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Oxford University Press compliant with the latest open access policies

By Rhodri Jackson

In 2012, open access moved from being an interesting topic of conversation to a major consideration for all those working in academic publishing. As a result of highly publicized policy changes in this area, OUP recently announced that from the 1st April 2013 the majority of our journals are fully compliant with the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust policies on open access.

OUP’s open access history

OA is not new for OUP - our open access programme, Oxford Open, dates back to 2005. We publish 13 fully open access titles, and over 230 ‘hybrid’ titles, and through these two channels we published over 3,200 open access papers in 2012. With the new funding in place, and in order to meet the needs of our authors, OUP, in consultation with our partners, have now extended open access options to virtually all our journals. We understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution to open access, and so have worked closely with our partners to keep OA options as flexible as possible for authors.

OUP’s mission is to facilitate the widest possible dissemination of high-quality research and we embrace both ‘gold’ and ‘green’ open access publishing (summarized below) to support this mission. As a result of this, the majority of our Journals have joined the Oxford Open initiative, which allows authors to pay to make their papers freely available immediately on publication. Increasingly, major funding agencies, including RCUK and Wellcome, and, more recently the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP),are requiring open access to research papers funded by such organizations (either by paying a charge for immediate open access or by depositing their article in a repository after an embargo period).

RCUK open access policy

The RCUK policy on open access requires authors to comply either by publishing ‘gold’ OA using a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY), or by ‘green’ OA after embargo periods specified by the RCUK and laid out in the Publishers’ Association flow chart below. Authors will be able to comply via both routes with OUP:

- ‘Gold’ open access – the vast majority of our titles offer authors the option of making their paper immediately available by payment of an APC (Article Processing Charge). Authors will be able to choose between various Creative Commons licences, including CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, and CC-BY-NC-ND. The exact choice of licences is dependent on individual journal policy.

- ‘Green’ open access – the embargo periods for OUP journals largely comply with the RCUK/Wellcome policies, as laid out in the RCUK and Government endorsed flow chart.


PA decision tree


How does this affect authors?

The first thing to emphasize here is that authors who do not want to publish OA will not be affected in any way – it’s still perfectly possible to publish in the ‘normal’ manner with OUP journals. However, all authors who do wish to publish OA will be able to simply choose which option they prefer when they come to sign their licence to publish. If they choose ‘gold’ OA they will be required to pay an APC online. If they choose to publish under subscription control, they will be able to place their article in a repository after the appropriate embargo. Either way, concise and clear communication throughout the production process will ensure authors are well aware of the options available to them, and the rights they have to re-use, deposit and rework their articles.

Thinking globally

The publishing industry doesn’t start and end in the UK. Indeed, the UK makes up only around 6% of global output. OUP is participating in active discussions in the US in the wake of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo on public access, including, for example, participating in the development group for the CHORUS initiative (the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United Status). We will continue to work globally in order to ensure our journals also comply with funding mandates in those jurisdictions. We will keep our partners fully informed of progress.

Mandy Hill, Publishing Director, further commented: ‘It is important for us to continue to help authors comply with their funders’ mandates, particularly in what promises to be a time of change. We will also continue to work with the RCUK and other funders to report back on the outcomes of the new policies.’

Rhodri JacksonFor more information, please contact:
Rhodri Jackson, Senior Publisher, Oxford Open
rhodri.jackson@oup.com | +44 (0) 1865 353510