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 the financial year 2022 to 2023.

Further information about the open access block grant, including funding assurance, can be found at open access funding and reporting.

Funding for monographs, book chapters and edited collections

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 to apply for funds and definition of eligible costs are currently being developed. We will publish these no later than April 2023.

We will make the application process as easy as possible, in line with our commitment to reduce bureaucracy. The fund will support open access via different open access publishing models, to best enable researchers and organisations to meet the aims of the policy and support sustainability of open access to monographs.

Engagement and guidance for monographs, book chapters and edited collections

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

  • raising awareness of the policy among research communities, including by developing resources that research organisations can use
  • guidance on how a variety of different models for open access publishing can be supported
  • guidance and resources to support researchers to publish monographs and book chapters open access in accordance with our policy, which we will publish no later than April 2023
  • continuing to engage with stakeholders via a series of roundtables and dedicated workshops to help shape implementation of the policy

For more information, see the section ‘Supporting researchers, research organisations and publishers’.

Read Christopher Smith’s (Executive Chair, AHRC) blog about unlocking arts and humanities research through open access.

Read articles about implementing open access for monographs on the Jisc Research blog.

Exceptions for monographs, book chapters and edited collections

UKRI is currently developing guidance for the exceptions included in our policy relating to monographs, book chapters and edited collections. We will publish this no later than April 2023.

To inform this work, we are engaging with stakeholders and have commissioned a project by Clare Painter Associates, led by Professor Emily Hudson of King’s College London, to advise on decision points for authors and institutions and how the exemptions would interact with publishing workflows.

The guidance produced from this work will include advice on the management of third-party materials in open access publications, as well as guidance regarding the third-party copyright and trade books exemptions in the UKRI open access policy.

Monitoring and evaluation

UKRI is developing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for the policy. This will help UKRI and the sector assess open access progress, levels of compliance with our policy and its effectiveness. The M&E framework will also seek to establish insights into open access publication trends across the UK and, where possible, their impact on academic practices and society.

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.

UKRI has commissioned Research Consulting to support the development of its M&E framework. With their support, we are identifying a series of evaluation questions to assess the effectiveness of the policy, approaches to answer these, their feasibility and expected resource intensity, while accounting for the diversity of practices and stakeholders across the research landscape.

We want to ensure that the M&E framework is co-designed with the research and publishing stakeholders. Research Consulting and UKRI have conducted interviews and workshops with a diverse set of experts and stakeholders.

Research Consulting’s project will complete by early 2023 and we will publish the outcomes. Project updates are available on Research Consulting’s website and they have published a blog post about this work. We will consider the outcomes in developing our final M&E framework.

Monitoring policy compliance

Compliance of research organisations with the policy will form part of our monitoring activity. Research organisations no longer need to submit an annual open access compliance form.

The details of our approach to monitoring compliance are being further developed as part of our wider M&E framework. However, work undertaken so far suggests that we will be able to use existing data sources and there will not be a reporting requirement on research organisations.

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

For information about open access block grant monitoring and funding assurance, see open access funding and reporting.

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. The report makes several recommendations towards full adoption. Read the roadmap for the open access research information landscape report.

A phased approach to full adoption is necessary. Working with MoreBrains Cooperative, we have begun work to develop a roadmap for improvements to the open access research information landscape. This will build on the recommendations of their report by setting out practical pathways to open access policy compatibility that can guide UKRI’s work and that of repositories, publishers and service providers.

We want to ensure the roadmap is co-designed with the research community and publishing sector. We have established a research sector task and finish group to support its development and will be engaging more widely with other stakeholders.

Based on discussions of the task and finish group so far, an initial list of actions has been developed which we anticipate will help generate discussion and consideration with the wider community. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to further develop the roadmap, including to establish realistic timelines for improvements to the open access research information landscape.

The roadmap project will complete at the end of 2023 and we will provide a further update on practical proposals and expectations for publishers and repositories in spring 2023.

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.

Stakeholder forum

UKRI has established a stakeholder forum to support the implementation of the policy and wider adoption of open access. The forum’s membership and summaries of its meetings can be found at UKRI Open Access Policy Stakeholder Forum.

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 this work on Jisc’s website about:

Providing information on publishing options for research articles

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

We have been working with our partners to improve the user experience. 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.

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 making your research publications open access.

Guidance and resources

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

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.

See the outputs from these events:

Ask a question about the UKRI open access policy

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

Email: openresearch@ukri.org

Last updated: 1 December 2022

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