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Raising compliance with UKPMC Funders’ OA mandates:

action plan


The Wellcome Trust, on behalf of the UKPMC Funders’ Group, held a workshop on the 24th
September 2009, for HEI repository managers and research/open access administrators, to
discuss the issues involved in ensuring that funder open access mandates are met.

Prior to the workshop, a questionnaire was distributed to delegates, to identify the different
barriers (and the most important of these) which prevent adherence to the mandates.

The results of the survey were summarised during the workshop and then delegates broke
into groups to develop actions around the main themes of :
• Accessing funding
• Communication
• Monitoring compliance
• Messages for publishers

The actions generated from these groups form the basis of the joint action plan below, which
comprises three ‘mini’ action plans: one for funders, one for institutions and one for

The UKPMC Funders’ Group will take overall ownership of the further development
and implementation of these plans and will work with institutions and publishers to
do this, through a new ‘Institutions’ panel’ and a reconvened ‘Publishers’ panel’.

Alison Henning
UKPMC Funders’ Group Project Manager
16 February 2010

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The delivery of the Funders’ Action Plan will be managed by the UKPMC Funders’ Group.

1. Improving access to funding

1.1 Funders must be explicit about how researchers and institutions can access funding for OA.

1.2 Research Councils should provide clearer guidance about how publication costs can be
claimed, through either direct costs or indirect costs. Specific proposals include:
• develop advice about the inclusion of publication costs within indirect costs, to address
concerns that papers are often published after the lifetime of a grant.
• include a specific line in application forms to include the costs of publications.

2. Communications / improving researchers’ understanding of how to make articles OA

2.1 All communications from funders should articulate the benefits of open access and UKPMC,
explaining to researchers that there is value to them (and to the research community more
generally) in complying.

2.2 Funders should work with the UKPMC Engagement team to increase publicity at research
conferences and to better target junior researchers.

2.3 Communications activities should continue throughout the year, with a particular focus in
January / February and over the summer.

3. Monitoring compliance / enforcing sanctions

3.1 Funders should develop processes to monitor (and enforce) compliance at the time of repeat
applications. Proposals should be considered by the usual processes but, where an application
is successful, funding should be withheld until the researcher has demonstrated that all
publications from previous (eligible) grants are available in UKPMC.

3.2 Funders should encourage use of the grant reporting tool on UKPMC to track publications, for
example in end of grant report forms. This would help demonstrate the benefits of UKPMC, as
well as being a more efficient way of monitoring compliance and tracking grant outputs.

3.3 Funders should consider ways to monitor compliance at an institution level – either through the
Grant Reporting tool, or through internal processes.

4. Working with publishers

4.1 Funders should reconvene the Publishers’ Panel, and explore other mechanisms of working
with publishers, to ensure the aims of the Publishers’ Action Plan are met.

5. Working with institutions

5.1 Funders will establish an Insitutions’ Panel, and explore other ways of working with institutions
to ensure the aims of the Instituions’ Action Plan are met.

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The delivery of the Institutions’ Action Plan will be managed by the UKPMC Funders’ Group
through the ‘Institutions’ panel’.

1. Communication

1.1 Institutions to make OA a clear priority within their organisation and effectively communicate this
to their researchers and relevant administrative staff.

1.2 Institutions to work with UKPMC and individual funders on communication activities.

1.3 Arrangements for meeting OA fees should be effectively communicated to researchers and
relevant administrative staff.

2. Improving access to the funds available

2.1 Institutions to ensure OA publishing costs are requested both as an indirect and direct cost on
applications submitted to the research councils. This will require incorporation of publication
costs in the methodology used to calculate the Full Economic Costs on an application within an
institution (e.g. TRAC).

2.2 Ensure there is a consistent and co-ordinated approach to managing the payment of OA fees.

2.3 To develop a mechanism to spilt the cost of OA fees proportionally between Funders, where

3. Internal policy

3.1 Institutions to develop a clear internal policy on how to deal with open access and ensure this is
effectively communicated.

3.2 Where an OA fee has been paid to a publisher, to develop a process to ensure that the paper is
made available from UKPMC, at the time of publication. Where a paper is not available,
Institutions should contact the relevant publisher(s) concerned. Any issues/problems with
individual publishers can be brought to the attention of the Funders.

