EPSRC has introduced a new policy on access to research outputs. The policy has been mandated by the EPSRC Council and recognises the need for increased availability and accessibility of publicly-funded research findings, as demonstrated by the recently announced Working Group established by Science Minister David Willetts.
Open access to research publications is now policy in an increasing number of major funding agencies such as the other UK Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust, the US National Science Foundation and National Institutes for Health.
EPSRC’s policy, which is in line with RCUK’s position, covers access to any form of scholarly work arising from EPSRC funding and accepted for publication in an academic journal.
The policy requires that all published EPSRC-funded research articles submitted for publication from 1 September 2011 must be made available on an Open Access basis.
Importantly, the policy leaves researchers free to publish in the journal most suited to the subject of their research. It is expected that publications will be made Open Access through one of two main routes:
Gold Open Access (pay-to-publish) – peer-reviewed papers published in fully Open Access journals which do not charge subscription fees, or in ‘hybrid’ subscription journals which enable free access to ‘pre-paid’ articles. Subject to certain criteria the publishing fees may be met from direct or indirect costs on EPSRC Research Grants.
Green Open Access – research is published in traditional subscription journals and authors self-archive their papers (as accepted for publication) in a digital online repository.
Publications will preferably be openly accessible from the date of publication. However, the current prevalence of embargo periods means this may not be a realistic option in some areas of engineering and physical sciences research. EPSRC therefore encourages authors to publish within the shortest embargo period attainable commensurate with ensuring their work achieves maximum impact.
Further information can be found here: Policy on access to research outputs.