National Institute of Health Research announces open-access policy

Prof Lucy Chappell, chief executive of the UK health R&D funder, said the open-access policy could health outcomes across the world

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has announced that all peer-reviewed research articles supported by its funding must be “immediately, freely and openly accessible to all” from June 2022.

The announcement comes as the funding body revealed its new open-access policy. The rules will apply to all peer-reviewed research articles that resulted from NIHR-funded studies published on or after 1 June 2022, following the government R&D Roadmap that announced that recipients of publicly-funded research should not publish the results behind a paywall.

“The revised NIHR Open Access policy will ensure that the peer-reviewed research of NIHR funded researchers has the widest possible and immediate impact,” said Prof Lucy Chappell, chief executive of the NIHR.

It means the translational research that the NIHR funds can have the greatest impact to enable people in the UK and across the world to live healthier, longer lives
– Prof Lucy Chappell, NIHR

In the interim, NIHR says it is working with Jisc to assist the “NIHR-funded research community to access publishing transitional arrangements”. It will review its open access policy in 2024 to ensure “it provides value for money as part of a broader public investment in research”.

Said Prof Chappell: “This will benefit patients, the public, NIHR researchers, and health and social care practitioners, regardless of institutional affiliation. It means the translational research that the NIHR funds can have the greatest impact to enable people in the UK and across the world to live healthier, longer lives.”

Lord Kamall, minister for innovation, said: “The UK is a world leader in health research – from helping us tackle COVID-19 to improving the way we deliver care.

“This wealth of research should be accessible to everyone, to help fuel innovation and development in healthcare around the world.

“As a result of this, everyone will be able to access NIHR funded research more easily, leading to more innovation and opportunities. It also meets our commitment to ensure government funded research is available to the public.”


Read more: UKRI publishes new open access policy for publicly-funded research

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