UKRI have updated their 2022 open access policy with guidance on open access requirements for long-form publications. The requirements apply to monographs, book chapters or edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024, that acknowledge funding from UKRI.
A summary of the requirements are:
The final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication.
Images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible
The open access version of the publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence preferred. An Open Government Licence is also permitted. (This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in the publication).
UKRI expect publications acknowledging their funding are made open access. However they are allowing exceptions in the following circumstances:
A contract was signed with a publisher before 1 January 2024, which doesn’t enable open access in compliance with UKRI’s policy
The only appropriate publisher is unable to offer an open access option that complies with UKRI’s policy
The monograph, book chapter or edited collection is the outcome of a UKRI training grant (open access is encouraged but not required)
Reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative to enable open access publication (practical guidance will be issued in August 2023)
UKRI will be making funds available to support the costs associated with open access publishing if the Green, free, route to open access is not an eligible option for authors. Further guidance will be issued in autumn 2023 and the Open Access web pages will be updated. If you have any questions about how the policy could apply to you contact email@example.com.
The agreement meets the majority of the sector’s original requirements – it has reduced costs and delivered open access using a reduced baseline of subscription spend. The deal is the first major agreement to formally acknowledge the retention of intellectual property rights by institutions and authors via rights retention policies by providing a bespoke licence to publish.
Whilst the agreement has reduced spend and will open up access to UK research, concerns remain on the high costs of open access publishing in Nature Research journals outside the agreement as well as Springer Nature’s strong resistance to rights retention and OA publishing via the deposit route. Their insistence on a high APC, high growth gold only approach is likely to prevent authors from institutions and countries with less research funding to publish openly.
Over the last 18 months the sector has gained a greater understanding of different publisher’s strategies and approaches to open access. By challenging publishers directly, institutions have seen how publishers manage questions about transparency, the conversion of their subscription titles to full open access and global engagement. This has led to increased skepticism about some publishers’ commitment to a full and sustainable global transition to open access and highlighted the need for the sector to set its requirements for an open research future.
The sector needs to look forward and agree how we want to address these issues, how we want scholarly communications to develop and how we will work with commercial publishers in the future.
We will continue to cover these developments in scholarly communications in future Opening Research blog posts.
Jisc and Springer Nature are working on implemention of the agreement – expected by 7th June and after which we will update our guidance for authors. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelsey has drafted the first page of the comic below and would love some feedback. Specifically, what topics would you like to see covered and how is the readability? Any other feedback is welcome too, so please post your thoughts in the comments or contact Kelsey directly.
The N8 Research Partnership has released an important statement which outlines its stance on the importance of researchers being able to retain their original rights when their work is published in a journal. Newcastle University is an N8 member and has been involved with the planning and coordination of this initiative which seeks to support all N8 academics if they find themselves caught between funder and publisher policies.
Newcastle University introduced a new Research Publications and Copyright policy in August 2022 and in tandem with the other N8 universities the policy is designed to ensure that Newcastle authors are in a position to follow good open research practice and comply with changing funder requirements around open access to research outputs. It does this by recommending that authors make their work open access via use of a Rights Retention Statement (RRS) and self-archiving into the institutional repository. More detailed guidance on complying with the new policy can be accessed on the Library Research Services web pages.
As part of this initiative, the University’s Legal Services department has sent a Notice of Grant of Licence by post and email to over 150 publishers to which the majority of University staff submit their work. This letter serves as formal notice to publishers of the new policy and is designed to ensure that Newcastle academic staff are fully supported with regard to retaining the rights to their work. Over the coming weeks and months the Library will be delivering a programme of resources and training events to support colleagues in transitioning to the new policy. If you have any questions or concerns then please consult the FAQs or contact the open access team.
The “read and publish” agreement between academic publisher Springer Nature and UK Universities was due for renewal by the end of 2022. Discussions were ongoing throughout the year but a new agreement was not reached by 31st December 2022. We are now in a grace period of access into February 2023 while negotiations continue.
What is being negotiated and why is it important?
