The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) – which includes the Medical Research Council – recently put out a joint statement reinforcing their open access commitments (here).
This announcement came in a speech by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, showing the extent to which the principles of open access are gaining ground.
The RCUK position on open access specifically mentions their support for the author-pays model.
‘Research Councils UK and HEFCE have a shared commitment to maintaining and improving the capacity of the UK research base to undertake research activity of world leading quality, and to ensuring that significant outputs from this activity are made available as widely as possible both within and beyond the research community. Open access to published research supports this commitment and, if widely implemented, can benefit the research base, higher education, and the UK economy and society more broadly. To achieve this, open access needs to be implemented with clear licensing agreements, sustainable business models, and working with the grain of established research cultures and practices.
HEFCE and the Research Councils will work together and with other interested bodies to support a managed transition to open access over the medium term, and welcome the work of the UK Open Access Implementation Group in support of this aim.’