General news Open research

How journal aggregators can support the new UKRI Open Access Policy 

One of our priorities is to scale up our work with smaller publishers and societies to help them deliver full and immediate open access (OA) in a way that is easy to administer. We’ve developed a tailored approach to reflect the different resource, revenue and publication profiles of smaller publishers and learned societies.

What does our tailored approach look like?

Our approach incorporates the SPA-OPS Transformative Agreements toolkit and the principles of the toolkit to foster Open Access agreements commissioned by ALPSP and cOAlition S. We use publication data from funders and publishers to calculate publishing activity by UK authors and the value of OA revenue. With this data, plus subscription information provided by publishers, we can assess which OA model might be affordable and sustainable for publishers and institutions. We then work with publishers to finalise details of the agreed model, using template documents and providing dedicated support along the way.

What have we achieved so far?

Since 2020 we have negotiated OA agreements with 20 small and society publishers, and since April 2022, 40 smaller publishers have confirmed Route 2 (green OA) compliance with UKRI’s new OA policy.

Discussions are ongoing with approximately another 80 publishers; however, some 48 smaller publishers and societies are yet to engage with us, with hesitation stemming from concerns that meeting the requirements of UKRI’s new OA policy will be too time consuming or difficult to achieve, or that it might have undesirable consequences.

In many cases, journal aggregators, who bring together content centrally on a single platform, are perfectly positioned to play a role in driving forward OA by helping to facilitate open conversations about the UK policy landscape and amplifying the support available to help their publishers or editors develop and implement an OA plan. According to our analysis of journals that UKRI funded authors had published in from 2017-2020, 52 titles are aggregated by BioOne’s all title list, and 561 are on JSTOR’s all title list.

How journal aggregators can help

We invite online journal aggregators, who have nurtured essential connections with nonprofit societies, associations, institutions, and other independent publishing organisations, to work collaboratively with us in support of their publishers and journal communities.

This partnership working can support the following benefits:

  • Ensuring that UK authors can submit their work to their chosen journals
  • Greater reach, reuse and impact for OA content
  • Enhanced author experience and administrative efficiencies
  • Encouraging and enabling wider participation in research and publication
  • Preserving variety in publishing formats and languages to sustain a diverse publishing ecosystem

The minimum commitment we are asking of aggregators that agree to work with us is to do the following:

  • Circulating guidance documents provided by Jisc to their journal contacts in a timely fashion
  • Circulating a maximum of 2 reminder emails to journal contacts on request, as needed

A further option is to work collaboratively with us to develop the guidance documents, e.g. by providing feedback.

If you are a journal aggregator that’s interested in working with us, please contact our Licensing team for more information.

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Role of the Open Research team

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By Alice Gibson

Licensing Manager, Jisc

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