Open access funds ‘adequate’, government maintains

Adequate funding has been allotted for universities to meet the cost of open access, the government has maintained

The comments come in a response to an inquiry by the Commons Business, Innovation and Skills committee, whose final report in September questioned aspects of the way open-access policy has been formulated.

In its response – published by the BIS committee today - the government said that universities have now received “adequate funding” from Research Councils UK to meet the cost of open access.

RCUK also responded, saying that it is “committed” to covering the costs of publishing papers resulting from research it funds.

It added that the move to open access is “a journey and not an event” and that changes to the way papers are published will occur over a transition period.

The number of papers published in the open access model will increase year-on-year, as will the as will the funding available to support article processing charges, it said.

RCUK has earmarked £17 million to create open-access publication funds for more than 100 higher education institutes in 2103-14, a move which is supported by government. This figure will rise to £20 million in 2014-15 and is on top of an initial sum of £10 million made available to 30 institutions to kick start the process.

The body added that it was “disappointed” that some institutions, including the Russell Group, are continuing to say that it is only providing enough funding to cover 10 per cent of papers produced in 2013-14.

“Whilst this is technically correct, it refers to 10 per cent of total papers produced by an institution, and not 10 per cent of those funded by RCUK,” the statement said.

RCUK admitted that the figures are based on “estimates and assumptions” but said that it “had to start somewhere”.

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