Newcastle University and Elsevier

The contract between academic publisher Elsevier and UK Universities is due for renewal in December 2021.

Newcastle University subscribes to Elsevier’s ScienceDirect at a cost of £1.1 million for the current subscription deal which enables University members to access Elsevier journals online.

The UK Universities sector – on behalf of its researchers and students – entered negotiations with Elsevier with two core objectives: to reduce costs to levels UK universities can sustain, and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research.

Open access to research allows for greater impact, expanding access worldwide and the potential for collaborative work to benefit the national and international research community.

Elsevier is now the only major publisher that does not have a transformative open access agreement in place. Subscription costs to Elsevier’s journals are high and continuing to increase but do not include an open access agreement. Transformative agreements are also supported by cOAlition S research funders and, from April 2022, UKRI’s new policy is similarly supportive.

Therefore, a key practical aim of the negotiations is to secure a transformative agreement with Elsevier, which will support the core objective of immediate open access publishing.

UK Universities began negotiations in March 2021. Representatives from the sector will sit on the official negotiation team and Jisc facilitates the overall negotiations.

Jisc has produced the following video which highlights the key issues involved and has also produced some background information about the negotiations.

The Library will provide more detailed information about the aims of the negotiations and news of any progress over the coming months via this blog and on the Research Services website.

John Williams

Photo credit: King’s Walk June 2013 by John Donoghue.

New UKRI Open Access Policy published

UK Research and Innovation logo

After its long awaited review UKRI announced its new open access policy on the 6th August. The policy will apply to publications acknowledging UKRI funding and aims to make UKRI-funded research freely available to the public. It aligns with Plan S and the Wellcome Trust open access policy, and there is a strong indication that the policy will align with the open access requirements for the next REF (due to be published in November 2021). UKRI have pledged continued and increased funding to support the implementation of the new policy.

The policy will apply to:

  • Peer-review research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
  • Monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

Summary of changes

Articles (from 1 April 2022)

  • Must be open access immediately upon publication
  • CC BY licence must apply (with some permitted CC BY-ND exceptions)
  • No embargoes
  • APCs for OA in hybrid journals no longer permitted
  • A data access statement is required (even if there is no data)
  • Biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central 

Books, book chapters and edited collections (from 1 January 2024)

  • Must be open access within 12 months of publication
  • CC BY licence required
  • Open access can be either published open access or by deposit of the Author’s Accepted Manuscript in an institutional repository
  • Images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access content however more restrictive licences can apply for third-party content.

The University will be providing training and guidance before April 2022 to support implementation of the policy.

You can read the full policy documents here: https://www.ukri.org/our-work/supporting-healthy-research-and-innovation-culture/open-research/open-access-policies-review/

Welcome to ‘Opening Research’

Welcome to Opening Research, the blog for Library Research Services at Newcastle University. Library Research Services are aimed at, but by no means exclusive to, all Newcastle researchers and Professional Services staff in research-related roles, offering support and advice throughout the research lifecycle. Our team can offer help and expertise on:

These are all areas that are impacting on the work of our researchers today and we can help you understand the various policies and options researchers are presented with before, during and after the research process. It is important to us that we help researchers comply with their funders’ requirements, but we would like to go beyond that by promoting and advocating for good research practice and culture. Therefore, we intend the blog to be more than just a tool to communicate our services to you. We would like to use it as an opportunity to engage those involved in research and research support in discussions and debates about what is happening in the research landscape today.

I have been working in academic libraries for over 27 years, the last 17 at Newcastle University and for most of that time I’ve been directly supporting researchers one way or another. From RAE and REF submissions, to establishing open access platforms publishing Newcastle research, to liaising with publishers and consortia to get the best subscription and publishing deals possible, and I have never known as much change as that which is taking place now. For example:

  • Are you aware of Plan S?
  • Have you heard of DORA?
  • Do you know that Newcastle University has agreements with publishers that allow you to publish your papers open access at no cost to you?
  • What are the proposed open access requirements for the post-2021REF?
  • Who is challenging the established research culture in institutions and why?

These are just some of the current issues that will impact on researchers working lives and we will be discussing in future blog posts. We hope you find them interesting and encourage you to join the debate or start the discussion yourself.

Amanda Boll
Head of Research Publications and Data Management Services