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Access to Research Outputs

The Research Councils are committed to the guiding principles that publicly funded research must be made available to the public and remain accessible for future generations.

Following a wide consultation with stakeholders, RCUK published a position statement on access to research outputs in June 2006; individual Research Councils then published their own position statements (see links below).

In 2008, RCUK funded an independent study into open access, which was conducted by SQW Consulting and LISU, Loughborough University. Its purpose was to identify the effects and impacts of open access on publishing models and institutional repositories in light of national and international trends, including the impact of open access on the quality and efficiency of scholarly outputs, specifically journal articles.

The report from the study was published in April 2009.

Download the final report here PDF, 488.

Download the annexes here PDF, 4.27MB.

In response to this, the Chief Executives of the Research Councils have agreed that over time the UK Research Councils will support increased open access, by:

  • building on their mandates on grant-holders to deposit research papers in suitable repositories within an agreed time period, and;
  • extending their support for publishing in open access journals, including through the pay-to-publish model.

RCUK is now beginning this implementation process through a number of cross-Research Council working groups, and will be liaising fully with all interested parties, including the academic community, publishers, and organisations such as JISC and the Research Information Network.

Carol Milner
Secretary, Research Outputs Group
Tel: 01793 414679

RCUK consultation
RCUK position statement

Research Council position statements:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Medical Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
Science and Technology Facilities Council


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