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Open Access: Measuring the costs to universities of implementing RCUK policy
UCL logo arma UK, London Higher

A conference and workshop was held at Senate House, University of London, on 6 November 2013 on the theme of Open Access: Measuring the costs to Universities of implementing RCUK policy.

It was hosted and arranged by London Higher (an umbrella body representing over 40 publicly funded universities and colleges in London) and supported by University college London and ARMA (Association of Research Managers and Administrators) and attended by around 40 representatives from universities across the UK.

Background to the event

The new RCUK policy on Open Access came into force on 1 April 2013. A system of block grants to pay for OA publication, to be administered locally within institutions, is the mechanism whereby RCUK aims to transform scholarly publishing over the next few years.

The event aimed to stimulate discussion by asking a series of questions. Is this the best way forward to achieve an openly-accessible research literature? How will different types of HEI comply with the new policy? What is the likely cost to universities? How can the costs and benefits be assessed?

The conference and workshop

Delegates were welcomed by Professor Geoff Rodgers, Brunel University, and Chair of the London Higher Research Excellence Group, who also introduced the speakers, as follows:

  • Scene setting: Professor David Price, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at University College London.
  • Responses from:
    • Professor Cathy Urquhart, Head of Research, Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Professor Oriana Baddeley, Dean of Research, University of the Arts
    • Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Lancaster University

The afternoon workshop was introduced by Dr Alma Swan, who described the proposed research project on assessing the costs and benefits to HEIs of the RCUK policy and invited all delegates to participate in the ensuing group discussions. During these, delegates began to provide data and discussed issues around the collection of the further data needed for the project, which will begin early in 2014, facilitated by London Higher's Research Excellence Group.

The feedback on the event was very positive, and many delegates committed to participating in the project work by seeking out and collecting data from their institutions. The research will be published and fed back to RCUK during 2014 as part of the Research Councils' own policy review.

For further information or to register to participate in the research, contact Tom Marsh, London Higher: 0207 391 0682

Last modified 20 December 2013


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