Open Access to research publications involves making them freely available online rather than charging readers to read and use them. Open Access to research data makes data more widely available for re-use by others to support research, innovation and wider public use.
The University has been operating under funder mandates for Open Access to publications for several years. The Wellcome Trust makes a block grant available for the payment of Article Processing Charges and both Wellcome and a number of other life-sciences funders require article deposit in Europe PubMed Central - an Open Access repository.
In response to the Finch report, RCUK announced a revised Open Access policy on 16 July 2012. The policy requires all RCUK-funded publications submitted for publication after 1 April 2013 to adopt either of the two OA models described below. The Government will provide the University with £1.15 million to be spent on Article Processing Charges (APCs) to pay for research to be published in Open Access journals under the Gold Open Access scheme.
HEFCE has promised a consultation on Open Access implementation early in 2013. The 2014 REF is not affected, but subsequent REFs may have Open Access requirements.