United Kingdom

United Kingdom

National Open Access Desk

  • Frank C. Manista  |
    • Most government funding for research in UK universities is directed through Research Councils UK (RCUK), Wellcome Trust, and UK Research and Innovation. Those three funders have all adopted mandates for open access dissemination of the research outputs that they fund. Major charity funders include, Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation, both of whom have open access policies. Further information on funding requirements and publisher policies in the UK and internationally are available through the Sherpa/JULIET and Sherpa/ROMEO services.

      Jisc and Jisc Collections have been foremost in their efforts to promote open access initiatives: promoting the desiderata for what publishers could do; the designing and building of such services as the Publications Router and Jisc Monitor, and the continued development of Counter compliant metrics through IRUS. RIOXX standards also are aligned with various UK repositories and with the work done for OpenAIRE Advance.

      Support and landscape

      • At a national level, Jisc offers open access support to its own members and as the National Open Access Desk (NOAD) for OpenAIRE2020.  

        For queries regarding OA in general, Jisc Monitor, Jisc Publications, Router, or if you are a UK project funded by Horizon 2020, please email us:  -- just make sure to indicate which area your query is about in the subject line.

      National initiatives

        • Jisc is one of 34+ partners in OpenAIRE Advance and many of its services are used by the OpenAIRE community. These include:

        If you are currently using the Romeo API and haven’t already done so, you will need to register for a new API here: v2.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/api.html 

    • Jisc's IRUS-UK (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics UK) is a national aggregation service, which provides COUNTER-conformant usage statistics for all content downloaded from participating UK institutional repositories (IRs). It is also part of the OpenAIRE usages statistics portal, as well as involved in several other international initiatives in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

      IRUS UK currently has 175 active repositories with over 1,925 million unique items that have been downloaded and over 230 million downloads as of the beginning of March 2020. From the beginning of 2020, IRUS now includes research data repositories as part of the full IRUS service, and it provides stats that conform to both the COUNTER R5 CoP and COUNTER CoP for Research Data. 

      IRUS is also going to become an open access service in the next couple of months (Q2), so there will no longer be the need to use Shibboleth logins to view the data. It is combining this with being a COUNTER R5 ready service. COUNTER Release 5 supports recording of information about metadata views ‘Investigations’, in addition to downloads of full text items ‘Requests’. The team have updated their IRUS Tracker to accommodate this development. It currently has 115 (of the 175) who are R5 ready. All the repositories in IRUS can still receive stats data, but it is just that they have to be R5 ready to receive data on ‘Investigations’.

      OpenAIRE statistics

      6998612 OA publications in 1623 repositories
    • National policy

      The key purposes of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) include:

      • to inform the selective allocation of funding for research
      • to provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment
      • to provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks, for use in the higher education sector and for public information.

      This major exercise is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies (UK Research and Innovation, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland).

      The REF was first conducted in 2014, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

      The development of the next exercise is now well underway and scheduled to take place in 2021.

      Institutional policy

      For institutional OA policies, please consult the following links:

      Funder policy

    • Key networks and aggregators

      • CORE: https://core.ac.uk/

        CORE is jointly run service between Jisc and the Open University. It is an aggregation of open access content from the UK and worldwide repositories and open access journals. It provides a range of services at a single point of interaction: aggregation, search, discovery, analytics, and an API for text mining access. It offers services to librarians, research managers to provide business intelligence functions to support quality management and also management and compliance reporting.

        The service aggregates all open access content distributed across different repository systems worldwide, enriches this content and provides access through a range of services. For the most up to date usage statistics, please visit https://core.ac.uk/data/.


      Data repositories

      OpenDOAR is the quality-assured global directory of academic open access repositories developed and maintained by Jisc. It enables the identification, browsing and search for repositories, based on a range of features, such as location, software or type of material held. Tools and support enable both repository administrators and service providers to share best practice and improve the quality of the repository infrastructure.

