessibility to publicly-funded research; – Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.• Rigorous quality assurance;• Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms;• Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.
  7. 7. RCUK Key Principles• Accessibility to publicly-funded research;• Rigorous quality assurance; – Published research outputs must be subject to rigorous quality assurance, through effective peer review mechanisms.• Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms;• Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.
  8. 8. RCUK Key Principles• Accessibility to publicly-funded research;• Rigorous quality assurance;• Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; – The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results must be both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds.• Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.
  9. 9. RCUK Key Principles• Accessibility to publicly-funded research;• Rigorous quality assurance;• Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms;• Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs. – The outputs from current and future research must be preserved and remain accessible for future generations.
  10. 10. Which means …..?• Research outputs must be accessible to enable exploitation;• Research funders have a responsibility to ensure accessibility;• Dissemination is part of the research process and has to be paid for;• Publishers have a key role to play in the process.
  11. 11. Implementation since 2005• Individual Research Council policies: – required that ‘current’ copyright and licensing policies, such as embargo periods, are maintained by publishers and respected by authors;• Overall, poor compliance: – Sub-optimal funding mechanisms; – Authors don’t do deposit in repositories; – Lack of compliance monitoring.
  12. 12. Transparency agenda Transparency is at the heart of the Government’s agenda, and this also applies to published research. In a recent discussion with members of the research community and publishers I stressed the importance of open access to this information for everyone, and I’m delighted that the Research Councils and HEFCE have committed to taking this forward. David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, May 2011.
  13. 13. Growing openness• UK Government’s commitment to openness and transparency;• Make the results of publicly funded research open, accessible and exploitable;• Transparency and openness to drive innovation and growth. Get the stuff out there and get it used!
  14. 14. The Finch Working Group• The task … recommend how to develop a model, which would be both effective and sustainable over time, for expanding access to the published findings of research.• Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications: – The product of a year’s work by a committed and knowledgeable group of individuals drawn from academia, research funders and publishing.
  15. 15. The Finch Report• Open access to publicly funded research is a good thing, for research, for innovation and growth, for transparency;• Open Access has achieved a momentum that will continue, therefore how can we best manage the transition in the UK. Does position the UK as a leader;• Consensus, balanced (?) report.
  16. 16. Key recommendations for RCUK• Policy support for publishing in OA and hybrid journals, including public funders establishing more flexible and effective arrangements to meet costs;• Eliminate as far as possible restrictions on use/re-use;• Negotiations on subscriptions to take into account the shift to open access;• Funders limitations on embargoes to be considered carefully;• Clear requirements on universities to establish publication funds and associated policies.
  17. 17. RCUK Policy on Access toResearch Outputs• Developed in parallel with and informed by the recommendations of Finch;• RCUK implementation of Government’s policy;• Formally announced 16th July 2012.• Comes into force 1st April 2013.
  18. 18. RCUK Policy• Defines what RCUK means by Open Access;• States RCUK’s expectations of Researchers and the publication options available to them;• Sets out criteria for assessing whether any particular Journal complies with the policy;• Applies to all peer-reviewed research publications submitted for publication from 1st April 2013. Wholly or partial funded by Research Councils.
  19. 19. And more ….• Authors must include: – Details of funding that supported the research; – Statement on how the underlying research materials – data, samples & models – can be accessed.• This has been overlooked in the gold vs green discussion of the policy. Key role of publishers to enforce.
  20. 20. RCUK definition of ‘Open Access’Unrestricted, on-line access to peer reviewed andpublished scholarly research papers.Specifically a user must be able to do the followingfree of any publisher-imposed access charge:1. Read published research papers in an electronic format.2. Search for and re-use (including download) the content.Allows unrestricted use of manual and automated text anddata mining tools, as well as unrestricted re-use of contentwith proper attribution (as defined by CC-BY).
  21. 21. Journal compliance• Gold with CC-BY; – Or if the publisher will not offer Gold CC-BY then they must offer:• Green (at least post print) with a maximum embargo period of 6(12) months, and CC-BY-NC.
  22. 22. Funding• Research Councils will provide funding for APCs through block grants to institutions;• Institutions must establish Publication Funds and the processes and procedures for payment of APCs;• Announcement soon on size of fund and the mechanism to distribute it between institutions;• ‘Light touch’ guidance – use the money to best deliver RCUK Policy.
  23. 23. Policy in a nut-shell• Authors must publish in a RCUK Open Access compliant journal;• Journal achieves compliance through Gold CC- BY, else Green, 6(12) months, post-print, CC-BY- NC.• RCUK preference is for Gold. However, choice is with Authors and their institutions.
  24. 24. The forgotten policy bits ….• Acknowledgement of funding;• Statement on access to the underlying research materials.• Helps support the transparency, integrity and robustness of the research process. Science’s powerful capacity for self-correction comes from this openness to scrutiny and challenge. Science as an open enterprise Royal Society, June 2012.
  25. 25. Next steps• Announcement on APC funding mechanism (Autumn);• Engagement with universities about implementation of policy, especially on guidelines for how funds can be used (13 Nov workshop);• Production of revised guidance of what the policy means and choice of gold vs green.
  26. 26. Further information• RCUK Policy• Finch Group report Group-report-FINAL-VERSION.pdf• Royal Society Report
  27. 27. QUESTIONS ?