UKRI publishes new open access policy for publicly-funded research

The research funding agency will pump £46.7 million per annum of extra cash into the research sector to support the policy

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – which provides the bulk of public research funding to universities – has published a new, single open access (OA) policy for research publications that acknowledge funding from one of its councils.

UKRI wants more publicly-funded research to be accessible, shareable and reusable.

All peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022 must be OA, the new UKRI rule stipulates. Monographs, book chapters, and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 should be made OA within 12 months.

The research funding agency will pump £46.7 million per annum of extra cash into the research sector to support the policy. UKRI will also funnel money to Jisc to continue to broker OA deals with publishers.

The announcement follows lengthy consultation with the sector from 2018 to 2020, which elicited 350 responses. It replaces the agency policy on open access published in 2013.

Related news: UKRI confirm launch of new committee on research integrity

New UKRI funding model to ‘accelerate impact’ of research

UKRI chief executive Prof Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “The new UKRI Open Access Policy is an important step towards realising our vision of a more open and transparent research culture, which is widely shared across the research and innovation community.

“I am grateful to the many people and organisations who contributed their views during the development of the policy, and we look forward to continuing to work together to implement open access.”

Amanda Solloway, research minister, said: “Opening up the UK’s research system so that it is accessible to all will be crucial in underpinning collaborative, world-class research and accelerating new discoveries, as highlighted in our new R&D People and Culture Strategy.

“I’m delighted that UKRI’s new Open Access Policy will enable UK researchers to share their expertise and findings more easily, ensuring that the benefits of their research are felt across industry and all parts of our society.”

Read more: Royal Society announces five-year open access plan for journals

Jisc begins open access negotiations with Elsevier

Jisc strikes open-access deal with National Academy of Sciences

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