Newcastle University’s 2022 subscription to Springer Nature content enabled University members to read Springer Nature (SN) journals online and also publish open access articles with costs covered in more than 2,000 Springer hybrid journals. A new agreement must seek to encompass the whole Springer Nature Portfolio – Springer Compact, Nature journals, Palgrave journals, and their fully open access journals – enabling continued read access to SN online and allowing UK authors to publish open access in SN journals at no extra cost to themselves.
The HE sector has noted that subscription and Article Processing Charge (APC) expenditure with SN accounts for an increasing proportion of library subscription and publishing costs. Total expenditure by UK universities now exceeds £30 million. These costs are unsustainable.
Newcastle University supports Jisc’s criteria for negotiations. A new agreement must:
Reduce and constrain costs
Provide full and immediate open access publishing
Aid compliance with funder open access requirements
Be transparent, fair, and reasonable
Deliver improvements in service, workflows, and discovery
What happens if an agreement cannot be reached?
We are hopeful that an acceptable agreement can be reached but if either side walks away from the negotiations we have plans in place to allow continued access to SN content online and open access publishing.
Read Access: We have substantial online backfiles to which we would retain access. These would continue to be accessible via LibrarySearch for you to discover and read. We would not have access to new content from SN, and in these instances where we do not have a subscription we will help you get the article through an inter-library loan or other routes. The exact process will depend on ongoing work, so look out for further communications about the details.
Publishing: We encourage open access publishing to allow wider discovery, access and re-use of research. It is also a requirement of many funders that outputs are published open access if acknowledging their grants. UKRI and Wellcome Trust have provided grants to institutions to cover the costs of APCs but they are no longer willing to pay for open access in hybrid journals, which charge for subscriptions and APCs, unless there is a read and publish (transformative) agreement in place or the journal is a transformative journal.
It is therefore the case that to continue publishing in SN journals and publish open access you should apply the University’s Research Publications and Copyright Policy. By including the rights retention statement in your article you can publish the author-accepted manuscript in the institutional repository ePrints and repository staff will make it available upon publication in the journal. This means you can continue publishing open access and comply with your funder if required, at no cost. During the grace period we would strongly recommend that authors include the rights retention statement in any submissions to SN journals (including Nature titles). If you have any questions about applying the Research Publications and Copyright Policy please contact the Open Access team.
What should authors do?
We are in a grace period until the end of February 2023. During this time we continue to have access to SN online content and our authors are able to publish open access via our 2022 agreement. As mentioned previously we recommend authors include a rights retention statement regardless of the grace conditions as this secures your right to publish open access if a deal is not agreed. We will continue to keep you informed of developments via this blog. You can also read about the negotiations from Jisc https://www.jisc.ac.uk/springer-nature-negotiations.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
In collaboration with Northumbria University we are hosting an online demonstration and discussion of Octopus on November 28th, 1-2pm. Please find event details below and I hope you will be able to join us to learn more about how Octopus aims to support open research.
Octopus is a new publishing platform that is designed to be the primary research record, sitting alongside journal articles which have a more narrative style. Funded by UKRI and built in association with Jisc, it is the place where researchers can record their work in small units, and where the research’s quality can be assessed through peer review and ratings. It is designed to incentivize best practices in research and to make it easy for researchers to establish their priority and get their work ‘out there’ in a way that is fast, fair and free.
Presenter: Dr Alexandra Freeman, Creator of Octopus.
Newcastle University has introduced a new Research Publications and Copyright policy which came into effect on 1st August 2022. The policy is designed to ensure that Newcastle authors are in a position to follow good open research practice and comply with changing funder requirements around open access to research outputs. It does this by recommending that authors make their work open access via use of a Rights Retention Statement (RRS) and self-archiving into the institutional repository. Authors retain their own copyright throughout this process.
The University is working with our colleagues in the N8 Research Partnership to align our approach and all eight institutions will be formally launching their new policies from 1st January 2023. Many other Higher Education Institutions beyond the N8 are launching, or have launched, similar policies.
Funders such as UKRI and Wellcome have new open access policies which aim to ensure that the results of publicly funded research are immediately available and not subject to paywalls or embargo periods. These policies have the potential to bring authors into conflict with publishers, some of whom currently prefer to retain more restrictive publication options. Rights Retention policies developed because they offered a way of resolving the growing tension between research funder policies and publisher models.
