UK goes big on open access

Science funding agency UK Research and Innovation announces that from April next papers based on research it funds must be free to read immediately on publication 

UKRI will require articles to be either available via a journal or an institutional repository. The agency commits stg £46.7m ($88m) to fund fees for publication in journals.

But there appears to be no final position on covering author fees for journals that publish OA articles in paywalled publications –Springer, publisher of Nature asks €9500 ($A17900) per article.

The new policy will apply to monographs and book chapters from January2024.

The UK is in-line with the European Plan S and extends the international campaign to make new research free to read from publication.

However, UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway says, “we must all go further. There are still far too many articles that end up locked away behind paywalls – being cut off from an unimaginable range of useful applications in industry, in healthcare, or in wider society.”

UKRI’s announcement will increase attention on Australian funding agencies. The National Health and Medical Research Council announced in April it is looking at requiring papers based on research it funds to be OA. Chief Scientist Cathy Foley is also considering an OA strategy (CMM April 16).