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What we’re paying for Open Access

The Research Publications team in the Library administers the costs of publishing journal articles Open Access from two funds – COAF and RCUK.

The seven partner charities of COAF are members of the Association for Medical Research Charities (AMRC), which supported the establishment of this partnership.

COAF funds may only be used to pay open access article processing charges, not to cover other charges that some journals may levy, such as page and colour charges. Where these apply, researchers must use other funds to meet these costs.

The School also receives an annual block grant from Research Councils UK (RCUK) in which to pay for Open Access charges, however, individual grants should be spent in the first instance. The Library administers this block grant on researchers behalf.

The table below outlines the number of publications and the total amount spent on making journal articles Open Access – these come from the RCUK block grant, the Charities Open Access Fund and the School Open Access Fund.

YEAR NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS TOTAL SPEND AVERAGE COST OF ARTICLE
2014 116 £204,697.07 £1,727.50
2015 183 £316,132.35 £1,779.97
2016 243 £448,439.26 £1,884.20

The above numbers do not include the banking and currency exchange charges that the funders also pay for.

You can see which papers were paid for by viewing our Open Access sheet (via the Intranet on Sharepoint) online.


And as a reminder – the above papers have accessed the author-pays Gold Open Access route because their funders insist on immediate deposit of the published version in an Open Access repository (such as LSHTM Research Online or PubMed Central) and is freely available no longer than 6 months after publication (STEM subjects) and 12 months for research funded by ESRC or AHRC). Publishers charge for this but many allow the final draft version (after peer review) to be made OA without costs – something HEFCE now insist upon for the next Research Excellence Framework.

You can find out about publishing Open Access from the Library web pages http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/specialist_services/open_access/index.html 

Image: Golden Ceiling, Pergamonmuseum, Berlin by Stefan Schopohl (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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