Open Access Publishing

Since the Research Councils UK (RCUK) position statement on Open Access (OA) in 2006, the expectation for publicly funded research outputs to be publicly available has gathered momentum. The Government has stated that it is committed to ensuring that such outputs should be freely accessible. As the bodies charged with investing public money in research, the Research Councils have stated that they take very seriously their responsibilities in making the outputs from this research publicly available – not just to other researchers, but also to potential users in business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general public.

At the beginning of May, 2012, David Willetts, in a speech to the Publishers Association [1] , said that he wants to see all publicly funded research publicly available, and that the current funding model for academic publishing will need to change.

On 18th June, 2012, the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch published its report Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications [2].

The report made clear that whilst several different channels for communicating research results will remain important over the next few years, it recommended a clear policy direction in the UK towards support for ‘Gold’ open access publishing, where publishers receive their revenues from authors rather than subscribers, and so research articles become freely accessible to everyone immediately upon publication.

The Government response [3] to the report accepted all the report’s recommendations and looked to the Funding Councils and Research Councils to implement them stating that“A clear policy direction should be set towards support for publication in open access or hybrid journals, funded by APCs (article processing charge), as the main vehicle for the publication of research, especially when it is publicly funded”.

As a result, RCUK has produced a new policy on open access [4] which applies to all qualifying publications being submitted for publication from 1 April 2013. The Research Councils will recognise a journal as being compliant with their policy on Open Access if:

The journal provides via its own website immediate and unrestricted access to the publisher’s final version of the paper (the Version of Record), and allows immediate deposit of the Version of Record in other repositories without restriction on re-use. This may involve payment of an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) to the publisher.

Where a publisher does not offer this option, the journal must allow deposit of Accepted Manuscripts that include all changes resulting from peer review (but not necessarily incorporating the publisher’s formatting) in other repositories, without restrictions on non-commercial re-use and within a defined period. In this option no ‘Article Processing Charge’ will be payable to the publisher.

Research Councils will accept a delay of no more than six months between on-line publication and a research paper becoming Open Access, except in the case of research papers arising from research funded by the AHRC and the ESRC where the maximum embargo period is 12 months.

Funding to do this has been made available through Brunel’s Open Access Publishing Fund, which is administered by the Library on behalf of Professor Geoff Rodgers.

[1] (accessed on May 2nd 2012)

[2], July 2012 (accessed July 31st 2012)

[3] (accessed on 16th July 2012)

[4] (accessed on 16th July 2012) 

Applying to the Brunel OA Publishing Fund

The OA Publishing Fund is open to all members of Brunel University, regardless of their source of research funding. The fund is available to support Open Access charges (for OA or hybrid journals) – it cannot be used to pay page or colour charges in non-OA journals. Staff can apply for multiple grants in any one year but where funds are limited priority will be given to staff that are submitting their first application.

Authors of articles that are funded should request a Licence to publish from the relevant publisher rather than signing a standard copyright transfer agreement. The JISC and SURF (the equivalent organisation in the Netherlands) have created a licence to publish that authors can use to retain the copyright in their own works while giving the journal or book publisher the rights to publish their work. The site also provides sample wording for various options in case an author or a publisher would like to amend a publishing agreement in certain circumstances.

Staff that receive funding will also be expected to deposit the relevant publications in BURA.

Please use the Application Form to submit a bid for funding for an OA publication (Brunel Staff only). Where possible, applications should be submitted before the relevant articles are submitted to the journal.

Completed applications for funding should be submitted by email to Please contact Carolyn Bailey (Research Publications Manager, Library) on the email address above or on 66017 if you have any questions about the OA Publishing Fund.

Page last updated: Friday 28 March 2014