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New dates for UKRI open access briefings

Catherine Sharp20 January 2022

2022 sees the start of the new UKRI policy, and big changes for researchers whose work is funded by the UK Research Councils. By April, when the policy starts, all UK Research Council PIs, and in fact anyone whose papers include funding from one of the UK Research Councils, need to understand how the policy will affect them. Submitting and corresponding authors need to take particular note of the requirements before making any new submissions after 1 April.

Why not come to one of our UCL-wide briefing sessions to find out more? Register for a session below, or read on for information about what they’ll cover.

The new UKRI policy applies to articles (and, from 1 January 2024, monographs) funded by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, Innovate UK, MRC, NERC or STFC. At its heart is the requirement to make research articles, reviews and conference papers open access as soon as they’re published, under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)* – and monographs, book chapters and edited collections open access 12 months after publication under a CC licence. However, there are different ways of meeting this requirement, depending on where you publish.

*a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-ND) may be requested for journal articles.

Following their popular briefing in Open Access Week last October, Catherine Sharp (Head of Open Access Services) and Lara Speicher (Head of Publishing, UCL Press) will be running two more briefings on the policy this term. These sessions will cover the key policy requirements, but will also include practical advice and guidance that’s been developed in recent months. Catherine and Lara will discuss compliant and non-compliant publishing routes for journal articles and conference papers, as well as UKRI’s requirements for monographs. They will explain how you can get funding to publish in fully open access journals, who can use UCL’s transformative agreements (including new agreements for 2022), and what to do if you want to publish in a non-compliant journal.

These are repeat sessions. They will cover the same content as the department briefings that we’ve been giving recently, but we will have more time to discuss specific publishers and the wider implications of the policy, to hear your thoughts and to answer questions. If you’ve attended a presentation recently, you’re still welcome to come along for a refresher, and to raise any questions. We’re also happy to answer questions about the Wellcome policy, and the new Cancer Research UK and NIHR open access policies.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Open Science monthly schedule outline – Academic year 21/22

Kirsty23 November 2021

New for the academic year 2021-22 the Office for Open Science and Scholarship is organising a monthly series of talks, showcases and training sessions across as many of the eight pillars as we can fit in for UCL colleagues and students at all levels.

All of the teams will be teaching their usual classes, keep watching your usual sources of training plus here and on Twitter for those, but these introductory sessions are intended to give a general overview of each subject area for a general audience with plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions. These introductory sessions will also be supplemented with ad hoc events throughout the year.

  • November
    Departmental UKRI Briefings – contact catherine.sharp@ucl.ac.uk to arrange a briefing for your team
  • December
    Introduction to the Office for Open Science & Scholarship – December 15th 2-3pm – Postponed, please express interest below
  • January 22
    Introduction to responsible metrics – January 27th 2-3pm – Online
  • February
    Introduction to Research Data Management – February 2nd 10-11am – Online
  • March
    Getting started with the RDR – Friday 4th Mar 10-11am – Online
  • April
    Open Science Conference (Dates TBC)
  • May
    Citizen Science project showcase (Details & Dates TBC)
  • June
    Citizen Science, Public Engagement & Research Impact (Dates TBC)
  • July
    ORCiD, DOI and beyond – Introduction to Persistent identifiers (Dates TBC)

If you are interested in any of the sessions above then please complete the MS form and the organisers will get back to you with calendar details and joining instructions for planned sessions. Any sessions without firm dates, we will contact you as soon as details are confirmed.

New UKRI policy – overview

Kirsty27 October 2021

Catherine Sharp, Head of Open Access Services
Lara Speicher, Head of Publishing, UCL Press

Background

The new UKRI Policy that was announced in August 2020 affects academics who are publishing work that acknowledges funding from one of the seven UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) or Innovate UK. The policy requires open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND) for articles and conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022. It also requires open access no later than 12 months after publication for monographs, book chapters and edited collections resulting from a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, published on or after 1 January 2024. The UKRI policy will inform the open access policy for the next REF, following the Future Research Assessment Programme.

In this post, we will outline the key policy points and compliant routes to publishing journal articles, conference papers and in-scope books. We also cover how the new policy will be funded. Some details are still awaited, and further information will be added to the Open Access pages as it becomes available.

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Key changes

The new UKRI policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews) and conference proceedings submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.

The policy permits two routes to publishing, the first covering fully open access journals and the second subscription journals. Like the Wellcome policy, both routes require immediate open access, on publication, under the CC BY licence. Embargoes on open access are no longer allowed.

UKRI will continue to fund open access, through UCL’s Open Access Team, for papers in fully open access journals and in journals in UCL’s transformative agreements. It will not fund open access for outputs in subscription (hybrid) journals except through transformative agreements.

How do I meet the requirements?

