Updated Guidelines for Open Access from RCUK

I’m about to head off on a short trip, so only have time for the briefest of brief blog posts today. However, at least I have a timely topic. In yesterday’s post about the RCUK Open Access Policy, I mentioned that they were revising their guidelines. Well, today the new guidelines have been published. That qualifies as timely in my book!

You can find the new policy here (PDF file).

I haven’t had time to read them carefully yet, so please feel free to do so on my behalf. Then someone can tell me through the comments box if the suggestion I made yesterday – to donate all the RCUK open access funding to the arXiv instead of handing it out to profiteering publishers – would be allowed under the new guidelines…

2 Responses to “Updated Guidelines for Open Access from RCUK”

  1. Chris North Says:

    I haven’t got a copy of the old guidelines, but according to Section 3.4 (ii):

    “The RCUK OA Block Grant is principally to support the payment of APCs. However, Research Organisations have the flexibility to use the block grant in the manner they consider will best deliver the RCUK Policy on Open Access, as long as the primary purpose to support the payment of APCs is fulfilled.”

    And Section 3.5 (i)

    “(i) Where the RCUK OA Block Grant is used to pay Article Processing Charges for a paper, the paper must be made Open Access immediately at the time of on-line publication, using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.”

    So for most astronomy journals (Science, ApJ, A&A, MNRAS, Phys Rev X), who allow publishing to arXiV of either post-print (& post-referreing) or publisher’s PDF* arXiV would seem to be fine**. If arXiV set up a donation scheme, you could pay a nominal donation per submission.

    The major exception is still Nature, who (according to SHERPA-RoMEO (http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/) only allow post-print archiving after 6 months (and so would presumably require payment under the new scheme).


    * This assumes that RCUK would be happy with the post-referring version to be made available, but not necessarily the publisher’s PDF version. If they require the publisher’s PDF, then some journals still wouldn’t allow it.

    ** The CC-BY licence requires the material to be made freely available (with credit) even for commercial use. For some journals this would seem to be more tricky…

    • telescoper Says:

      So what I’ll need to do to make the new journal compliant is charge an APC of, say, £50 and pay this directly as a fee to the referee.

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