Traditional publication models require authors to grant publishers an exclusive right to publish their work, or to transfer copyright to the publishers. Reuse of the published work is subsequently controlled by the publishers while authors retain limited rights about when, where, how and with whom their output can be shared. Access to published research output is in effect paywalled, with access controlled by the publisher.
For some time, major research funders have been unhappy about these restrictions on access to publicly funded research and have adopted increasingly robust open access policies to challenge this position.
Since 2018, many major research funders, including UKRI and the Wellcome Trust, have signed up to CoAlition S whose stated ambition is to ensure that publications resulting from public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. The strapline for Plan S, (the CoAlition’s action plan) is clear and unambiguous: “making full and immediate open access a reality.”
Wellcome implemented a new open access policy in January 2021, and as of 1st April 2022 UKRI has followed suit. Both funders now require immediate open access to journal articles and conference proceedings resulting from research which they have funded. The policy for the next REF is also expected to be aligned with these requirements.
What does this mean in practice?
The new UKRI policy has extended the existing requirement for immediately-upon-publication open access to include author accepted manuscripts whereas previously an embargo period between first online publication and AAM availability was permitted. Funders will no longer pay fees for Gold Open Access to hybrid journals that lack a transitional agreement.
A further change in the new UKRI policy is that AAMs made available through repositories must be licenced with a creative commons attribution licence, preferably CC-BY: a licence that permits a broad range of usage.
Therefore, the challenge for authors and institutions is when the funder’s requirement for open access publication (immediately, without fees) conflicts with that of the publisher (after embargo, with fees) – whose policy do we comply with? And how do we manage the risks associated with non-compliance?
Rights Retention Policies at UK HEIs
In an attempt to resolve this conflict between funder and publisher policies, several research-intensive universities have started implementing their own rights retention policies, thereby ensuring their researchers are funder-compliant and the associated research outputs are disseminated as widely as possible, whilst retaining the freedom to publish in the journal of choice. The University of Edinburgh have pioneered this with their Research Publications & Copyright Policy 2021.
As mentioned earlier, Newcastle University’s policy came into effect on 1st August 2022, but along with the other N8 institutions will formally launch its new policy on 1st January 2023.
What will this mean for authors?
In practical terms, to comply with the proposed policy on Research Publications and Copyright authors will need to add a Rights Retention Statement (RRS) to the acknowledgements of submitted manuscripts, inform their co-authors about this policy at the earliest opportunity, and upload their Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) into MyImpact. Providing the RRS is included in the AAM this will be made open access upon publication under a CC BY licence.
The Research Services team in the University Library is developing and delivering a programme of resources and training events to support colleagues in transitioning to the new policy between now and the formal launch in January. More detailed guidance on complying with the policy, including FAQs can be accessed on the Library Research Services web pages, and there will be more blog posts reporting on the uptake of the new policy over the coming months.
Photo credit: Chris Bishop via the Newcastle University Photo Library.
The inaugural Newcastle University Open Research Awards culminated in a celebration event where candidates shortlisted for an award we invited to present their case studies. We heard excellent presentations on the benefits and challenges of making research more open from postgraduates and researchers working in a range of disciplines and the winning case studies are presented below.
We’d like to thank all of the candidates who submitted a case study. The submissions we received were all of a high standard and we were delighted by the range of open research practices they described. We’d also like to thank the awards panel (Dr Stephen Parnell, Professor Neil Boonham, Dr Chris Emmerson and Jill Taylor-Roe) for their help with the very difficult job of choosing the winners.
These awards were made possible thanks to Newcastle University’s QR Enhancing Research Culture Project Fund 2022 in support of the University’s developing Research Culture Action Plan. A key strand of this plan seeks to make our research more transparent and reproducible and our data more accessible, to facilitate re-use and extend impact.
This case study described the design of open version control software to facilitate increased transparency in Cell Engineering. The panel felt this case study gave an excellent account of how this innovative open approach would increase public trust in research in a discipline where this is vital.
