Open Access

UCU as a union supports moves toward open access publication.

However, the union has been consistently critical of the government's support for the recommendations of the Finch report, which were to move rapidly toward 'gold' open access, which would have meant academic staff having to pay article processing charges to publish their work. Our Congress called on the union to campaign to ensure that 'pay to say' article processing charges would form no part of any open access regime.

Alongside many other academic bodies, UCU lobbied against the imposition of 'gold' access and we welcomed HEFCE's consultation document on its proposals to move toward open access on a 'green model'. Under the green model, publications could be considered open access if they are submitted to a repository in post-peer reviewed, pre-publication form. This would require academic staff to pay no article processing charges.

Read our briefing document on Open Access and HEFCE's proposals here [33kb].

UCU has now responded to HEFCE's consultation, having conducted a survey of more than 1,600 academic members in higher education. You can read our new campaign briefing, which updates members on the consultation response and the results of the survey here: 

Open Access: UCU campaign briefing, Nov 13 [62kb]

UCU believes that like the REF, the issue of open Access publication raises profound issues about our research infrastructure.

We will continue to campaign to ensure that moves toward Open Access are implemented properly and fairly at institution level.

Last updated: 8 November 2013