Open Access Increasing engagement with academics to move beyond compliance

    Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


    As a result of the Finch Report of 2012, RCUK (Research Councils UK) introduced an open access policy, and funding was provided to Higher Education Institutions from BIS (Department for Business, Information and Skills) to implement open access. Indeed, my first post in open access was a result of this funding. However, it is HEFCE’s Open Access policy of 2014 that has forced the biggest change upon UK Higher Education Institutions. Open access is no longer only for “gold” funded research outputs, but for all research outputs. It is not limited to journal articles and conference proceedings, but has moved on to include educational resources, chapters, books, software and datasets. Universities across the UK have created numerous open access related posts, in turn creating and enhancing workflows in an endeavour to meet the requirements of HEFCE’s open access policy.

    Whilst the number of academics aware of HEFCE’s open access policy has certainly increased considerably, it is questionable as to whether academics are more engaged with open access than previously. If HEFCE’s open access policy ceased to exist, and we couldn’t yield our “if you don’t deposit your work then it won’t be eligible for submission in the next REF” line, would open access still be a concern to academics? Do academics engage with open access because it’s a good thing to do, or just because they have to? Universities in the United Kingdom offer various workflows, dependant on what is deemed to work best for their institution. Some institutions offer mediated deposit whereby academics email their manuscripts to a centralised email account and the rest is taken care of by repository/open access staff. Other institutions require academics to upload their own manuscripts to a CRIS (Current Research Information System), and to update this as the paper moves from being accepted to published. This paper will look at various workflows that Higher Education Institutions have adapted in order to implement HEFCE’s open access policy and whether this has resulted in a change of academics attitudes and behaviours in terms of open access. Were the workflows created with a view of increasing engagement with open access? Or in order to not burden academics with administrative work? Is it detrimental to remove academics from the workflow around making their work open access, or is it essential to make open access happen?

    The presentation looks at ways in which support staff can maximise the support available to academics and increase engagement with open access by academics. HEFCE’s open access policy is now one year into effect and the RCUK 5 year block grant “transition” to open access ends in October this year. Both policies have resulted in an increase in administrative work for both academics and support staff. Both have made a change in how academics perceive open access. Is this support sustainable? Without this support will “green” open access continue?
    Period16 Aug 2017
    Event titleWorld Library and Information Congress Satellite Conference 83rd International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) General Congress and Assembly: Open Access: Action Required
    Event typeConference
    Conference number83
    LocationGdańsk, PolandShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • OA
    • Open Access