In practice, there are three ways to comply with the new policy:

  1. Publish in a fully open access journal or platform (see the Directory of Open Access Journals)
  2. Publish in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is in UCL’s transformative agreements
  3. Publish in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is not in UCL’s transformative agreements, and make the accepted available in an open access repository, under the CC BY licence, on publication.

In the first two methods, the paper is published open access under the CC BY licence. The publisher version of record is open access on the publisher’s website (Gold open access).

In the third method, the author uploads the final accepted manuscript to RPS, and (if the paper is MRC- or BBSRC-funded) to Europe PubMed Central, to be made open access on publication under the CC BY licence (Green open access).

Most journals require an embargo on Green open access, and do not allow the accepted manuscript to be made open access under CC BY. UKRI has provided the text below, which authors must include in the manuscript’s funding acknowledgements section when they submit, and in any cover letter or note accompanying the submission. This allows authors to use the third route. UCL recommends that from 1 April 2022 all UKRI-funded article submissions include this statement.

For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence* to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.

* UKRI may exceptionally permit authors to use the Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence. The Open Government Licence is permitted where the article falls under Crown Copyright.

From 1 April 2022, before submitting to a journal authors of UKRI-funded papers must establish which of these methods of complying to compliance applies to their chosen journals before submitting. We expect tools to be available to assist authors with this. You will need to know:

Fully open access journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Details of UCL’s transformative agreements, including a list of journals included, and eligibility criteria for each agreement, are on our transformative agreements page. UCL currently has 27 transformative agreements, covering more than 8,000 journals.

Examples of compliance methods

To illustrate how these compliance methods work in practice, below are a few examples of journals from a variety of disciplines, sorted into their current compliance routes for UCL authors.

Method 1 –
fully open access journals
Method 2 –
transformative agreements
Method 3 –
Green open access
BioMed Central journals AIP subscription journals ACM journals (ACM allows immediate Green open access under CC BY)
Frontiers journals American Nineteenth Century History (Taylor & Francis) SPIE journals (SPIE allows immediate open access to the version of record under CC BY)
MDPI journals Brain (OUP) Cognition (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required
PLOS journals British Journal of Cancer (SpringerNature) Computers in Biology and Medicine (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required
BMJ Global Health (BMJ) Development and Change (Wiley) Journal of Neurosurgery (AANS) – UKRI statement required
Environment International (Elsevier) European Journal of Philosophy (Wiley) Journal of Philosophy (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required
Fascism (Brill) Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (BMJ) Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS) – UKRI statement required
Lancet Digital Health (Elsevier) Lab on a Chip (RSC) Lancet (Elsevier) – UKRI statement required
Nature Communications (SpringerNature) Review of Political Economy (Taylor & Francis) Nature Medicine (SpringerNature) – UKRI statement required
Scientific Reports (SpringerNature) Science and Public Policy (OUP) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) – UKRI statement required
Wellcome Open Research Urban Studies (Sage) Science (AAAS allows immediate Green open access under CC BY where Plan S funders have adopted rights retention)

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections are now included in the UKRI OA policy for the first time. The policy applies to books published as a result of a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, as listed above, and comes into effect for books published on or after 1 January 2024.

The key policy points are outlined below:

Definition

Monographs are defined in the policy as ‘a long-form publication which communicates an original contribution to academic scholarship on one topic or theme and is designed for a primarily academic audience… it may be written by one or more authors’. Detailed definitions of chapters and edited collections are also included in the policy. A trade book (see definitions below in ‘Out of scope long-form publications’) is only in scope of the policy where it is the only output from UKRI-funded research.

Out of scope long-form publications

UKRI’s open access policy does not apply to the following long-form outputs:

  • Trade books: The decision of whether a book should be considered a trade book or an academic monograph, is at the discretion of the author and publisher. Trade books are defined in the policy as ‘an academic monograph rooted in original scholarship that has a broad public audience’.
  • Scholarly editions. Defined as an edition of another author’s original work or body of works informed by critical evaluation of the sources (such as earlier manuscripts, texts, documents and letters), often with a scholarly introduction and explanatory notes or analysis on the text and/or original author
  • Exhibition catalogues
  • Scholarly illustrated catalogues
  • Textbooks
  • All types of fictional works and creative writing

Licensing requirements

UKRI requires the open access version of long-form outputs to be published under a Creative Commons licence. A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred to maximise opportunities for sharing and reuse but other Creative Commons licences are permitted. This includes CC BY-NC and CC BY-ND. An Open Government Licence is also permitted when authors are subject to Crown Copyright.

Third-party materials

UKRI’s licensing requirements do not apply to any materials included within a long-form output that are provided by third-party copyright holders. Academic books published under a CC BY, or other Creative Commons licence, may include third-party materials (such as images, photographs, diagrams or maps) which are subject to a more restrictive licence. UKRI considers this approach compliant with its policy.

