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Research: Publishing

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 55694, tabled on 5 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to make an assessment of the potential financial effect on the higher education institutions of UK Research and Innovation's review of its Open Access policy.

Answered on

15 June 2020

The Government’s university research sustainability taskforce is examining how best to respond to the challenges for the sector resulting from COVID-19, with the aim of sustaining the university research base and its capability to contribute effectively to UK society and economy in the recovery from COVID-19 and beyond. Given the broader focus and urgency of addressing the impacts of COVID-19, at this time, the outcome of the UKRI Open Access Review does not form part of the taskforce's consideration.

The OA Review is independent from Plan S. Working internationally however, is important to help achieve open access. UKRI has joined cOAlition S, a consortium comprising research funders and foundations from across the world and supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council. The coalition aims to help make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality, and is built around the Plan S principles. UKRI will consider outcomes of the work of cOAlition S as part of its ongoing Open Access Review alongside other evidence and inputs. The outcomes of the review will determine decisions on UKRI’s OA policy.

As part of the UKRI open access review, UKRI is working with BEIS to consider implications for stakeholders. UKRI has commissioned an independent analysis to help assess the possible implications for various groups, including higher education institutions. This analysis will include direct costs and benefits and wider social and economic implications, and will be considered alongside other evidence gathered through the review, including via the consultation on a proposed UKRI policy which has recently closed. The consideration of the COVID-19 impacts on research sector, including economic implications, will be taken into account in the UKRI review.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy