Paying fees for open access publishing: strategic response needed

Added by Sarah on 21 April 2009 12:06

The RIN and Universities UK have published new detailed and practical guidance for all those who deal with the arrangements for paying for open access publication charges.

News release - 21 April 2009

The response by universities and authors to the development of open access publishing, and the arrangements of paying the fees charged by publishers, remains haphazard in the UK.

Open access publishing has become an increasingly significant part of the research world over the last few years. But research funders’ requirements that the outputs of research should rapidly be made freely available to all readers have not been matched by consistent and readily-understandable arrangements that enable researchers to pay the fees required by publishers to ensure their work is made widely available.

Only a very small number of higher education institutions currently have any clear arrangements in place. This RIN and UUK guidance calls for a strategic response in the UK - at both institutional and national levels - to the opportunities as well as the challenges posed by open access publishing, and for good communication between all the parties involved.

The guidance offers specific advice to ensure that funders’ requirements for research to be published open access are met. It builds on experience to date, and provides practical advice on establishing a strategic and coordinated approach to the payment of publication fees.

Summary of key advice:

  • Advice for higher education institutions: institutions should designate a single person at senior level to coordinate their activities and take the lead in ensuring arrangements for paying for publication fees are developed by the institution and effective (including the provision of dedicated budgets)
  • Advice for funders: all funders should clarify how they will provide financial support for researchers in meeting their open access policies in general, and the payment of open access publication fees in particular.
  • Advice for publishers: publishers should be transparent about their business models; give clear advice to authors on their journal?s requirements on open access and the fees charges; and alert authors to the relevant funders’ policies on the use of grant income to pay open access publication fees.
  • Advice for authors: should consider their options for publishing in open access journals; familiarise themselves with funders’ policies on open access and the arrangements within their own institutions on meeting the cost of publishers’ publication fees.

The guidance is available at



Sarah Gentleman - Communications Officer - Research Information Network
Tel 020 7412 7241, email

Notes to editors

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