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UCL Open Science Conference 2022 – Day 2 Recordings

Kirsty11 April 2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the UCL Open Science conference last week. We had a great time and hope you did too. We have sent all of the left over questions to our speakers but we wanted to share the recordings right away! If you missed the day 1 recordings, they are already available.

UKRI Town Hall

Host: David Price
Panellists: Duncan Wingham, Rachel Bruce, Margot Finn, Jonathan Butterworth.

Open and the Global South

Host: James Houghton
Panellists: Katie Foxall, Wouter Schallier, Sally Rumsay, Ernesto Priego.

Don’t forget, you can get full details of all of the speakers in the programme.

UCL Open Science Conference 2022 – Day 1 Recordings

Kirsty11 April 2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the UCL Open Science conference last week. We had a great time and hope you did too. We have sent all of the left over questions to our speakers but we wanted to share the recordings right away!

Day 2 recordings are also available!

What does Open Science mean to me?

Host: Christiana McMahon
Panellists: James Hetherington, Aida Sanchez, Sasha Roseneil, Steven Gray.

Kickstart your research: Open Data and Code

Host: James Houghton
Panellists: Anastasis Georgoulas, Ralitsa Madsen, Oliver Duke-Williams

How does Citizen Science change us?

Host: Hannah Sender, Alex Albert, Saffron Woodcraft

Don’t forget, you can get full details of all of the speakers in the programme.

UKRI open access policy – slides and recording

Catherine Sharp4 March 2022

UCL’s Open Access Team has been glad of the opportunity to give presentations on the new UKRI open access policy to nearly 2,000 staff at more than 60 department and faculty meetings this session. We were recently joined by Lara Speicher (UCL Press Publishing Manager) for two more UCL-wide briefings on the new policy that were attended by nearly 150 UKRI-funded researchers. The recording and slides from these sessions are below. We’d encourage all UKRI-funded PIs, and anyone involved in submitting UKRI-funded articles, to take a look at them so that they’re prepared for the start of the policy on 1 April.

We’re grateful for UCL authors’ engagement with the policy, and for the questions that we’ve been asked about particular non-compliant publishers, including Nature (for Nature portfolio journals), IEEE, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Central UK negotiations are happening with all non-compliant publishers, and we are sharing your feedback with the negotiation teams. We hope to have more information about these and other publishers over the coming weeks and months, but in the meantime we will provide support for authors who wish to submit to these journals/publishers after 1 April. Please check our UKRI/Wellcome open access webpages and our What do I need to do? quick guide for more information.

New UKRI policy: key information

As well as our briefing sessions, we’ve recently contacted all UKRI and Wellcome PIs with the following key information.

UKRI-funded research articles, review articles and conference papers that are submitted from 1 April 2022 must be made open access on publication, under the CC BY licence (or, if UKRI grants an exception, CC BY-ND). A key change is that Gold open access in subscription (hybrid) journals will only be funded if the journal is in one of UCL’s transformative agreements.

What the policy means

The following types of journal comply with the policy:

  1. fully open access journals and proceedings (funds are available through UCL’s Open Access Team): check the Directory of Open Access Journals
  2. subscription (hybrid) journals that are in UCL’s transformative agreements: check UCL’s list of transformative agreements
  3. subscription journals and proceedings that allow you to make your final accepted manuscript open access on publication under the CC BY licence (e.g. Science, Association for Computing Machinery)

If your journal is not in these categories, you may want to consider submitting elsewhere. Alternatively, you will need to retain the right to make your final accepted manuscript open access on publication under the CC BY licence, by including UKRI’s submission wording when you submit, and negotiating a compliant publishing agreement.

See our What do I need to do? quick guide.

Other information

UKRI does not support publication charges (for instance page and colour charges). Authors should ask their journal about publication charges, and request a waiver of any mandatory charges, before submission.

The UKRI open access policy for long-form outputs applies to monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024. More information will be available in due course.

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


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:


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.


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.

