News: Funds for Open Access to 30 UK Universities

Thirty research-intensive universities have been chosen by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to share a £10 million fund to help universities publish publicly-funded research under open access models.

The funding, announced on 7 September, will be divided between the 30 universities that receive most funding through the research councils and UK higher education funding councils. Other universities will be able to apply for a second block open access grant that will be announced later in the autumn.

The 30 successful universities include 23 out of 24 Russell Group members. The London School of Economics is the only Russell Group member that will not be eligible. The seven non Russell Group members eligible for the funding are the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Leicester, Loughborough, Reading, St Andrews and Strathclyde.

A BIS spokeswoman confirmed to Research Fortnight Today that the money has come from “efficiency savings” made by research councils and higher education funding councils.

The £10m fund represents a slice of the £50m to £60m per year that the Finch review said universities would need to support the transition to open access publishing.

Science minister David Willetts said in a statement that the money “will usher in a new era of academic discovery and keep the UK at the forefront of research to drive innovation and growth”.

The announcement has also been welcomed by supporters of Gold open access models, including RCUK, the Wellcome Trust and Nature Publishing Group.




Notes to editors:


  1. The Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch can be found here:
  1. The Government response to the Finch report can be found here:
  1. Research Councils UK announced its new open access policy on 16 July 2012. Further information is available at:
  1. RCUK’s full open access policy can be found at:
  1. The UK Funding Councils refers to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).
  1. HEFCE’s statement on open access can be found at:
  1. A list of institutions that will receive the additional funding is available from Research Councils UK at
  1. The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
    • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

  1. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Source: (we thank Stephen Clark for the pointer)

This post will expire at 10:05am on Wednesday April 16th, 2014

Comments are closed.