Who support open access publishing? Gender, discipline, seniority and other factors associated with academics’ OA practice

Author : Yimei Zhu

This paper presents the findings from a survey study of UK academics and their publishing behaviour. The aim of this study is to investigate academics’ attitudes towards and practice of open access (OA) publishing.

The results are based on a survey study of academics at 12 Russell Group universities, and reflect responses from over 1800 researchers. This study found that whilst most academics support the principle of making knowledge freely available to everyone, the use of OA publishing among UK academics was still limited despite relevant established OA policies.

The results suggest that there were differences in the extent of OA practice between different universities, academic disciplines, age and seniorities. Academics’ use in OA publishing was also related to their awareness of OA policy and OA repositories, their attitudes towards the importance of OA publishing and their belief in OA citation advantage.

The implications of these findings are relevant to the development of strategies for the implementation of OA policies.

URL : Who support open access publishing? Gender, discipline, seniority and other factors associated with academics’ OA practice

Alternative location : http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11192-017-2316-z

UK University policy approaches towards the copyright ownership of scholarly works and the future of open access

Author : Elizabeth Gadd


Considers how the open access policy environment has developed since the RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open Archiving) Project’s call in 2003 for universities and academics to assert joint copyright ownership of scholarly works. Investigates whether UK universities are moving towards joint copyright ownership.


Analyses 81 UK university copyright policies are analysed to understand what proportion make a claim over i) IP ownership of all outputs; ii) the copyright in scholarly works; iii) re-using scholarly works in specific ways; iv) approaches to moral rights. Results are cross-tabulated by policy age and mission group.


Universities have not asserted their interest in scholarly works through joint ownership, leaving research funders and publishers to set open access policy. Finds an increased proportion of universities assert a generic claim to all IP (87%) relative to earlier studies.

74% of policies relinquished rights in scholarly works in favour of academic staff. 20% of policies share ownership of scholarly works through licensing. 28% of policies assert the right to reuse scholarly works in some way.

32% of policies seek to protect moral rights. Policies that ‘share’ ownership of scholarly works are more recent. The UK Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL) should have an impact on this area.

The reliance on individual academics to enforce a copyright policy or not to opt out of the UK-SCL could be problematic. Concludes that open access may still be best served by joint ownership of scholarly works.


This the first large-scale analysis of UK university policy positions towards scholarly works. Discovers for the first time a move towards ‘shared’ ownership of scholarly works in copyright policies.

URL : https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/23166


How Do Scientists Define Openness? Exploring the Relationship Between Open Science Policies and Research Practice

Authors : Nadine Levin, Sabina Leonelli, Dagmara Weckowska, David Castle, John Dupré

This article documents how biomedical researchers in the United Kingdom understand and enact the idea of “openness.”

This is of particular interest to researchers and science policy worldwide in view of the recent adoption of pioneering policies on Open Science and Open Access by the U.K. government—policies whose impact on and implications for research practice are in need of urgent evaluation, so as to decide on their eventual implementation elsewhere.

This study is based on 22 in-depth interviews with U.K. researchers in systems biology, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics, which were conducted between September 2013 and February 2014.

Through an analysis of the interview transcripts, we identify seven core themes that characterize researchers’ understanding of openness in science and nine factors that shape the practice of openness in research.

Our findings highlight the implications that Open Science policies can have for research processes and outcomes and provide recommendations for enhancing their content, effectiveness, and implementation.

URL : How Do Scientists Define Openness? Exploring the Relationship Between Open Science Policies and Research Practice

Alternative location : http://bst.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/09/30/0270467616668760.abstract

Business process costs of implementing “gold” and “green” open access in institutional and national contexts

Authors : Robert Johnson, Stephen Pinfield, Mattia Fosci

As open access (OA) publication of research outputs becomes increasingly common and is mandated by institutions and research funders, it is important to understand different aspects of the costs involved.

This paper provides an early review of administrative costs incurred by universities in making research outputs OA, either via publication in journals (“Gold” OA), involving payment of article-processing charges (APCs), or via deposit in repositories (“Green” OA).

Using data from 29 UK institutions, it finds that the administrative time, as well as the cost incurred by universities, to make an article OA using the Gold route is over 2.5 times higher than Green. Costs are then modeled at a national level using recent UK policy initiatives from Research Councils UK and the Higher Education Funding Councils’ Research Excellence Framework as case studies.

The study also demonstrates that the costs of complying with research funders’ OA policies are considerably higher than where an OA publication is left entirely to authors’ discretion.

Key target areas for future efficiencies in the business processes are identified and potential cost savings calculated. The analysis is designed to inform ongoing policy development at the institutional and national levels.

URL : Business process costs of implementing “gold” and “green” open access in institutional and national contexts

Alternative location : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.23545/full

What does the UK public want from academic science communication?

The overall aim of public academic science communication is to engage a non-scientist with a particular field of science and/or research topic, often driven by the expertise of the academic.

An e-survey was designed to provide insight into respondent’s current and future engagement with science communication activities. Respondents provided a wide range of ideas and concerns as to the ‘common practice’ of academic science communication, and whilst they support some of these popular approaches (such as open-door events and science festivals), there are alternatives that may enable wider engagement.

Suggestions of internet-based approaches and digital media were strongly encouraged, and although respondents found merits in methods such as science festivals, limitations such as geography, time and topic of interest were a barrier to engagement for some.

Academics and scientists need to think carefully about how they plan their science communication activities and carry out evaluations, including considering the point of view of the public, as although defaulting to hands-on open door events at their university may seem like the expected standard, it may not be the best way to reach the intended audience.

URL : What does the UK public want from academic science communication?

Alternative location : http://f1000research.com/articles/5-1261/v1

Counting the costs of Open Access : The estimated cost to UK research organisations of achieving compliance with open access mandates in 2013/14

« Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Councils are the two most significant providers of public funding for research in the UK. Both have recently introduced new requirements for UK research organisations to make their published outputs openly accessible. Research Consulting was commissioned by London Higher and SPARC Europe to undertake this study of the costs to research organisations of implementing these requirements. »

URL : Counting the costs of Open Access

Alternative URL : http://www.researchconsulting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Research-Consulting-Counting-the-Costs-of-OA-Final.pdf

UK Open Access Policy Landscape

« Recent Open Access (OA) policy developments in the United Kingdom (UK) have caused stakeholders such as universities and academic libraries to have to consider how to adapt to distinct funders OA policies and to ensure compliance with those policies. Following an independent study on ‘how to expand access to research publications’, also referred to as the Finch Report, the UK Government adopted a new OA policy and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) revised their OA policy. The newly adopted OA policies require research findings to be made OA through publication in open access or hybrid journals (Gold OA). More recently, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that its OA policy for the next Research Evaluation Framework (REF) – the system that assesses UK universities research – will require the deposit of research findings in institutional or subject repositories (Green OA). By and large, the two distinct paths being currently promoted by the UK Government and RCUK (Gold OA) and the Funding Councils (Green OA) require that continued efforts be made to ensure that advice and support are provided to universities, academic libraries and researchers. They also require that coordinated efforts endure so that progress towards making research findings freely available online continues. Despite the distinct OA policies adopted by policymakers and national research funders, the UK’s movement towards OA has been a result of stakeholders coordinated efforts and is considered a case of good practice. »

URL : UK Open Access Policy Landscape

Alternative URL : http://www.pasteur4oa.eu/sites/pasteur4oa/files/resource/UK%20Case%20Study.pdf