      Currently, there are more than 5000 international open repositories listed in the directory.

      To register with OpenDOAR: Submit the online form bit.ly/361rOdC. The Editorial team will review the submission (inc website + content). If eligible, a record is created based on the information provided, including what we gather from the repository's and organisation's websites.

      National publishing initiatives


      National agreements with publishers

      Jisc and five UK-based society publishers have signed pilot transitional open access (OA) agreements, now available to UK universities. The agreements are the first to result from work undertaken by Jisc Collections, negotiating with smaller publishers to offer a sustainable transition to OA.

      The Microbiology SocietyPortland PressIWA Publishing, the Company of Biologists and the European Respiratory Society all now offer transitional journal agreements through the national Jisc consortium.

      These ‘read and publish’ two-year pilots allow 100% of UK scholarly output to be published OA in the societies’ hybrid journals, with some including fully OA titles in the fixed-price deals.

      The most extensive UK transitional agreement to date accelerates open access publishing and expands access to one of the most substantial collections of scholarly content. Jisc and Wiley, a global leader in research and education, have struck a four-year “read and publish” agreement that offers researchers at UK universities open access (OA) publishing in all Wiley journals at no cost to them.

      As part of the new agreement, the proportion of OA articles published by UK researchers will increase from 27% to an estimated 85% in year one, with the potential to reach 100% by 2022. The agreement will also enable institutions and their users to access all of Wiley’s journals.


      OA books

      There is a growing trend across European countries to include open access monographs in funder policy. Most recently, this push towards open access mandates was captured in the revised guidance on Plan S, published on 30 May 2019, stating that “cOAlition S will, by the end of 2021, issue a statement on Plan S principles as they apply to monographs and book chapters, together with related implementation guidance”. 

      In the UK, the four UK HE funding bodies have signalled the intent to mandate open access for monographs submitted to the Research Excellence Framework beyond the 2021 assessment and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a signatory of Plan S, has launched its own open access policy review. This will cover monographs and book chapters. Therefore by 2021, the major UK funders will have implemented policies and mandates on open access monographs, joining the growing international list. At the same time, the UK has seen a growing movement of academic and library led presses, many of whom publish OA monographs.

    • At a national level, Jisc offers open access support to its own members and as the National Open Access Desk (NOAD) for OpenAIRE Advance.  

      For queries regarding OA in general, Jisc Monitor, Jisc Publications Router, or if you're a UK project funded by Horizon 2020, please email us: and indicate which area your query belongs to in the subject line.

    • Funding Agencies

      The United Kingdom has 63 funding agencies which are listed here:

      Other funding agencies are
      • Research Councils UK
      • UK National Funders
      • Wellcome Trust
      Integrated in OpenAIRE

      The United Kingdom has 2 funding agency integrated in OpenAIRE:

      • Research Councils UK
      • Wellcome Trust


      See also Monitor Statistics of United Kingdom RCUK and Wellcome Trust

    • 24 May 2018
      OpenDOAR, is a Jisc-run, authoritative Directory of Open Access Repositories and each OpenDOAR repository listed has been reviewed by a member of staff to ensure that the OpenDOAR entry is accurate. T...
      20 April 2018
      On the 15th of March 2018, we ran the national OpenAIRE workshop for the UK in Birmingham; during the day, there were presentations on three separate projects: Mike Mertens talked about OpenAIRE2020, ...
      06 July 2017
      Each year the UK Research Office (UKRO) organises a two-day conference aimed primarily at European Liaison Officers, European research managers, Research Councils and policy makers. The 2017 edition o...
      10 November 2016
      Following Open Access week, on Tuesday, the 1st of November 2016, OpenAIRE, in partnership with Jisc, held a national workshop for UK universities, which focused on the uptake of the Horizon 2020 open...
      20 January 2016
      As a result of a growing interest from UK researchers and academic support staff on how to apply for the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot funding, a first 'national webinar' on this European Commission funding...
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    Agreement No. 777541.


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