Review of Open Access Policy Dependencies

20 Jan 2016

In this blog post from 5 June we announced the beginning of our project for Knowledge Exchange, which looked to establish and demonstrate clearly to policy makers how the implementation and monitoring of their OA policies depends on a set of non-commercial services used by researchers and institutions.

Seven months and many meetings later, we are delighted to announce that the project has been successfully completed. The summary report, which is available here, clearly shows the importance of non-commercial services to the OA agenda, and it demonstrates that many of these services are at risk and would warrant support in financial and/or governance terms.

Highlights of the report include:

  • an analysis of several OA services and policies currently in use;
  • a summary of the many different positions on OA that research funders and institutions have adopted
  • a set of case studies that illustrate the direct or indirect dependency of OA policies on key services
  • the views of stakeholders on the services that enable compliance with OA policies
  • a matrix of dependency risks and possible risk reduction options
  • use cases, presented in accessible formats and language for a non-technical audience.

The study relies on extensive consultation with research funders, institutions and service providers. We then shared interim findings at a workshop with 30 representatives from institutional libraries, research funders and policy makers from around Europe which took place in London on the 10th November 2015. Participants discussed the degree of commonality between the current OA policies in place across the KE countries and at European Commission level, and considered a wide range of services on which these policies depend.

The meeting was particularly important because it cemented agreement on the risks that exist to these services, and their importance to the delivery of OA policy goals, and highlighted the need for further action. As a follow-up to our work, service providers, HEIs, research funders and policymakers will further discuss a number of strategies for securing the future for OA services, ranging from a purely market-based approach to the establishment of an overarching body or mechanism to monitor, support and improve OA services.

Although we would like to think so, it’s not always the case that our work inspires international policy changes – but when it does, this job becomes even more rewarding. It’s not yet time to celebrate for supporters of open access – the hard work is yet to come.

You can read the report and a summary of the project here.