The implications of the new UK Open Access policies on the ownership of copyright in academic publishing

The issue of who owns the copyright in works produced by academics during employment is not new. The practice is that academics, as authors – copyright creators, are routinely assigning the copyright for free to academic publishers in order to have their works published even though the production of such works might be said to be in the course of employment and therefore the copyright belonging to the employer (the university). A literature review will show only one side of the coin where – unsurprisingly – intellectual property (IP) scholars agree that they own the copyright in the works published during employment.

The other side of the coin is not usually discovered because employers are not IP experts and are not in the business of writing academic articles. However, the general belief of the management is that the universities own the copyright as employers. More recently, UK universities have to comply with new Open Access policies which basically requires that publicly-funded research should be freely accessible. The Gold Open Access model is preferred by many academic publishers whose business model relies on academics (actually their funders) paying article processing charges (APCs) while the Green Open Access model is preferred by the universities as being virtually free of any charges.

But since most of the research is publicly-funded, suddenly the issue of who owns the copyright in works produced by academics during employment becomes a very stringent one, not to mention expensive. This paper will discuss the problem of copyright ownership in academia and how the new Open Access policies might affect it. While it is possible to discuss copyright without mentioning Open Access, it would be quite difficult to discuss Open Access without mentioning copyright. A possible solution will be proposed and discussed in order to help universities comply with the new policies by using their preferred Green Open Access route.

URL : The implications of the new UK Open Access policies on the ownership of copyright in academic publishing

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Strategies for Success: Open Access Policies at North American Educational Institutions


Recognizing the paucity of quantitative and qualitative data from North American educational institutions that have pursued open access policies, the authors devised a survey to collect information on the characteristics of these institutions, as well as the elements of the open access policies, the methods of promoting these policies, faculty concerns about the policies, and how those concerns have been addressed.

The data collected through survey results from fifty-one institutions can inform the strategic decisions being made by other institutions considering an open access policy and illustrates the essential roles that academic libraries can play in the development and passage of open access policies.


Institutional policy implementation at University of Minho, Portugal


This case study describes the implementation process of the Open Access institutional policy at the University of Minho (UMinho), Portugal. Starting with a brief introduction about the institution, in terms of its academic community and research, the document then provides a detailed description of the steps taken to implement the UMinho’s institutional repository (the IR) and the Open Access policy. We highlight the main goals which oriented the implementation of the repository, the devised communication plan, the value-added services created for authors, and finally, the engagement within the international community in these areas.

Regarding the Open Access policy, we present a brief summary of the main points of the self-archiving policy, approved late 2004, and also point out the main additions to the policy when it was upgraded in 2011.
This case study also provides some figures and tables about the results of the various monitoring processes carried out by the University of Minho Documentation Services to follow-up and measure policy compliance.
In summary, since the beginning of 2004 with the IR implementation, several initiatives have been taking place with the purpose of increasing the number of deposited documents. The Open Access policy adoption was, definitely, the main success factor amongst all the other initiatives and efforts.

URL : Institutional policy implementation at University of Minho, Portugal

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Legal Aspects of Open Access to Publicly Funded Research


Internet growth, content digitisation, and expanding “big data” and data analytics capabilities have affected the ways in which publicly funded research results are accessed, disseminated and used. While these technological advances have made sharing and processing information easier, that does not change the fact that the information may be protected by IP laws.

Open access efforts, which aim to make the outputs of publicly funded research more widely accessible in digital formats, therefore raise a number of IP policy questions. To explain the interplay between open access and IP laws, this chapter provides an overview of the IP regimes that protect research outputs in a sample of OECD jurisdictions. It then reviews the open access policies that are in place in some of those jurisdictions and examines two contexts in which IP questions can arise when open access principles are applied: public/private partnerships and text and data mining.

URL : Legal Aspects of Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

Assessing Readiness for Open Access Policy Implementation across Europe


This report presents a European-wide case study for assessing EU Member State’s readiness for Open Access (OA) policy implementation – and specifically for the European Commission H2020 policy. Aspects like the availability of OA infrastructure, the awareness of OA and the availability of harmonised working procedures and coordination mechanisms are analysed, providing the means to assess the situation of specific countries.

URL : Assessing Readiness for Open Access Policy Implementation across Europe

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Les revues de sciences humaines et sociales en France: libre accès et audience


“La Commission européenne a émis le 17 juillet 2012 une recommandation en faveur du libre accès aux résultats de la recherche financée sur fonds publics.

La question posée aux politiques publiques est celle de la durée pendant laquelle l’accès peut être payant avant le passage à la gratuité de l’article. Il s’agit donc de prendre la mesure des gains et des coûts d’une telle politique de libre accès pour déterminer quel serait le délai optimal d’embargo.”


The public impact of Latin America’s approach to open access


“This study explores the extent to which research published in Latin America—where the vast majority of which is made freely available to the public—has an impact and reach beyond the academic community. It addresses the ways in which the study of research impact is moving beyond the counting citations, which has dominated bibliometrics for well over the last 50 years. As more of the world’s research is made freely available to the public, there is an increasing probability that the impact and reach of research extends beyond the confines of academia.

To establish the current extent of public access, this study explores who the users of Latin American research are, as well as their motivations for accessing the work by using a series of simple pop-up surveys, which were displayed to users of the two largest scholarly journal portals in Latin America.

The results, after thousands of responses, indicate that traditional scholarly use makes up only a quarter of the total use in Latin America. The majority of use is from non-scholar communities, namely students (around 50% of the total use) and from individuals interested for professional or personal reasons (collectively around 20% of the total use). By linking the survey responses to the articles being read, it was also possible to identify points of convergence and divergence in student, faculty, and public interest groups.

Finally, this study employed methods from a new field of inquiry, altmetrics, in an attempt to capture engagement with research on the social Web. The success of such methods for the Latin American case were limited due to low coverage levels, but the research nevertheless contributes to the understanding of nascent field of altmetrics more broadly. The study concludes with a discussion of the conceptual, political, curricular, and methodological implications of this new approach to scientific communication.”


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