The purpose of the study was to identify the effects and impacts of open access on publishing models and institutional repositories in light of national and international trends. This included the impact of open access on the quality and efficiency of scholarly outputs, specifically journal articles. The report presents options for the Research Councils to consider, such as maintaining the current variation in Research Councils’ mandates, or moving towards increased open access, eventually leading to Gold Standard.
Welcoming the study, Professor Ian Diamond, Chair of the RCUK Executive Group said: "This excellent study sets out a way forward for the UK Research Councils in relation to open access, building on the extensive activities already supported through repositories such as UK PubMed Central and ESRC Society Today. The Research Councils look forward to working with their partners across the research community to consider the options."
In response to the study, the Chief Executives of the Research Councils have agreed that over time the UK Research Councils will support increased open access, by:
- building on their mandates on grant-holders to deposit research papers in suitable repositories within an agreed time period, and;
- extending their support for publishing in open access journals, including through the pay-to-publish model.