Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Medical Research Council (10 Jul 2015)

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Photo of Stephen McPartlandStephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to ensure that technology and knowledge generated through Medical Research Council investments is open access.

Photo of Jo JohnsonJo Johnson Minister of State (Universities and Science)

The Government and its delivery partner the Medical Research Council (MRC), remains committed to open access to research publications in line with the recommendations of the 2012 Finch Group Report.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has published guidance agreed by all of the parties involved in the Finch Group. An independent panel set up by RCUK published a review of implementation of open access in March 2015, and later this summer RCUK will issue its response which will describe how the MRC and other research councils will address the issues identified. A UK Open Access Co-ordination Group was set up to inform and guide implementation of the changes, including publishers, funders, and other key interests.

The research councils recognise access to underlying research data complements open access to research publications. RCUK recently published further guidance on best practice in the management of research data which applies to MRC funded research in universities, research organisations and the MRC’s own research units and institutes. The Government welcomes the production of a Concordat on Open Data agreed across the research community, which will be published this summer.

Responsibility for managing technologies and other intellectual property resulting from MRC investments rests with the organisation that generates them. It is the responsibility of the research organisation, and all engaged in the research, to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the intellectual assets obtained in the course of the research are used to the benefit of society and the economy.

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