OA in the UK

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From 1 April 2013, all academics funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK) need to be compliant with a new open access policy. The policy requires grantees to make their research available via open access – either immediately via open access (OA) publishing, or via OA deposit of the author version in an archive –typically with an embargo period.

Immediate OA via OA publishing is the route strongly preferred by the research councils, and to reduce barriers to OA publishing, dedicated funds have been made available to all universities which receive RCUK funding to cover article processing charges.

The policy was announced last summer. Since then we have seen reams of media coverage, and more recently, a flurry of public meetings, including this at the Royal Society. Recently the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published a letter on open access policy and the post 2014 REF. They are seeking advice on: depositions in institutional repositories, embargoes and licences, exceptions, monographs and open data. You can find the full letter here.

Some researchers may still be left wondering how this will affect them. BioMed Central is pleased to present a short online video that we hope will clarify some of their questions.

Douglas Kell, RCUK Chief Executive and open access champion, discusses the impact of open access on academics, and talks us through the famous ‘decision tree’. Mark Thorley, Chair of the RCUK Research Outputs Network and Head of Science Information & Data Management Coordinator, NERC speaks about the preference for gold ‘because it delivers a better quality of open access’.

BioMed Central and SpringerOpen have over 360 open access journals , and many with high impact factors at the top of their fields. All articles are published CC-BY and fully compliant with the RCUK’s open access policy.