There are now a few varients on the original decision tree flowchard from the Publishers Association that was included in the recent RCUK Policy on Open Access and Supporting Guidance. This chart has been criticised for directing researchers towards the Gold route to open access.
The University of Oxford have released a 'Researcher Decision Tree - 'Green' or 'Gold'. This flowchart gives equal weight to Green or Gold routes to open access.
The University of Manchester has a similar webpage to inform researchers making decisions on where and how to publish. The 'Show Me How' site is a simple step-through process.
If more decision trees become available, we will add them here to this post.
15/05/2013: University of Edinburgh: Choosing Green or Gold Open Access flowchart
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.
For several years now RCUK, Wellcome Trust, NIH and other major research funders have had policies requiring publications arising from the research they fund to be made open access. But 2013 looks set to be the year in which these policies get teeth.
Wellcome Trust have announced that, starting from April 2013, if grant holders do not comply with their open access policy then the Trust will “withhold the final 10 per cent of the 'total transferable funds' budget on the grant until all papers comply”
Similarly the NIH have given notice of their intention to “delay processing of non-competing continuing grant awards” until recipients have demonstrated compliance with their open access policy.
And last but by no means least, RCUK’s strengthened open access policy comes into force from 1st April 2013. RCUK will monitor compliance, though we don’t yet know exactly how or what the consequences of non-compliance will be. But given the example set by Wellcome Trust and the NIH, it’s safe to say the days when a funders open access policy could be quietly ignored are numbered!