How to comply with the UKRI (RCUK) open access mandate

Post by Caroline Rauter

Research Council Open Access (OA) block grant 2018-19

Swansea University continues to benefit from the UKRI (formerly RCUK) block grant to pay publisher Article Processing Charges (APCs). The funding, which applies to all published outputs resulting from funding by the Research Councils, has been extended to run until March 2020. We are now in year six of the RCUK Open Access (OA) policy.

Swansea University operates the block grant on a first come, first served approach. 

UKRI (RCUK) OA compliance targets 2018-19

The Research Councils’ OA FAQs stipulate that their preference… “is for unrestricted open access (Gold)”, but they support a mixed approach for going “gold” or using “green” self-archiving in a repository:

  • As an RCUK funded researcher you are obliged to make 100% of your research outputs open access and you should ensure that all relevant acknowledgements are included.
  • Swansea University reported an overall compliance rate of 5% in April 2018 (using both the green and gold routes).

We are required to improve the Swansea University open access compliance rate in 2019.

Licences compliant with the UKRI (RCUK) OA policy

i) Gold route (immediate open access) using a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.

ii) Green route (deposit of the final accepted manuscript in RIS & Cronfa, usually with an embargo)

  • Of note is the requirement that the publisher copyright licence places no restriction on non-commercial reuse, including non-commercial text and data-mining. The licence should allow for the sharing of adaptations of the material. This means a CC-BY-NC-NDlicence is not
  • This brings authors into conflict with the funder policy when publishing using the green route in, for example, an Elsevier hybrid journal. You should apply for financial support using the gold route if this is applicable for your chosen journal.
  • Where publishers offer a gold route, but the researcher chooses green, papers should be published in a journal with a maximum embargo of 6 months for STEM funded disciplines, or 12months in the arts, humanities and social sciences funded research. Research papers in biomedicine should be published with an embargo of no longer than six months.

iii) Open Government Licence (OGL) Crown Body employees only, e.g. Welsh Government.

In support of sustainable and affordable OA options we encourage authors to consider publishing in:

  • Reputable, fully OA journals found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • Journals where the publishers are transitioning hybrid (subscription) to OA, for example: American Chemical Society, Cambridge University Press, IEEE, IOP, Oxford University Press, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis and Wiley.

We currently have institutional open access discount deals with MDPI, Sage, Springer and Wiley.

Contact us: Openaccess@swansea.ac.uk      T: (0)1792 604567

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Filed under Open Access, Research Funding

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