UK government stands up for open access with a £10 million funding boost

    In line with the UK government’s commitment to free and open access to publicly-funded research, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts recently announced a £10 million cash injection to the top 30 UK research-intensive institutions, to aid the transition to open access and compliance with the new Research Council UK Open Access Policy.

    As the pioneer of open access publishing and the largest open access publishers with over 300 journals across STM, BioMed Central, ChemistryCentral and Springer through SpringerOpen andSpringer Open Choice, are delighted by the steps the  government and RCUK are taking in supporting open access and increasing the visibility of the UK’s research output.

    Speaking at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen at the beginning of September, David Willetts said: “This extra £10 million investment will help some of our universities move across to the open access model. This will usher in a new era of academic discovery and keep the UK at the forefront of research to drive innovation and growth.”

    The new RCUK OA policy launched on the 16 July 2012 states that all peer-reviewed published research articles and conference proceedings funded by RCUK from 1 April 2013 must be open access (although researchers are encouraged to begin OA publishing as soon as possible). While RCUK will still support a mixed approach to open access via ‘green’ and ‘gold’ OA routes, the policy aims to make it simpler for UK institutions and researchers to publish in open access journals, including paying for Article Processing Charges (APCs) through block grants to UK Higher Education institutions, approved independent research organizations, and Research Council Institutes. This is in line with the recommendations of the Finch report on open access, published in June 2012.

    The Finch Report, together with this additional £10 million government funding announcement, signals significant developments for the open access movement in the UK, further ensuring that the results of UK research are made openly available for all.

    BioMed CentralChemistryCentralSpringerOpen and Springer Open Choice are working closely with these UK institutions to set up Membership accounts to help manage publication visibility and provide discounts that will further extend the benefits of this extra funding.

    If you are interested in finding out more about the RCUK policy and the implementation for these new funding schemes within BioMed CentralChemistryCentralSpringerOpen and Springer Open Choice please get in touch.

    Source – BMC