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UK Government invests £10 million to help universities move to open access

20 September, 2012
A £10 million UK Government investment has been announced by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts to help universities with the transition to open access to publicly-funded research findings.

The investment will enable a number of research-intensive UK institutions to kick-start the process of developing policies and setting up funds to meet the costs of article processing charges (APCs). This is in line with the recommendations of the Finch report on open access, published in June.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, Willetts said: “Removing paywalls surrounding publicly-funded research findings is a key commitment for this Government and will have real economic and social benefits. This extra £10 million investment will help some of our universities move across to the open access model. This will usher in a new era of academic discovery and keep the UK at the forefront of research to drive innovation and growth.”

The investment will be made to 30 institutions receiving funding through Research Councils and UK higher education funding councils. It is in addition to the contribution RCUK will be making to institutions to support payment of APCs associated with open access through block funding grants from 1 April 2013 onwards. More details of this will be announced in the autumn.

The UK Funding Councils will launch a consultation this autumn on implementing a requirement that research outputs submitted to any future Research Excellence Framework (REF) should be as widely accessible as possible.

Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings – the Finch Group

The institutions that will receive the additional funding are:

  • Cardiff University

  • Durham University

  • Imperial College London

  • King's College London

  • Loughborough University

  • Newcastle University

  • Queen Mary, University of London

  • Queen's University of Belfast

  • The University of Manchester

  • University College London

  • University of Aberdeen

  • University of Birmingham

  • University of Bristol

  • University of Cambridge

  • University of Dundee

  • University of Edinburgh

  • University of Exeter

  • University of Glasgow

  • University of Leeds

  • University of Leicester

  • University of Liverpool

  • University of Nottingham

  • University of Oxford

  • University of Reading

  • University of Sheffield

  • University of Southampton

  • University of St Andrews

  • University of Strathclyde

  • University of Warwick

  • University of York

The seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);

  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);

  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);

  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);

  • Medical Research Council (MRC);

  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);

  • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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