Shaping our open access policy

Contents

Implementing our open access policy

We are now working to support the implementation of our open access policy. As part of this, we are committed to working collaboratively to support the policy in practice, with:

  • research performing organisations
  • researchers
  • publishers
  • other relevant stakeholders.

We’ve set out current implementation activities and dates when further information will be made available. This will continue to be updated as work progresses.

Open access funding

UKRI is providing up to £46.7 million per year to support the overall implementation of the policy.

Most of this funding is directly allocated to research organisations via a block grant to support open access research articles. Research organisations have received their block grant awards for financial year 2022 to 2023.

Open access funding information for award holders.

UKRI is also providing funding, including to Jisc, for activities supporting the implementation of the policy, which are outlined below.

Funding for monographs and book chapters

A priority is supporting the implementation of our new open access requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections, ahead of 1 January 2024.

From January 2024, approximately £3.5 million will be dedicated to supporting open access for long-form outputs via a separate ring-fenced fund. The fund will be centrally held by UKRI and research organisations will apply to UKRI to access it.

The process, and definition of eligible costs, for the long-form outputs fund are currently being developed. We intend for the application process to be straightforward for authors and their organisations, in line with our commitment to reduce bureaucracy. We will provide further information in November 2022.

Exceptions and guidance for monographs and book chapters

The policy includes some exceptions for book chapters, edited collections and monographs, which we are currently developing guidance for. This work includes commissioning a project to inform how the exceptions will interact with the publishing workflows. We will provide an update in November 2022 and will publish guidance on exceptions in March 2023.

We are aware that researchers may be negotiating contracts for longform outputs that will be published on or after 1 January 2024. Therefore, we have allowed an exception for when a contract has been signed between the author and the publisher before this date that prevents adherence to the policy. However, we strongly encourage authors and publishers to make publications open access within a year of the publication date.

We are working collaboratively, including with Jisc, to deliver other guidance and resources to support the implementation of our policy, and open access more generally, for monographs and book chapters. Activities include:

  • raising awareness of the policy among research communities, including by developing resources that research organisations can use
  • identifying how a variety of different models for open access publishing can be supported
  • providing additional guidance and resources to support researchers to publish monographs and book chapters open access, with the aim of publishing these resources by March 2023
  • engaging with stakeholders via a series of roundtables and dedicated workshops to input into this work.

For more information, see ‘supporting researchers, research organisations and publishers’ below.

Monitoring and evaluation

UKRI has commissioned Research Consulting to develop a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework that will support us and the sector in assessing open access progress, levels of compliance with our policy and its effectiveness. The M&E framework project will also seek to establish insights into open access publication trends across the UK and, where possible, their impact on academic practices and society might be tracked.

With support from Research Consulting, we will be identifying a series of potential evaluation questions, approaches to answer these, their feasibility and expected resource intensity, while accounting for the diversity of practices and stakeholders across the research landscape. We anticipate that the M&E framework will employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures. We will also be considering information sources and datasets that will yield useful insights while minimising bureaucracy.

We want to ensure that the M&E framework is co-designed with the research and publishing stakeholders. Over the coming months, Research Consulting and UKRI will be conducting interviews and workshops with a diverse set of experts and stakeholders. The project has just started, in July 2022, and aims to complete this autumn. We will consider the outcome of the project with a view to developing a final monitoring and evaluation framework for the UKRI open access policy.

We will share further information on the outcomes of the project in late 2022, however regular updates on the Research Consulting project will be available during the course of the project.

For more information on monitoring and compliance, see the UKRI open access policy supplementary frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Technical requirements for research articles

Our policy sets out technical requirements for research article venues. We commissioned MoreBrains Cooperative to conduct an analysis of the metadata landscape, which shows that currently it does not fully support implementation of the requirements set out in the open access policy.

A phased approach to full adoption is necessary and we have begun work in this area to develop a ‘strawman’ roadmap to help generate discussion and ideas. We plan to further engage the research community and publishing sector to help co-develop a plan for the implementation of the technical requirements.

Some of the concrete steps being taken, include identifying article-level metadata standards and suitable application profiles or their extension, and providing guidance to increase their uptake. We’re also considering how to support the implementation of good practices for licence metadata, and funder acknowledgement metadata.

We intend to publish practical proposals and expectations for publishers and repositories by the end of 2022.

Supporting researchers, research organisations and publishers

UKRI is undertaking a range of activities and engagements to support researchers, research organisations and publishers with the new policy and making research open access.

Working with Jisc

UKRI has funded Jisc to undertake activities to support the implementation of the policy. These include:

  • scaling up sustainable, affordable open access agreements to provide UKRI-funded researchers and their publishers, with opportunity to access compliant routes to publish
  • gathering and analysing data to monitor and evaluate the performance of transitional arrangements to enable Jisc members, funders and publishers – to understand the progress and impact of these arrangements in the context of the UK’s ambition to achieve 100% open access
  • working with a range of stakeholders, including publishers and research organisations, to:
    • develop an understanding of the challenges around open access
    • share and develop best practice
    • deliver support
  • preparing and equipping research organisations with tools, guidance and publishing options in readiness for the commencement of the open access monographs policy.

Read more about Jisc’s work supporting our open access policy.

Providing information on publishing options for research articles

Authors and research organisations need to be informed about the publishing options, and in particular what journals and publishing platforms offer a compliant route to the policy.

Working together with Jisc and cOAlition S, we are providing the UKRI instance of the Journal Checker Tool. Authors and their organisations can use the tool to check whether their preferred journal supports compliance with the policy and whether publishing in it is eligible for UKRI funds.

Since the research article policy start date, we have been working with our partners to improve the tool so that it provides a good user experience. To do this we are responding to feedback received via the Journal Checker Tool feedback button and we have improved data workflows so data underpinning the tool is updated more frequently. With Jisc, we will be hosting some feedback focus groups to gather more feedback on the tool.

The lists of eligible transformative journals and of transitional agreements are also available via the Jisc website:

For more information on routes to compliance, see the UKRI open access policy supplementary FAQs.

Guidance and resources

We are developing further resources to support compliance with the policy and good practice. Present activities include:

Guidance for award holders on open access and publishing research findings.

Information and good practice events

UKRI, in partnership with Association of Research Managers and Administrators, Jisc, Society of College, National and University Libraries and Research Libraries UK, held information and good practice sharing events for research organisations. UKRI will publish a summary report from the event shortly.

See the outputs from these events:

Stakeholder forum

We are establishing an external stakeholder forum to support the ongoing implementation of the policy and to support wider adoption of open access. Further information will be provided soon.

Ask about the UKRI open access policy

Check for an existing answer in the UKRI open access policy supplementary FAQs.

Email: openresearch@ukri.org

Last updated: 28 July 2022

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