Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nottingham creates an OA publishing fund

Stephen Pinfield announced at the June 6 ARMA conference that the University of Nottingham had set up an OA publishing fund to help cover publication fees charged by fee-based OA journals.  See his slide presentation, Setting up central funds and processes for open-access publishing and dissemination

From Natasha Robshaw's summary of Pinfield's presentation:

The final presentation was given by Stephen Pinfield, Chief Information Officer, University of Nottingham, who discussed how libraries and research administration can and should work together to set up central funds and processes for open access publishing.  The presentation started with an overview of the funders' policies and the routes to open access via open access journals and repositories.  It is hoped that, soon, all UK institutions will have repositories in place, but as an interim measure JISC has launched the Depot, a national repository to which any UK author can submit their research articles.  Stephen went on to discuss the need for institutions to put in place arrangements to manage Wellcome funding and similar allocations from other funders to cover OA charges. He noted that clear policies, publicity and support need to be associated with these funds.  Stephen announced that Nottingham University has set up a central fund for any author to apply for when publishing in open access journals.  This fund covers all Nottingham University authors, no matter who they are funded by, and in its first year is set at £20,000 from FEC income. The fund  is expected to grow significantly in future years.  Their library’s periodicals budget is currently £2.7 million so, as open access publishing grows to account for a larger fraction of all publications, it is likely that the money from this subscription budget will also be transferred to supplement the open access publishing fund.


  • Universities need to join funding agencies in helping to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals.  Kudos to Nottingham for its willingness to do so (as I once put it) "today as an investment in a superior scholarly communication system, tomorrow from the savings on canceled subscriptions." 
  • If there are other universities with similar funds, I'd like to hear about them.
  • Of course, any university willing to pay these fees should also be willing to adopt a strong policy encouraging or requiring OA archiving for the research output of the institution.  The two strategies are compatible and complementary.