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UK research funders implement open access policies: Publishers respond


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On April 1st, new open access policies came into effect at Wellcome Trust and Research Councils (RC) UK.

The RCUK Policy on Open Access requires “immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer reviewed and published scholarly research papers, free of any access charges.” The policy extends to “papers published in academic journals or conference proceedings, and which acknowledge Research Council funding.”

Compliance with RCUK Policy is the responsibility of researchers; however, the RCUK determines that a journal is compliant if:

  • The journal provides, via its own website, immediate and unrestricted access to the final published version of the paper, which should be made available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.  The may involve payment of an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) to the publisher.
  • The journal consents to deposit of the final Accepted Manuscript in any repository, without restriction on non-commercial re-use and within a defined period.

The April 1, 2013 start date for compliance has prompted responses from publishers about how authors publishing in their journals may comply with the policies.

SHERPA/FACT beta is a new tool “to help researchers check if the journals in which they wish to publish their results comply with their funder’s requirements for open access to research.”

More information about open access is available from the Open Access Topic Guide.

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