Information Services

New Developments in Open Access

In April, UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) introduces a new Open Access policy, which will accelerate the dissemination of the research it funds.

Gavin McLachlan, Vice-Principal and Chief Information Officer, and Librarian to the University

The University believes this new Open Access Policy will benefit research, the public and overall impact and is in line with the Welcome Trust’s policy, which came into effect in January.

The University of Edinburgh has been an early adopter of Open Access, and an overwhelming majority of your research publications, and many of your datasets are already publicly available. However, the policy landscape has been confusing for authors and those who support them with policies often contradicting one another.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards so-called ‘hybrid’ open access, where funders pay an article-processing charge to make individual articles open, whilst libraries continue to pay hefty subscriptions, with no offset against the additional charges for publishing. This is unsustainable and funders wish to prevent this double-dipping and move to more sustainable agreements with publishers.

The Library has subscribed to a wide range of new types of agreements with publishers with more transparent costs for publishing and for reading. This list continues to grow, and we will shortly have arrangements in place with most of the large publishing houses. These agreements enable you to publish with these journals and meet the requirements of your funders.

To further support the transition to Open Access, the University of Edinburgh has also introduced a new Research Publications & Copyright Policy, which will enable you to retain more rights over your work and to easily comply with the new funder requirements.

We realise this change comes at a difficult time of change overall, and we are offering additional support and help to make this transition. The Library’s Scholarly Communications Team, working with your Open Access contacts in Schools and Colleges are undertaking a programme of outreach across the University to provide information about these new developments, and I would encourage you to engage with this. There is also plenty of support available via Making Your Research Open Access | The University of Edinburgh.

Gavin McLachlan, Vice-Principal and Chief Information Officer, and Librarian to the University.