Northumbria University has recently contributed to a number of sector-wide responses to the RCUK independent review on open access implementation. Our contributions reflect and have been influenced by the work we are undertaking on this Pathfinder project.
Below are links (where available) and short extracts from each response:
- “ARMA welcomes the commitment by RCUK to the implementation of open access (OA) and continues to support their work on this.
- Guidance and clarification from RCUK is welcomed by the research support community as a result of this review.
- There needs to be greater coordination and coherence of policy between research councils, RCUK and publishers as currently, varying requirements are difficult to navigate, resulting in administrative burden, misinterpretation and additional cost.
- RCUK, together with stakeholders, should seek the facilitation of discussion groups between publishers and those seeking to publish in accordance with RCUK requirements. Further discussion is needed on issues relating to Article Processing Charges (APC), embargos and routes to Green and Gold publication.
- RCUK should work with stakeholders to seek a reduction in the costs involved for open access, in particular relating to administration.”
“…Our discussions highlighted that there is strong support for Open Access (OA). Recent mandates from RCUK and Hefce have given the issue serious traction particularly amongst senior management and university administrators. Universities are reporting significant progress being made in establishing internal processes, although it is early days and many have requested more time to embed OA fully in university processes.”
* Report not yet published, but permission granted to reproduce this short extract.
“…Higher Education Institutions now need to manage APC payments on a large scale, which is a new role that has raised numerous complications. The policy has also increased the importance of existing administrative processes, such as attribution of funder in research outputs… [HEIs] welcome the commitment the RCUK policy makes to OA. Some institutions have noted that a calculation of the block grant for OA based on retrospective data challenges those with expanding research portfolios, and reduces the usefulness of that grant in implementing the RC policy.”
“…APC payment processes have been very time consuming whilst library staff are having to deal with multiple individual publishers for multiple individual requests. The potential support staff costs are considerable when scaled up to full compliance. Many publishers continue to have complex multi-step processes to request open access for an article requiring a number of forms to be completed by the researcher, which often duplicate forms they have been asked to complete previously. There continues to be a great deal of chasing that is required to usher an article through the process both for staff at the institution and for publishers.”