Publishers have a key role to play in enabling authors to make their work open access. This is a hot topic for authors obliged to meet funder requirements such as the RCUK’s open access policy.
Have you heard from any publishers recently about changes to their open access options and policies? If so, we’d love to hear from you. So far I’ve seen a real mix, including:
- Elsevier and IEEE now offer CC-BY licencing for gold open access
- ACM have introduced a new ‘gold’ open access publishing option and still support green open access
- Sage have removed their 12 month embargo period for green open access
- Conversely, Springer have introduced a 12 month embargo period for green open access
Please email email@example.com to let us know what the journals you publish with or edit for are offering.
RCUK have released revised guidance on their Policy on Open Access, which came into effect on 1st April, and some FAQs, see:
Are we all clear now on where we're up to in terms of feedback on revisions responding to feedback on the inquiry into the policy change?
Here's the response from Lord Krebs and the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee to the RCUK revised policy on open access.
There's been no announcement, as far as I can tell, on when and if the RCUK will be responding to the feedback they'd requested. I assume it won't be before the first of April.
The HoLSTC issued their report on the implementation of the RCUK revised policy on Open Access.
Copyright and publisher permissions (i.e. which version can be made available in a repository)
Version checking to meet the above
Increasingly complex publisher statements to accompany author produced files
Publishers making demands based on the relationship between the author and the University
This was critical of the RCUK implementation and consultation around the policy, and outlined a raft of directives for monitoring the process over the next five years.
Working on an institutional repository and advocating open access to scholarly outputs, we've seen this as a mixed blessing. The Finch Report, the RCUK policy on OA, similiar moves towards opening access to research in Europe and the States have really raised the profile of Open Access, but perhaps at the cost of confidence in what can already be a complex process.
I think what makes this a particularly difficult landscape is the lack of standardisation - in policy, in the technology, in the funding and so on. Now with the start of the RCUK OA payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) from April 1st, the strain of individual processing of each item falls further than the existing checks of -
These can be, and have been difficult messages to get across to authors, when they SHOULD be simple - maximised sharing of research produces a list of benefits for the authors (citations, collaborations) and readers (accessing research, building on scholarship) and for publishers (increased page views, ranking, visibility, citations, impact factors increased, and so on). Now we can add further complexity to this landscape pre-publication, with checks on journal and author eligibility to meet RCUK criteria.
I think the challenge now is to not get caught up in the red tape and directives and to keep in sight the reasons for making research openly accessible - don't let Open Access become a dirty word/s.
In the wake of the Finch Report and the RCUK revised policy of OA publications, there's been, well, another revision.
Last year, the Research Councils UK announced a change to their policy on Open Access to research publications . Research publications supported by RCUK funds should be made publicly available as detailed in the policy document.
The RCUK has since softened its position on whether publications should be Gold or Green Open Access. They've now also softened their position on the embargo period required before an output is publicly available, as reported by the Nature News Blog and Times Higher Education
The first of April 2013 is when the RCUK policy changes come into effect, specifically the release of block grants for OA publishing. I do wonder if we'll see a softening also of the requirements on licencing - the CC-BY licence recommended by the RCUK has also come in for a lot of criticism.
Other newsworthy items:
Sage cuts OA costs for authors, as reported in the Times Higher Ed news.
The Guardian OA articles: A list of articles on OA from the Guardian.