UK Department of Health becomes latest funder to adopt an official open access policy

The UK Department of Health has been an active supporter of open access to published research, both through NHS England’s BioMed Central membership , and also through the Department’s involvement in UK PubMed Central. It has now released  an official policy statement, requiring funding recipients to deposit resulting articles in UKPMC within 6 months of publication.

According to the official policy:

  1. The DH requires that, for applications
    submitted from 1st April 2007, electronic copies of any research papers
    that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal (or
    final reports and / or executive summaries) which are supported in
    whole or in part by DH funding, are deposited at the earliest
    opportunity ¿ and in any case within six months – in UK PubMed Central (UKPMC).
  2. Deposition
    of a research paper, final report or executive summary into UKPMC does
    not prevent authors from also depositing a copy in the institutional or
    another subject-based repository should they choose to do so or be
    required to do so by their employing institution.
  3. The DH also
    strongly encourages, but does not formally oblige, all grant recipients
    to deposit articles arising from grants awarded as a result of
    applications submitted before 1st April 2007.
  4. The DH strongly
    encourages authors to publish in journals that allow them (or their
    institutions) to retain ownership of the copyright.
  5. If
    author/institution-ownership of copyright is not permitted by the
    publisher, authors should publish in journals that permit deposition
    of…the published paper in UKPMC within six months of publication.
  6. The
    DH will work with publishers to put in place mechanisms for publishers
    to deposit publications directly, on behalf of authors, where this is
  7. The DH’s grant conditions are consistent with this approach and do not require amendment….
  8. Where researchers inform the NIHR [National
    Institute for Health Research] of their wish to publish a paper in a
    journal that is unwilling to agree either to
    author/institution-ownership of copyright, or to deposition in UKPMC
    within six months, the NIHR may grant permission for authors to submit
    the paper for publication in such a journal.
  9. Authors will
    benefit in two ways.  Firstly, their papers will be given a much wider
    form of dissemination and will be able to be read without restriction
    by anyone with internet access.  Secondly, as researchers they will
    increasingly be able to search the full text of all the research
    published in their area, not just the research available to them via
    the subscriptions their institution offers.

All members of the UKPMC Funders Group have now announced official policies requiring recipients to deposit research articles in UKPMC, with the exception of Cancer Research UK whose policy is currently under review.

BioMed Central maintains a full list of  biomedical funder policies on open access, and we welcome funders to get in touch with any additions or corrections.

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