Exceptions to licensing policy

UKRI recognises that there may be some instances where permissions for reuse in an open access book cannot be obtained for all third-party images or other materials. Therefore, an exception to the policy may be applied when reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option available to enable open access publication.

Timing of implementation

The policy comes into effect for books published on or after 1 January 2024. Routes to compliance therefore need to be considered by authors now for any book that is already under contract or for which a contract will be signed for a book that will publish after 1 January 2024.

Routes to compliance

For in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections:

  1. The final Version of Record (Gold open access) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (Green open access, in an open access repository) must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
  2. The open access version must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence or other licence permitted by UKRI (see ‘Licensing requirements’ above) and allows the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  3. The open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content (see ‘Licensing requirements’ above)
  4. Where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version

We are aware that authors will have questions about aspects of the new policy, and we await further guidance from UKRI and from publishers on monographs. As more information is received, it will be made available on UCL’s UKRI open access webpages.

Funding

UKRI funding will be available through UCL’s Open Access Team to allow some books to be made Gold open access and we await further information from UKRI about this.

What next?

We expect further clarification from UKRI on criteria for exceptions to the CC BY licence, funding and tools to help authors. In the meantime, we are providing briefings to all departments on the new policy, as well as open briefings for anyone to attend. Please contact us if you would like more information.

UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group

Catherine Sharp13 July 2020

There are now more than 5,000 journals in UCL’s transformative agreements, where UCL researchers can now publish open access without additional costs. They cover all disciplines; departments have been using our subject-specific list to identify journals that are relevant to them.

We’re getting lots of questions about which publishers might introduce an agreement next. Today, Paul Ayris (Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services) writes about the UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group that oversees negotiation of these agreements, and explains what the Group is hoping to achieve with current negotiations.


UCL Library Services makes tens of thousands of electronic journals, books and databases available to all UCL staff and students. Have you ever wondered how these materials are acquired and how the discussions with the publishers are conducted?

For e-journals, these discussions take place at a national level and are conducted by the Jisc on behalf of UK Higher Education. UK HE spends a lot of money each year with commercial publishers to acquire e-journals – over £100 million. It’s big business and the consortium of universities that Jisc can call together for a deal with an individual publisher can be both large and impressive. In summer 2019, I stood down after many years as chair of the Jisc Content Strategy Group, which oversaw Big Deal purchases for UK HE. I did this because both Jisc and I wanted to move oversight of these deals to a body chaired at Vice-Chancellor level and aligned with Universities UK (UUK). In this way the new UUK/Jisc High Level Negotiation Strategy Group was born.

The membership is diverse. There are University Librarians like me on the Group, and I am happy to say that my colleague Chris Banks (Assistant Provost, Space and Director of Library Services at Imperial) is also a member. There are representatives from other University Libraries with less spending power than UCL and Imperial. SCONUL and RLUK (Research Libraries UK) are also members, as are senior academic figures representing UUK members. The Group is chaired by Professor Stephen Decent, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University.

What are our core aims? These are:

  • Develop and advance strategy for cost-effective publication, acquisition and delivery of research output which takes account of the dynamic nature of the information marketplace and the changing needs of the community
  • Develop and advance strategy for the utilization of negotiations with publishers and societies to facilitate a quick, cost effective and financially sustainable transition to OA
  • Develop and advance strategy for the use of a broad range of innovative approaches in licensing and negotiation to facilitate the acquisition, dissemination and management of research outputs
  • Provide leadership for national negotiations
  • Act as a conduit between the negotiators and the sector (university leaders, researchers, administration and funders) for the agreement, communication, oversight and reporting on objectives, strategy, tactics and progress of negotiations
  • Facilitate debate and action to help implement long term solutions to challenges in publication and acquisition of research output
  • Oversee the conduct of the negotiations on behalf of the UK academic community
  • Provide a focal point for the provision of guidance on the range of institutional responses to a dynamic research, policy and research environment
  • Evaluate options in the event that negotiations do not proceed as planned and further action from the sector may be required to achieve an acceptable agreement
  • Seek transparency in deals with publishers especially in relation to cost and how institutional money is being spent

It’s an ambitious and very demanding role. We have already written to all major publishers, asking for substantial reductions in subscription costs as a result of the pressure on university finances caused by covid-19. We have also set ourselves the target of turning all current subscription deals into Open Access Read and Publish deals. This will allow the UK to be compliant with a growing number of research funder policies, such as the forthcoming UKRI OA policy, the OA policy of the Wellcome Trust and Plan S from Science Europe.

The stakes are high. UCL is committed to Open Science/Scholarship principles as key drivers in the global research and education landscape. The role of the High Level Strategy Group is to deliver that change in the publishing arena, achieving the goal of 100% Open Access as speedily as possible.

Paul Ayris
Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services)