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The delivery of the Institutions’ Action Plan will be managed by the UKPMC Funders’ Group
through the ‘Publishers’ panel’.

1. Clarify and standardise open access and self archiving policies

1.1 Publishers are encouraged to develop a common metadata standard/XML schema – using
agreed and standardised nomenclature – to describe their open access and self-archiving
policies. [Annex A, below, provides a simple example of what this data might look like. More
work will be required to flesh this out, but this should give an example of the sort of data that
should be made available.]
• These policies should be defined at the journal level (not just publisher level).
• This metadata should be exposed as XML which would allow third party services (e.g.
RoMEO database, library catalogues etc) to harvest and display this data.
• Where an OA option is made available by a publisher this option should be made
available to anyone (who is prepared to meet these costs) and not limited to named
funders etc.

1.2 In parallel with developing a schema to describe their OA policies, publishers should make this
policy information available in a consistent place on journal web sites, such as within the
“Instructions to Authors” pages.

2. Simplify process for authors who wish to select open access option

2.1 Publishers are encouraged to simplify the process for those authors who wish to select the OA
option. Suggestions on how this might be achieved include:
• Providing clear, consistent information on journal web sites – perhaps using animated
walkthroughs, videos etc. – explaining how the OA option works and what the author
has to do.
• Providing a staffed mailbox (e.g. where questions can be
posed (and answered).
• Providing and maintain an FAQ page on journal web sites.

2.2 Publishers should consider modifying their manuscript submission system workflows, such that
information about the OA option is presented to the author at the time when a paper has been
accepted for publication.
2.3 Publishers are also encouraged to share best practices in terms of encouraging greater uptake
of the OA option.

3. Make explicit the relationship between subscription costs and uptake of the OA option

3.1 To give confidence to funders, researchers and institutions that they are not paying access fees
twice (e.g. library subscriptions and open access fees) publishers should commit to adjusting
their subscription rates to reflect increases in income from open access fees.
3.2 Publishers should publish data (on an annual basis) detailing the number of articles – per
journal title and expressed as a % of the total number of articles for that title – that were routed
via their OA option. Such transparency would again reassure funders that access fees are not
being paid twice.

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4. Provide tools for institutions to track status of author-pays articles

4.1 Institutions need a way in which they track invoices and identify where articles are in the
publication process. As such, publishers should consider providing reports to institutions
showing OA transactions, along with the PubMed/UKPMC ID.

5. Adopt less pejorative language for OA option

“Author pays” is an unhelpful (and typically inaccurate) way to describe the funded OA option.
To encourage greater uptake, publishers are encouraged to use language such as “article
processing charges” or “publication fees”.

Publishers’ Action Plan Annex A – Simple examples of OA/self-archiving metadata

Example 1: Full OA journal Example 2: Hybrid journal

Name of journal: PLoS Medicine Name of journal: Bioinformatics

Publisher: Public Library of Science Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: xxxx-xxxx ISSN: xxxx-xxxx
Open access option (Gold): Yes Open access option (Gold): Yes
Licence: CC-BY Licence: CC-BY-NC
Licence Version 2.0 Licence Version 2.0
Article version: Version of Record Article version: Version of Record [NISO
[NISO language] language]
Repository deposition service: Yes Repository deposition service: Yes
Name of deposition Name of deposition repositories:
repositories: PubMed Central PubMed Central
APC Fee: £xxxx APC Fee: £xxxx
Date of fee 01/08/2009 Date of fee 01/12/2009
Embargo period: 0 Embargo period: 0
Self archiving option (Green): Yes
Licence: CC-BY view of Optional Oxford Open
Licence Version 2.0 Self archiving option (Green): Yes
Article version: Version of Record Licence: None
[NISO language] Article version: Accepted Manuscript [NISO
Repository deposition service: Yes language]
Name of deposition Repository deposition service: No
repositories: PubMed Central Fee: None
Fee: £xxxx Embargo period: 12
Date 01/08/2009 URL:
Embargo period: 0
URL: archiving_policya.html

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