Press Release: RCUK Announces Proposed Position on Access to Research Outputs Stevan Harnad 28 Jun 2005 13:19 UTC

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    "New international study demonstrates worldwide readiness
    for Open Access mandate" (June 23 2005)

        Forwarded RCUK Press Release 28 June 2005

        RCUK Announces Proposed Position on Access to Research Outputs

    The principal investors in publicly-funded research in the UK have
    responded to the debate on improved access to research outputs by
    putting forward their emerging views on the issue.

    The eight UK Research Councils, under the umbrella of Research
    Councils UK (RCUK), have proposed to make it mandatory for research
    papers arising from Council-funded work to be deposited in openly
    available repositories at the earliest opportunity.

    The Councils are seeking views on their position statement published
    today (28 June 2005) on the RCUK website.

    RCUK spokesman, Professor Ian Diamond said that Councils have already
    widely consulted the research community:

    "We've held workshops, given evidence at Select Committees, met with
    the publishers through a DTI working group and written out to all
    UK Vice Chancellors to share our views as they emerge on this issue
    and hear what others are saying," he said.

    "The technology that has led to this debate is still evolving and
    so is our position. We see today's statement as a starting point
    and we're actively seeking the views of all parties involved in the
    debate, such as the Learned Societies," he added.

    RCUK's position would apply to new grants awarded after 1 October
    this year. Given the long-term nature of most research, the impact
    of the policy will not be felt immediately.

    "The Research Councils are responsible for supporting and promoting
    the activities of a research base that is vibrant, productive and
    sustainable. We're therefore committed to ensuring the widest possible
    dissemination of ideas and knowledge, effective quality assurance of
    research and its results, cost effective use of public funds and the
    long-term preservation of research outputs. Our emerging position on
    the access issue should come as no surprise to those who understand
    our remit," said Professor Diamond.

    RCUK proposes:

      * A requirement for all grants awarded from 1 October 2005 that, subject to
      * copyright and licensing arrangements, a copy of any resultant published
      * journal articles or conference proceedings should be deposited in an
      * appropriate e-print repository (either institutional or subject-based)
      * wherever such a repository is available to the award-holder. Deposit should
      * take place at the earliest opportunity, wherever possible at or around the
      * time of publication.
      * Research Councils will also encourage, but not formally oblige,
      * award-holders to deposit articles arising from grants awarded before 1
      * October 2005.
      * Councils will ensure that applicants for grants are allowed, subject to
      * justification of cost-effectiveness, to include in the costing of their
      * projects the predicted costs of any publication in author-pays journals.

    The Research Councils argue that technology offers new possibilities to
    communicate the results of research, through developments in electronic publishing
    such as open access journals and e-print repositories.

    Notes for editors

    A full copy of RCUK's position statement on access to research outputs can be
    found at

    Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the partnership between the UK's eight Research
    Councils. Through RCUK, the Councils work together to champion the research,
    training and innovation they support. The Councils are independent
    non-departmental public bodies, funded by the Science Budget through the Office of
    Science and Technology.

    RCUK was created to increase the collective visibility, leadership and policy
    influence of the Research Councils; to stimulate multi-disciplinary research that
    encourages collaboration; to provide a single focus for collective dialogue with
    stakeholders and to encourage greater harmonisation of internal operations.

    The partnership is led by the RCUK Executive Group, which meets monthly and
    comprises the chief executives of the eight Research Councils. The Group is
    currently chaired by Professor Ian Diamond, chief executive of the Economic and
    Social Research Council.

    BBSRC currently manages media relations for
    Research Councils UK. Please contact Media Officer, Matt Goode 01793 413299

    The eight UK Research Councils are:

      * Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
      * Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
      * Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC);
      * Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
      * Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
      * Medical Research Council (MRC);
      * Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
      * Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC).