1.6 Implementing Open Access Policies

Open Access policy may be adopted at three levels - Institutional Level, Funders’ Level and Publishers’ Level because of their variant nature of infrastructural needs and usage. This section will expose you with adequate information about policies undertaken by these three levels.

1.6.1 Institutional Policy

The first open access institutional policy was adopted by the School of Electronics & Computer Science4 at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, in 2000. This policy claims that authors of the schools under the university have to deposit their post-print articles (final version of their peer reviewed version). After this initiative, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (2004) and University of Minho, Portugal adopted open access policy. For the current status of different types of policies, see ROARMAP5. Some examples of institutional mandate are:

  • University of Leige: A good policy is implemented by the University of Liege6 in Belgium in May 2007, which is an institutional immediate deposit. It expects the authors of papers deposit their articles in institutional repository to maximize the visibility, accessibility, usage and applications of their research work.
  • Harvard Open Access Policy: Another good term of policy has been adopted by Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This is the example of rights-retention policy with waiver option. Harvard agreement says “...Each Faculty member grants to the President and Fellows of Harvard College permission to make available his or her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. In legal terms, the permission granted by each Faculty member is a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit...". 

1.6.2Funder Policy

Ten years back in 2002, Budapest Open Access Initiative gave first definitions of the basic concept of open access including green and gold roads/routes. After that many important initiatives have taken place to enrich the open access movement by implementing policy or by taking various initiatives voluntarily or in mandatory option. Major funding bodies supporting open access policies include US NIH (National Institute of Health) and Research Councils, UK. In ROARMAP7 we see there are 85 funders mandate and 12 proposals are there on process. Some pioneer funders’ mandates are enlightening the path of open access. Among them Wellcome Trust mandate is most comprehensive one.

Wellcome Trust: Wellcome Trust (U.K.) is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It ensures that the published scholarly outputs of publicly funded research are made freely available in order to use knowledge in a manner that maximizes health and public benefit. In its mandate, the Wellcome Trust:

  • expects authors of research papers to maximize the opportunities to make their results available for free;
  • requires that all research papers funded in whole or in part by the Wellcome Trust be made available via the UK PubMed Central repository as soon as possible, and in any event within six months of the date of publication;
  • will provide grant holders with additional funding to cover open access charges, where appropriate, in order to meet the Trust’s requirements;
  • encouragesand where it pays an open access fee, requiresauthors and publishers to license research papers in such a way that they may be freely copied and re-used (for example for text and data-mining purposes), provided that such uses are fully attributed;
  • affirms the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author’s work is published, that should be considered in making funding decisions. 

European Commission: Recently European Commission has just implemented its OA policy on 13 December, 2013. The Commission expects researchers: “Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. [Each beneficiary must] (a) As soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications. Moreover, the beneficiary must aim to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications. [Each beneficiary must] (b) Ensure open access to the deposited publication via the repository at the latest: i) on publication, if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or (ii) within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case”.

Last modified: Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 2:33 PM