Finding journals in UCL’s transformative agreements

Catherine Sharp25 June 2020

“Planet Transformers” by pavlinajane is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Over the last few weeks we’ve been writing about UCL’s transformative agreements and introducing more researchers to them. These agreements give UCL corresponding authors a way to publish open access in subscription journals. They meet the requirements of the new Wellcome open access policy, which applies to research articles submitted from 1 January 2021, and we anticipate that they’ll also satisfy the new UK Research Councils/UKRI open access policy that’s due to be announced next year.

We’ve put together a list of journals in our transformative agreements (more than 5,000!) by subject. They include Modern Law Review, British Educational Research Journal, Annals of Neurology, Geo: Geography and Environment, and Human Brain Mapping (published by Wiley); Gender & Society (Sage); Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Climatic Change, and European Journal of Nutrition (Springer); Physics in Medicine and Biology (Institute of Physics); Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B and C (Royal Society of Chemistry); Art & Perception, and Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions (Brill).

If you aren’t very familiar with these agreements, read on to find out more about why they’ve developed and how they work. We’ve also explained a bit of confusing open access terminology – ‘hybrid’ journals – into the bargain.

If you know about transformative agreements already, feel free to go straight to the list: it’s below, and on our transformative agreements webpage. For more information about what’s in the list, scroll down to the “New tool – journals by subject” section below. Make sure that you check the relevant publisher terms and conditions on the transformative agreements webpage before submitting to one of these journals.

Journals in UCL’s open access transformative agreements by subject

Why transformative agreements?

Funders increasingly want to ensure immediate open access to journal articles. Delayed open access after the publisher’s embargo period (usually between 6 and 24 months) isn’t enough; and paying for open access in subscription journals, without the journal committing to becoming fully open access, isn’t going to be acceptable either.

We anticipate researchers that researchers will have to publish in:

  1. fully open access journals (listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals) – e.g. the PLOS and BioMed Central journals, Nature Communications and Scientific Reports (Gold open access);
  2. subscription journals that allow the accepted manuscript to be made open access in a repository (Green open access), with the CC BY licence, on publication (e.g. Royal Society and Emerald journals); or
  3. subscription journals that are part of transformative agreements (or that have “transformative status”) – also Gold open access – for as long as this third option is permitted.

To offer a publishing option that meets these requirements, a journal can become fully open access (option 1), remove its embargo on Green open access and allow CC BY (option 2), or offer a transformative agreement (option 3).

Subscription and hybrid journals

Most journals require a subscription – either institutional or personal – for access. Journals that are accessible through UCL’s subscriptions appear in the E-journals link on our E-resources webpages. Some subscription journals (e.g. the Nature journals, and Science) have a Green open access option, but don’t offer Gold (paid) open access. If you upload the accepted manuscript of a Nature journal to UCL’s Research Publications Service, we’ll make it open access in UCL’s open access repository, UCL Discovery, at the end of the embargo period: six months, for those journals. You can use Sherpa Romeo to check journals’ embargo periods.

Many subscription journals offer an open access option to make specific papers openly available. They’re known as hybrid journals. These journals are in a position to offer transformative agreements that meet the requirements of option 3 above, provided they are serious about transitioning to becoming fully open access. Most journals are hybrid journals.

We’ve already mentioned some high-profile journals that are in our transformative agreements. Most are hybrid journals: Modern Law Review, British Educational Research Journal and Annals of Neurology (published by Wiley); Gender & Society (Sage); Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Climatic Change and European Journal of Nutrition (Springer); Physics in Medicine and Biology (Institute of Physics); Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B and C (Royal Society of Chemistry); Art & Perception, and Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions (Brill). There are also some fully open access journals in our Wiley agreement: examples are Geo: Geography and Environment, and Human Brain Mapping.

Negotiating transformative agreements

These new agreements replace UCL’s subscription agreements with publishers. An additional sum is paid for the (open access) publishing element, funded by UCL’s UKRI, Wellcome and institutional open access budgets. Over the course of the agreement (sometimes several years), an increasing proportion of the cost is directed towards publishing instead of access (subscriptions).

