PASTEUR4OA/Case Study: UK Open Access Policy Landscape

Recent Open Access (OA) policy developments in the United Kingdom (UK) have caused stakeholders such as universities and academic libraries to have to consider how to adapt to distinct funders OA policies and to ensure compliance with those policies. Following an independent study on ‘how to expand access to research publications’, also referred to as the Finch Report, the UK Government adopted a new OA policy and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) revised their OA policy. The newly adopted OA policies require research findings to be made OA through publication in open access or hybrid journals (Gold OA). More recently, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that its OA policy for the next Research Evaluation Framework (REF) – the system that assesses UK universities research – will require the deposit of research findings in institutional or subject repositories (Green OA). By and large, the two distinct paths being currently promoted by the UK Government and RCUK (Gold OA) and the Funding Councils (Green OA) require that continued efforts be made to ensure that advice and support are provided to universities, academic libraries and researchers. They also require that coordinated efforts endure so that progress towards making research findings freely available online continues. Despite the distinct OA policies adopted by policymakers and national research funders, the UK’s movement towards OA has been a result of stakeholders coordinated efforts and is considered a case of good practice.

 

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