A new policy, announced this morning by Research Councils UK (RCUK), will require UK scientists and their international researcher collaborators to go open access with all publications coming out of work supported by one of the country’s seven government-funded grant agencies, starting next April. This is the final version of a draft policy release in March, which received many supportive comments, an RCUK spokesperson told Nature.
The new policy describes a plan to take money out of research grants to cover open access publishing fees. These can entail publishers’ fees for immediate open-access publication—a route chosen by some 5 percent of papers published by UK authors in 2010. See a breakdown of open-access publishing in the UK, including how it varies by discipline.
It is currently unclear how RCUK will sanction those researchers who fail to comply, but the new policy will affect a large proportion of researchers in the country: the UK funding agencies collectively spend some £2.8 billion (about US$4.35 billion) each year.
Stay tuned to www.the-scientist.com for a discussion of the scholarly publishing landscape, and how it’s set to change in coming years, to be published in our August issue.