The panel felt this case study gave a frank and refreshing take on being open from the very start of a research project. It clearly outlined the benefits of openness through study pre-registration and replication. Although not part of the award criteria, it was heartening that a postgraduate student has adopted these principles so quickly in their research career.
This case study described the challenges and societal benefits of combining climate data from diverse sources and adapting them so that they were suitable for release as open datasets with associated open software. The panel also commended their commitment to training early career researchers in open practices.
Led by Renae J. Stefanetti (Exercise Physiologist), Alasdair Blain (Statistician), Linda Errington (Medical librarian), Laura Brown (Trial Manager), Jane Newman, Cecilia Jimenez Moreno (Physiotherapists), Robert McFarland (Paediatric Neurologist), Yi Shiau Ng, Doug Turnbull, and Gráinne S Gorman (Adult Neurologists).
This case study described a wide range of open research practices within their research, including open peer review, open access publication, the sharing of data and fully documented code and the creation of an interactive database of systematic review data. The challenges and benefits of these approaches were well articulated and it offered an excellent example of a group adopting the principles of open research.
Our winning case study described a consistently open approach across several research projects, using a wide range of open practices. They showed a clear understanding of the challenges, offered pragmatic solutions to overcome them and made a strong case for open research as a means to promote scientific progress. They also demonstrated a commitment to championing open research with both colleagues and students
Our thanks also go to Professor Candy Rowe, Dean of Research Culture and Strategy for helping us present these awards and for enabling them through funding from the University’s QR Enhancing Research Culture fund.
And the talks from all our shortlisted entrants were terrific and really inspiring-well done to everyone who entered and took part, and a big shout out to @sboneham and @ChrisJEmmerson who had the idea and brought it to fruition so brilliantly!
All colleagues are invited to attend the Open Research Awards celebration event on Tuesday 5th July from 12.00 to hear presentations from the shortlisted entries and to enjoy a networking lunch.
The Open Research Awards recognise staff and students who have used open practices to make research more accessible, transparent or reproducible, and demonstrate an understanding of the aims of Open Research.
If you would like to attend the celebration event please book below to allow us to cater for the appropriate number of people and for any special dietary requirements.
Friday 1st April sees the start of UKRI’s new Open Access policy. From this date, eligible UKRI-funded research papers must be made open access without embargo, under a CC BY licence (or, CC BY-ND by exception) and include a data access statement. A major change to the policy is that Gold open access in subscription/hybrid journals will be restricted to titles included in Newcastle University’s Transformative Agreements or journal titles that have committed to transition to open access (aka Transformative Journals).
Why has the open access policy changed?
UKRI is committed to championing open research as part of its strategy of advancing research culture change and to support the ambition set out in the government’s R&D People and Culture Strategy.
Open research improves research efficiency, quality and integrity through collaborative, transparent and reproducible research practices. UKRI’s priorities include open access to research publications and making research data as open as possible but as secure as necessary. UKRI is building on the UK’s longstanding global leadership in open research with our new open access policy, which was developed through extensive consultation with the sector. The policy delivers on the ambition in the government’s R&D Roadmap, for publicly funded research to be accessible to all, and will boost the global impact of UK research by increasing opportunities for findings to be shared and used across all disciplines and sectors.
UKRI (2022) UKRI Strategy 2022–2027: Transforming tomorrow together. Available at: https://www.ukri.org/about-us/what-we-do/our-strategy-2022-to-2027/ (Accessed: 29 March 2022).
Transformative Journals. Subscription/hybrid journals that commit to transitioning to a fully open access journals (funds are available, apply here).
Subscription journals and proceedings that allow you to make your final accepted manuscript open access immediately on publication under a CC BY licence (e.g. Science).
If your journal does not meet any of the criteria above you may want to consider submitting elsewhere. Alternatively include a ‘rights retention statement’ in your submitted manuscript that allows you to make the author accepted manuscript open access in our repository. Contact the Open Access Team if you would like to know more about this alternative route to compliance.
Where can I get further advice and guidance?
Newcastle University’s Open Access team
You can find up to date information on our Open Access webpages
Open Access colleagues have presented policy briefings at a various meetings and events across the university and to all faculties. If you would like to request a briefing for your school or research group then please contact the Open Access team to request this.