Jisc Collections negotiates transformative agreements on behalf of all UK institutions. These agreements are transitional: Plan S (to which UKRI and the Wellcome are signatories) and the new Wellcome policy allow costs of transformative agreements to be funded until the end of 2024. Like other universities, we’re monitoring the overall costs of these agreements, takeup, and researchers’ views of them, very closely.

We currently have agreements with Brill, Electrochemical Society, European Respiratory Journal, IMechE, Institute of Physics, IWA Publishing, Microbiology Society, Portland Press (Biochemical Society), Rockefeller University Press, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Medicine, Sage, Springer, Thieme and Wiley. Jisc is actively negotiating with other publishers, including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and many others. Agreements are for calendar years. What’s really critical is that agreements should cover 100% of outputs by UCL corresponding authors, and be affordable.

New tool – journals by subject

We’ve had lots of positive reaction to these transformative agreements, as well as questions about journals that aren’t currently covered (see the section above). One of the things we’ve been asked to do is to provide information about which subjects each journal covers.

We’ve used Scopus and Web of Science to put together a list of journals in the current agreements with different subject granularity. The list below shows broad Scopus categories, narrower Web of Science and Scopus ones, and lastly very specific Scopus categories. In the same file, we’ve included a separate list of the detailed Scopus categories, which might help with interpreting the main list.

Journals in UCL’s open access transformative agreements by subject

We know that only researchers can decide where best to submit their work; but we hope that by providing this information we can help more researchers to publish open access. Make sure that you check the relevant publisher terms and conditions on our transformative agreements page before submitting to these journals.

More information

If you’d like to receive updates on open access and transformative agreements, please use the Subscribe by Email option to sign up for an alert when we publish a new post. You’ll find it to the right of this post, or at the bottom if you’re reading this on a mobile device. Alternatively, or as well, follow us on Twitter!

If you’d like to arrange a department briefing on anything covered in this post, or on open access more generally, contact catherine.sharp@ucl.ac.uk

Transforming publishing with new agreements?

Catherine Sharp25 May 2020

When Plan S was announced 18 months ago, requiring all publications from participating funders to be made open access from 2021, a new term – transformative agreement – entered the open access lexicon. The idea is to transform or transition journal publishing away from subscriptions towards full open access.

The Wellcome open access policy from 2021, and Plan S, allow authors to publish in three different types of journal. After their consultation on a new policy finishes, the UK Research Councils (UKRI) might well say something similar. Here are the three routes:

  1. Fully open access journals. All papers in these journals are published open access, often for a fee. Examples are the PLOS and BMC journals, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, SageOpen, Wellcome Open Research, and UCL’s own UCL Open: Environment and UCL Child Health Open Research.
  2. Journals that aren’t open access, but that allow authors to make their manuscripts open access in a repository like UCL Discovery, on publication, under the CC BY licence. Royal Society journals are an example.
  3. Journals that are part of transformative agreements, or are themselves transformative journals, until 2024.

Most publishers still don’t allow immediate open access in a repository, and most that do don’t allow CC BY. Transformative agreements are increasing, though.

Jisc, which negotiates our subscription agreements, has some complex criteria for transformative agreements. Publishers must offer 100% UK open access publishing that’s affordable, sustainable and transparent. Large commercial publishers, as well as society publishers like Microbiology Society and Electrochemical Society, all have agreements.

What does this mean for me?

UCL is trialling lots of transformative agreements this year. These include our long-standing SpringerCompact, RSC and IOP agreements, smaller offers from Brill, Thieme, European Respiratory Journal and the societies we’ve already mentioned, and larger agreements with Wiley and Sage.

These agreements are restricted to UCL corresponding authors. Make sure you give your UCL e-mail address and affiliation when you submit to a journal; you should be recognised as eligible if we have a transformative agreement. See our step-by-step guide to open access funding for more information both about these agreements and about other open access funding arrangements.

Contact us if you’d like to arrange a virtual department visit from us to discuss these agreements.