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UK Pushes Open Access

Starting in April 2013, research supported by the United Kingdom government must be made freely available within 6 months of publication.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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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...

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.

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