Survey of Open Access Costs for Institutions

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Research Consulting News | Research Consulting

London Higher and SPARC Europe have jointly commissioned Research Consulting to evaluate the costs to UK higher education institutions of compliance with funder open access policies, specifically those of Research Councils UK and the Higher Education Funding Councils. An on-line survey of compliance costs is now open to all UK Higher Education Institutions and Public Sector Research Establishments and will be available from 1-30 September 2014. Early responses are strongly encouraged, and any data received by 10 September will be used to prepare an interim submission on compliance costs to the Independent Review of Implementation for RCUK’s open access policy. Subsequent findings of the project will be made available to the RCUK Review Panel as they become available in October and November 2014.

While past studies have investigated the economic implications of alternative scholarly publishing models, the financial and administrative implications for institutions of a shift to open access publishing remain poorly understood. This study will therefore source data on the additional administrative burden placed on researchers and administrative staff as a result of funder OA policies.

Anticipated outputs include:

  • The range of costs to institutions of implementing the RCUK policy, and its impact on research intensive, teaching-led and specialist institutions.
  • An estimated compliance cost for the UK higher education sector as a whole of implementing the RCUK and HEFCE policies.
  • Indicative figures for the full economic cost to institutions of making an article open access through the ‘gold’ (publishing in an open access journal, which may involve payment of an article processing charge) and ‘green’ routes (self-archiving by authors of a version of the article in an institutional or other repository).

The study will also seek institutions’ views on the benefits arising or anticipated from implementation of the policies.

The project is overseen by a steering group comprising representatives of the academic, library and research management communities within UK higher education, and chaired by Dr Paul Ayris, Director of Library Services at University College London. Data collected via the on-line survey will be supplemented by a series of case study visits, culminating in a final report to London Higher’s Research Excellence group in November 2014.

To participate in the study, representatives of institutions and PSREs should submit data via the on-line survey at: Please ensure that only one submission is made per institution.

For further information on the project please contact

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