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RCUK Policy on Open Access: Guidance for LSE authors

From 1 April 2013 a new RCUK Policy on Open Access will apply to research papers funded by Research Councils UK.

1. RCUK Requirements

The new RCUK Policy on Open Access requires research papers or conference proceedings derived from research that is funded wholly or in part by the Research Councils to:

  • Be published in journals which offer either Gold or Green Open Access
  • Include details of funding that supported the research and a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.

To comply with the Policy a journal must:

  • either provide immediate, unrestricted access to the final version of the paper via its own website, using a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence - this is the Gold route and may involve payment of an APC to the publisher;
  • or permit the deposit of the final accepted manuscript in any repository, without restriction on non-commercial re-use – this is the Green route and does not involve the payment of an APC.

The Policy limits the delay that publishers may wish to impose between online publication and availability via the repository. The maximum acceptable embargo periods will vary according to discipline. Twelve months is permitted for arts, humanities and social sciences and six months for other subjects. Longer periods may be accepted in some circumstances.

The Policy applies to articles in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings submitted for publication after 1 April 2013. It does not cover editorials, non-peer reviewed articles, books, chapters or monographs.

RCUK is providing funding through block grants to institutions to meet the costs of APCs for a proportion of the publications covered by its policy.

2. LSE Implementation of RCUK Policy

Guiding principle

The School’s guiding principle in developing procedures to respond to and implement the RCUK Policy is that the first priority for LSE researchers when disseminating their work remains to ensure quality and impact. The School will continue to expect researchers to publish in the highest quality journals and select dissemination channels to maximize academic impact and it will provide the necessary financial support to ensure this happens.

At the same time it recognizes the obligations of recipients of RCUK grants to comply with its Open Access policy and encourages them to do so where this is consistent with the School’s requirements on journal quality and impact.

3. LSE Policy

LSE encourages authors to comply with the RCUK Policy by choosing the Green route wherever possible, depositing copies of research papers in LSE Research Online|.

Additionally, LSE will create an Institutional Publication Fund which will allow eligible RCUK funded researchers to apply for funds to pay APCs for Gold Open Access publication where this is identified as the most effective dissemination route and/or where a Green option is not available or compliant with the RCUK policy.

LSE Institutional Publication Fund

The Publication Fund will be managed by Library Services in consultation with the Director of the Research Division and the Pro-Director (Research). It will be available to all RCUK grant holders for publications which meet the following criteria:

  • Peer-reviewed article or proceedings paper submitted from 1st April 2013
  • Publication arises wholly or in part from RCUK funded research
  • Journal complies with RCUK Policy on Open Access
  • Journal does not allow RCUK compliant Green deposit or there is a compelling case for choosing Gold Open Access
  • Corresponding author or grant holder is a current member of LSE
  • Author or grant holder has deposited a copy of the accepted paper in LSE Research Online

Application procedures for the Fund are being developed and this page will be updated accordingly. If you would like to apply to the fund in the meantime, please contact the Research Support Services Team: lseresearchonline@lse.ac.uk.

4. Useful links

RCUK Policy on Open Access|
SHERPA/FACT| - Funder and author compliance tool
Finch Report|
Directory of Open Access Journals|

5. Further Advice

Library Services and the Research Division are working closely together to provide an advice service about the RCUK Policy and Open Access.

For more information contact the Research Support Services Team: lseresearchonline@lse.ac.uk|.