Papers arising from work funded by the Research Councils UK (RCUK) should be deposited in an open access repository "at the earliest opportunity, wherever possible at or around the time of publication, in accordance with copyright and licensing arrangements," according to a draft policy that RCUK will make public next week.

The wording of the document has been carefully chosen in order "not to over-rule any existing copyright agreements," said Astrid Wissenburg from the Economic and Social Research Council, who is coordinating the development of the policy. Earlier drafts had specified a time frame within which articles had to be deposited, similar to the policy recently implemented by the Wellcome Trust.

"But we came to the conclusion that any specific figure would be largely plucked out of the air," Wissenburg told The Scientist. This is particularly the case for RCUK, which funds a much wider range of academic disciplines...

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