RCUK Guidelines

From: Arthur Sale <ahjs_at_ozemail.com.au>
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 09:22:57 +1000

It is unfortunate that the guidelines issued by the UK Research Councils
that are mandating Open Access do not use exactly the same wording. It is
also unfortunate that the wording they do you is imprecise. Both of these
will lead to confusion in the minds of grant recipients (grantees).


However it is very easy to fix this, and I recommend the following
wording to the RCUK as a preferred set of words for guidelines
established by Councils. They have been drafted somewhat legalistically,
but also to make the intent very clear. Few researchers will
misunderstand them.



Grantee(s) are required to deposit the text of their final manuscript in
<repository class to be named>. This deposit becomes due on notification
of final acceptance and should be made no later than the date of
publication. Should the grantee agreement with the publisher prohibit
immediate open access, the text shall be set as restricted access (in
other words not open to the Internet) for a period not exceeding six
months; otherwise the text should be made open-access (in other words
open to any Internet browser or OAI-PMH harvester) immediately on



At the same time as deposit, the grantee(s) shall provide the repository
with appropriate metadata, which shall be made open access immediately.


The headings are purely for convenience and can be omitted. The wording
ensures that the full text of the postprint is captured at or near the
point when the researcher has it available. Asking for it many months
later is likely to be much more difficult as the file will have been
&#8216;filed&#8217; and maybe mislaid. It also ensures that the metadata
are also made open access as soon as the deposit occurs in all cases,
regardless of any publisher access restrictions.


The proposal I have put to the Australian Research Council is along
similar lines, to be incorporated into the funding agreement signed by
successful grantees and their institutions.


Arthur Sale

Professor of Computing (Research)

University of Tasmania, Australia
Received on Sat Jul 01 2006 - 01:42:08 BST

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