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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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These are my notes on The UKRI Open Access Review Consultation Document.

  1. The document informs but is not a policy for the REF-after-REF 2021.

  2. This document does not change the REF 2021 policy.

  3. For peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN the new policy proposed here would apply on and after 1 January 2022.

  4. For monographs, book chapters, and edited collections, the new policy will apply from 1 January 2024 unless a contract has been signed before that date.

  5. The new policy is designed to harmonise OA policy between the seven Research Councils, Research England, and Innovate UK. It does not include the devolved funding councils who co-own REF.

  6. The final new policy will be announced in 2020.

  7. The REF policy will be different as footnote 12 notes that it can be difficult to trace unhypothecated QR funding from Research England. Hence, if QR funding from REF is the only UKRI funding received, the (new) REF policy (when announced) will apply, not the UKRI OA policy. So Research England sits in a strange position here.

  8. The policy for the REF-after-REF 2021 will be determined by a consultation that will be launched no later than six months after the announcement of the UKRI policy.

  9. Open data is beyond the scope of this review.

  10. UKRI affirms its commitment to Plan S.

Research Articles

  1. For research articles to be in scope, outputs must meet these conditions: “the final published version of the paper (the version of record) is made freely and immediately available online via a journal or OA publishing platform” or “the version of record or peer-reviewed author’s accepted manuscript is made freely and immediately available at the time of publication in an institutional or subject repository; no embargo period would be permitted”. So it’s gold or zero-embargo green, as per Plan S. There is no preference for route.

  2. CC BY licenses must be applied to all research articles but a CC BY-ND license could be considered in exceptional cases.

  3. UKRI is considering making it a condition that authors or institutions retain copyright on their articles.

  4. There are a range of minimum technical standards for journals in which compliant articles will appear: a.) persisted digital object identifiers (PIDs) – could be a DOI; b.) article-level metadata available under CC0; c.) machine-readable information on the OA status and the license in a standard non-proprietary format; d.) long-term preservation via CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, Portico or equivalent; e.) openly accessible citation data using I4OC standards; f.) self-archiving policies registered in SHERPA-RoMEO; g.) the use of ORCID.

  5. There are a range of minimum technical standards for repositories in which compliant articles will appear: a.) PIDs as above; b.) article-level metadata as above; c.) machine-readable information on OA status as above; d.) ORCID; e.) the repository must be registered in OpenDOAR.

  6. UKRI wants advice on how and to what level they should fund this.

  7. UKRI wants advice on supporting intermediate infrastructure.

  8. UKRI is also consulting on preprints.

Monographs, Book Chapters, and Edited Collections

  1. Policy applies to all three types of output. (I just call in scope outputs from here on “books”).

  2. Trade books, scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, text books, and all types of fictional works and creative writing will be exempt.

  3. Consulting for exceptions on works with significant re-use of third-party material (the art historians will be pleased) and where the only suitable publisher does not have an OA programme.

  4. UKRI want to know views on whether doctoral research that they fund that goes on to become a book should be in scope.

  5. Books can be made OA via an institutional repository with a twelve-month embargo. It should be the version of record or later that is available.

  6. The OA version of the book has to be searchable; it can’t just be photos of the pages.

  7. CC BY license is preferred but CC BY-ND will be allowed. BY-NC will not be allowed.

  8. Consultation on rights retention for books as above.

  9. Consulting on funding for OA books.

Carrots and Sticks

  1. UKRI is working out sanctions and consults on this. It has minor/major breaches listed.