Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Technology (17 Jun 2015)

Photo of Stephen McPartlandStephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that technology and knowledge generated through UK universities and research institutions using public funding is open access.

 

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

The Government remains committed to open access to research publications in line with the recommendations of the 2012 Finch Group Report. Since Finch, the Government has provided £47m to support the transition to increased open access. A survey by the Publishers Association reported that within one year, as a result of UK policy, 70% of journals published open access immediately (‘Gold’) or included a Gold open access option, and 96% of journals had an embargo period of 24 months or less and 64% an embargo period of 12 months or less.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has published guidance agreed by all of the parties involved in the Finch process. A panel set up by RCUK published a review of implementation of open access on 26 March 2015 and RCUK will issue its response in the summer. A UK Open Access Co-ordination Group has been set up to inform and guide implementation, including publishers, funders, and other key interests.

The Government recognises access to underlying research data as a complementary need to open access to research publications. We welcome the production of a Concordat on Open Data agreed across the research community, which will be published this summer.

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