Gold Open Access project

The Government announced on 16 July 2012 that it had accepted the recommendations of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch. The Finch report recommended a clear policy direction in the UK towards support for 'Gold' Open Access (OA) publishing, where publishers receive their revenues from authors rather than readers, and so research articles become freely accessible to everyone immediately upon publication.

This transition will present challenges to all stakeholders across the research lifecycle, from institutions and researchers to learned societies, funders and publishers. As one of its responses to Finch, the Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG) has commissioned ALT to create resources to provide information, advice and guidance for stakeholders — and in particular for learned societies — on moving to and managing Gold OA. ALT has recent experience of making the Gold OA transition successfully with its Research in Learning Technology journal.

The project will support the adoption of Gold OA by helping learned societies and other stakeholders make an accurate and honest appraisal of the challenges and by providing support to meet these challenges. To do this it will produce

  • a resource comprising web content and supporting documents consisting of mainly UK-focused information and guidance for a range of stakeholders about Gold OA scholarly publishing;
  • an impact assessment framework and sustainability plan for the resource so that it could be economically maintained in an up-to-date state for a reasonably long period after its initial launch.

To help shape these resources, the project will first carry out an analysis of stakeholders in Gold OA and review existing resources to determine the gap between what exists and what is needed.

The project is being led by Seb Schmoller, with David Jennings, Nicky Ferguson and Dr Caroline Sutton of Co-Action Publishing. David Jennings is project manager, with overall oversight by Dr Maren Deepwell, ALT Chief Executive. The project reports to Neil Jacobs, JISC's Programme Director for Digital Infrastructure.

The project is fortunate to be supported by an Advisory Group with wide and deep experience:

  • Peter Ashman, Publishing Director, BMJ and BMJ Journals
  • Dr Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services & UCL Copyright Officer; President of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries)
  • Ian Carter, Director of Research and Enterprise, University of Sussex
  • Paul Cottrell, UCU National head of public policy, University and College Union
  • Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, London
  • John Flint, Professor of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield
  • Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director, PLOS ONE
  • Rita Gardner, Director, Royal Geographical Society
  • Paul Harwood, Deputy CEO, JISC Collections
  • Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director, BioMed Central
  • Mark Thorley, Head of Science Information, Natural Environment Research Council, Data Management Coordinator, Chair RCUK Research Outputs Network, Member CODATA Executive Committee.

The project was completed in Spring 2013.

Public Deliverables

  • Stakeholder Analysis (Caroline Sutton, November 2012) This document is an analysis of the stakeholders in the process of a learned society considering moving a journal to Open Access, and of their interests in this process.
  • The resources on the OAIG web site (Spring 2013).