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News from the open access movement


Monday, May 14, 2007

The OA mandate at the UK Department of Health

The UK Department of Health pledged to adopt an OA mandate back in January 2007, at the launch of UK PubMed Central (UKPMC).  (The DH is a member of the UKPMC Funders Group and all members of the Funders Group pledged or adopted OA mandates.)  The DH has finally released its policy, though I can't tell exactly when.  (Thanks to Matt Cockerill.)  From its undated Statement on DH / NIHR-funded research and UK PubMed Central:

The following approach is consistent with the requirements adopted by the other members of the UKPMC Funders Group.

  1. The DH requires that, for applications submitted from 1st April 2007, electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal (or final reports and / or executive summaries) which are supported in whole or in part by DH funding, are deposited at the earliest opportunity and in any case within six months - in UK PubMed Central (UKPMC).
  2. Deposition of a research paper, final report or executive summary into UKPMC does not prevent authors from also depositing a copy in the institutional or another subject-based repository should they choose to do so or be required to do so by their employing institution.
  3. The DH also strongly encourages, but does not formally oblige, all grant recipients to deposit articles arising from grants awarded as a result of applications submitted before 1st April 2007.
  4. The DH strongly encourages authors to publish in journals that allow them (or their institutions) to retain ownership of the copyright.
  5. If author/institution-ownership of copyright is not permitted by the publisher, authors should publish in journals that permit deposition of...the published paper in UKPMC within six months of publication.
  6. The DH will work with publishers to put in place mechanisms for publishers to deposit publications directly, on behalf of authors, where this is possible....
  7. The DH's grant conditions are consistent with this approach and do not require amendment....
  8. Where researchers inform the NIHR [National Institute for Health Research] of their wish to publish a paper in a journal that is unwilling to agree either to author/institution-ownership of copyright, or to deposition in UKPMC within six months, the NIHR may grant permission for authors to submit the paper for publication in such a journal.
  9. Authors will benefit in two ways.  Firstly, their papers will be given a much wider form of dissemination and will be able to be read without restriction by anyone with internet access.  Secondly, as researchers they will increasingly be able to search the full text of all the research published in their area, not just the research available to them via the subscriptions their institution offers.

PS:  Kudos to all involved at the DH and NIHR.