News & features from LAS

RCUK’s Open Access block grant 2016/2017

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has recently announced the amounts that it will be paying to institutions in the block grant to support the implementation of its open access policy.

This policy states that any research article or conference proceeding that is published and results from a RCUK funded grant should comply with the  RCUK Open Access policy.

The policy states that publications should be made Open Access and it supports both ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ routes to Open Access (see the section on the difference on the tab above), though RCUK has a preference for immediate Open Access with the maximum opportunity for reuse.

The School receives a block grant from RCUK in which to pay for Open Access charges to meet the OA Policy. The Library administers this block grant on researchers’ behalf.

Research Councils UK are the following:

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Medical Research Council (MRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

In 2013/14 the amount the School received was £96,466. In 2014/15 it was £113,489. In 2015/16 it was £129,512 and for 2016/17 it is £117,766.31.

The value of the award is based on the staff effort on active grants and the current Article Processing Charge (APCs) rates, with an adjustment to reflect the amount of unspent RCUK open access block grant funds carried forward into this financial year and forecast spend to 31 March 2017.

Funds received to date (since 1 April 2013) £364,467
Expenditure to 31 Mar 2016 £309,633
Underspend £54,834
Forecast for period 1 Apr 2016 to 31 Mar 2017 £172,600
2016 OA Algorithm total £143,967
TOTAL OA 2016 Grant £117,766.31

Since the grant was set up it has allowed 153 research articles to be paid to be made Open Access but as you will see from the figures, the School has under spent by £50,000. It’s likely therefore that there are a number of RCUK grant holders in the School  who are not availing themselves of the block grant in the School to pay for publications to be Open Access. We would therefore encourage all staff under an RCUK grant to consider the money available.

Further information about the block grant and how to pay for Open Access using its funds can be found via the RCUK-OA pages in the Library.
You can also see how we spend the block grant via a Google spreadsheet.
Happy Open Access Week
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