The UKRI Open Access Policy includes a new requirement that from 1 January 2024, the final version of record or author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) of monographs, book chapters and edited collections must be made open access (OA) within 12 months of publication via a publisher’s website, platform or repository, with a Creative Commons licence.
As part of our support for the implementation of this requirement, we are talking to publishers, the research community, libraries, and infrastructure providers through a series of roundtables, workshops and webinars in order to:
- Raise awareness of the upcoming policy,
- Gain insights and understanding, and address pain points of the practical challenges associated with OA for books,
- Develop and share best practice.
Engagement with publishers
When it comes to negotiating OA agreements and thinking about UKRI’s OA monograph policy, our principal objectives are to promote bibliodiversity and encourage sustainability via a range of business models beyond the Book Processing Charge (BPC). Our supporter membership model agreements, such as such as Diamond OA, and the new open access community framework extend OA publishing opportunities to authors regardless of their funding situation.
We are seeking open dialogue with publishers to encourage engagement with a range of OA models and options for funded and non-funded authors; currently we are actively working with a diverse set of publishers in order to agree Diamond OA pilots for books.
Another objective is to ensure that the building blocks are in place around book chapters, which are in scope of the policy, and we are organising workshops to understand more about the workflows in the publication process for edited collections.
And in support of institutional publishing, we are working with a group of UK OA university publishers to establish a Community of Practice that will act as a collective voice for presses aiming to establish alternative, and cost-effective ways of supporting OA book publishing.
Engagement with the research community
Booking is now open for the first in a three-part series of OA book “myth busting” webinars. The series will address common concerns in the areas of Culture vs. compliance, Quality and prestige, and Copyright and third-party rights management, and we have a range of exciting speakers lined up, including authors, OA presses, libraries and other experts in the field.
Sarah Thompson, Head of Content and Open Research at the University of York, is one of the confirmed speakers: “I am delighted to be working with Jisc to drive forward the conversation around open access for books as well as looking to address legitimate concerns and suggest ways to remove barriers to open access publishing.”
As part of OAPEN’s Editorial Advisory Board, we have contributed to the updated OAPEN OA Book Toolkit. The latest iteration of this valuable resource directly addresses concerns raised by researchers during the consultation for the UKRI OA policy, and now includes a series of OA author success stories written by the authors themselves.
Engagement with libraries
We are talking to institutions and libraries about how they can play an active role in preparing for and implementing this new policy.
We will shortly be sending out a library requirements survey where we will gather evidence about support for OA book initiatives and additional feedback on institutional working practices and funding. The responses will be analysed and incorporated into Jisc’s OA books Negotiation Strategy, which will be presented to the UUK Content Negotiation Strategy group for approval.
And as mentioned above, we are also negotiating a range of diamond OA book agreements, which have no fees for either authors or readers. We will provide updates on these forthcoming diamond OA book agreements we negotiate and on pledging for the OA Community Framework.
Engagement with infrastructure providers
We are building on the report to UKRI on infrastructure gap analysis by ensuring that Jisc’s data requirements are aligned internally, and with other infrastructure providers.
We are introducing a new unified user interface and enhanced platform for our SHERPA services, which will allow us to respond to user needs around OA books policy and compliance data. To receive communications and updates directly from the Sherpa Product Team, and to provide feedback into general development and direction of the service, sign up for the Sherpa Users mailing list.
We will ensure that OA books are included in our new Monitor Open service, which will provide a platform that centralises major workflow components and streamlines OA management to help enable comprehensive reporting and efficient tracking.
And finally, we will convene a workshop for OA book infrastructure providers and will publish a report and recommendations on current challenges experienced and data requirements as soon as possible.
Our work on the transition to OA for books is not just limited to these shores! Separate to the work we are doing to support the UKRI OA policy, we are also engaged in international initiatives, and are working with international projects, groups and service providers to ensure a more collaborative approach to OA for books.
We are an Executive Assembly member of OPERAS (open scholarly communication in the European research area for the social sciences and the humanities), a signatory of the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access and a project partner in the new Horizon Europe project – Developing Institutional Open Access Publishing Models To Advance Scholarly Communication (DIAMAS).
The future for OA books is bright, and the future is busy! There’s more information about our role in open access on the Jisc website, and if you have anything to discuss, want to get involved, or simply would like to hear more about any of the above, please get in touch (mailto:email@example.com).
Follow Jisc Open Research on Twitter to keep up to date.