Update on UKRI Open Access Review – UK Research and Innovation

As part of the ongoing Open Access Review, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will welcome input from across the sector later this year through a public consultation.

Open Access aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for researchers, the wider higher education sector, businesses and others.

The UKRI Open Access Review concerns open access to formal scholarly research articles, peer reviewed conference proceedings and monographs. It is an opportunity to align policies across UKRI’s councils, with the UK Funding Bodies on future Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy, and to consider how Innovate UK should be included. The current Research Councils UK (RCUK) policy continues to apply over the period of the review. There will be no change to the REF 2021 open access policy.

The Open Access Review is being undertaken in four phases of work, which started in Autumn 2018 and will run to Spring 2020.

Throughout the Review UKRI will be engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders, and a public consultation on the draft UKRI policy will now take place later this year to allow further time for input from across the sector on the draft policy. The review is expected to report in March and 2020 and UKRI expects the revised policy to apply during 2020.

Further information is available on the UKRI Open Access Review site….”

Plan S advice for learned societies | Research Information

“Wellcome, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), have engaged Information Power to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies can transition to an open access landscape and adapt to Plan S. 

As the number of researchers covered by Plan S-compliant funding increases it will, in time, put pressure on the business models of many learned societies, which rely on hybrid journal publishing to cover their publishing costs, and to generate revenue for other important activities they undertake such as hosting meetings/conferences and awarding fellowships and other grants. 

Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome said: ‘Wellcome and UKRI recognise the value learned societies play in supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem. We are keen for them to be successful in transition to OA in line with Plan S.  We are delighted to partner with ALPSP to explore – via the team at Information Power – a diverse array of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies can adapt and thrive to this changing landscape.’

The team – including Alicia Wise, Lorraine Estelle, and Hazel Woodward at Information Power, plus additional expert Yvonne Campfens – will document and develop a range of transition approaches and business models for Learned Society publishers to consider.  These will be developed in dialogue with society publishers, libraries and consortia, funders, society members, and society publishing partners. …”

UKRI welcomes publication of open research reports – UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) welcomes the publication of two independent reports on open research, commissioned by government and published today. Both reports contain a series of recommendations for UKRI and other stakeholders.

The independent advice on Open Access in the UK, submitted by University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell, sets out a vision of sustainable open access to UK research, and value for money on public investment in research.

To achieve this Professor Tickell recommends that UKRI work together with other leaders in the sector to articulate a clear, UK-wide policy ambition for Open Access, underpinned by a coherent and harmonised UKRI policy on open access. He also recommends that UKRI fund open access in a way that delivers maximum value for the public pound, and to work together with other funders to closely monitor the transition to open access.   

A report on Open Research Data was submitted by the Open Research Data Task Force (ORDTF), chaired by Professor Pam Thomas, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick….”

News – Information Power to explore Plan S-compliant business models

Helping learned societies transition to Open Access and explore Plan S-compliant business models – 1 February 2019

Wellcome, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), have engaged Information Power to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies can transition to Open Access and adapt and thrive under Plan S.

Helping learned societies explore Plan S-compliant business models

“Wellcome, and UKRI recognise the value learned societies play in supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem, but are working to implement their OA policies in line with Plan S. As such, we wish to engage the services of a consultant to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies could adapt and thrive under Plan S. Although we envisage this work will have broad applicability for all learned societies, the focus of this work should be those which predominantly serve UK researchers and in disciplines relevant to UKRI and Wellcome’s funding areas….”

Plan S – A major shift for Open Access in Europe – Research Libraries UK

“There are at least three radical aspects of Plan S: authors are being required to retain copyright and to publish under an open licence (preferably CC-BY); the funding of OA APCs (where applicable) will be standardised and capped across Europe (and I assume this means a per paper cap); and the ‘hybrid’ model is not compliant….

Of specific interest to the UK is the fact that our main research funder, UKRI, is included as one of the signatories.  Earlier this year, UKRI announced a review of their OA policy and we are expecting that to start later this year or early next.  However, they are now a member of this coalition and have signed up to Plan S.  It would appear clear that, at the very least, UKRI is signalling an intended direction of travel….”

Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications: LERU’s reaction to Plan S

The League of European Research Universities (LERU)reaction to the announcement of ‘Plan S’

“Plan S represents a bold plan fundamentally to change the pattern of academic publishing, moving decisively away from subscription journals to full and immediate Open Access (OA). From 1 January 2020 academic publications, where the research has been funded by public grants provided by national and European Research Councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access platforms. The vision is ambitious and represents a further step in the unstoppable move to immediate Open Access. The researchers will retain their copyright and will not be able to assign it to publishers as a condition of being published. Article Processing Charges (APCs) will be capped at a certain level and, crucially, payment of hybrid APCs will no longer be possible via this funding mechanism.”

Nature News: ‘Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions’

Initial analysis of the ambitious ‘Plan S’: “Research funders from France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and eight other European nations have unveiled a radical open-access initiative that could change the face of science publishing in two years — and which has instantly provoked protest from publishers.”

UKRI Open Access Principles and High Level Policy

“This statement articulates UK Research and Innovation’s high level policy and common principles around Open Access. These principles reaffirm the open access policies of the REF and the research councils, and will inform the development of UKRI’s policy for Open Access, the UKRI Open Access review and wider UKRI policy development in open research….” 

Open access – UK Research and Innovation

“‘Open access’ aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for researchers, the wider higher education sector, businesses and others.

A statement that sets out UKRI’s high level policy and principles on open access, common to both the former HEFCE and Research Council policies, is available. This will inform the development of UKRI’s policy in this area, including a review of open access.

In the interim period, the UK Funding Bodies’ open access policy for the second Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) will apply as it stands. Any UKRI policy changes will only apply to the REF after REF 2021. Further information on the REF open access policy is available….”