Guide sets out open-access payment guidelines

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The UK’s Research Information Network (RIN) and Universities UK (UUK) have provided advice on paying open-access publication charges. In a new guide, the organisations set out recommendations for how to fund the fees that some journals charge so that scholarly articles can be made available free of charge to readers as soon as they are published.

For higher education institutions, the guide recommends that dedicated budgets are set aside for open-access publishing and that a single senior-level person coordinates the institution’s activities. It also advises institutions to take a consistent approach across the institution for how open-access fees are paid and communicate their approach effectively to academic and administrative staff.

The guide also has advice for funding bodies. It recommends that they clarify how they will help researchers meet open-access requirements, especially how they will help in paying publication fees. RIN will also continue to work with funders and UUK to monitor and assess developments in open-access policy practice and funding and promote innovation in scholarly communication to help research.

Recommendations for authors include the use of services such as the Directory of Open Access Journals to help them consider the options for publishing their results in open-access titles. They should also familiarise themselves with their funders’ policies and requirements and ensure that they have access to the funds necessary to meet the publication fee before they submit an article.

In addition, the guide advises publishers to be as open as possible about their business models and their incomes from subscription and publication fees. Publishers of hybrid journals should adjust their subscription rates to reflect increases in income from open-access fees, it said.