Gold and green

Further to my earlier open access blogs, here and here, having finally worked my way through the unexpectedly heavy traffic around the University Hospital of Wales I spent the first part of today in an open access workshop, facilitated by colleagues from Cardiff University’s library and information services. I was struck by the speed with which things are changing. I learned that Cardiff researchers now have a good chance of securing University funding to support the open access publication of papers arising from RCUK-funded studies. Whether this applies to all papers submitted to all journals with all varieties of open access (‘gold’, ‘green’ or ‘hybrid’) I’m not sure about. I hope it does, because I’d hate to think that researchers end up making decisions on where to publish based solely on their need for financial support to cover their APCs.

I also learned that, as things stand, there is no University financial support for the open access publication of papers from projects completed with funding from the NIHR or NISCHR. This is because neither is a Research Council, even though both run highly competitive funding schemes of particular interest to health and social care researchers. Bids to both bodies can include requests for funds to cover APCs, but this is a cost which can quickly add up. If everyone adds APC fees to their grant proposals then fewer studies will be funded, as the money to support paid-for ‘gold’ open access publication has to come from somewhere. The cost-free ‘green’ open access model, using institutional repositories, is an option here: but generally I am, again, driven to the conclusion that APC tariffs urgently need to come down.

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