New report highlights £9m compliance cost of UK open access requirements

We’re delighted to announce the publication of our new report on the cost to UK research organisations of implementing funder open access policies.  Commissioned by London Higher and SPARC EuropeCounting the Costs of Open Access highlights the compliance burden associated with the move to open access publication of research articles, and for the first time identifies the administrative cost of making articles open access through the ‘gold’ and ‘green’ routes.  Based on a national survey of UK research organisations conducted in September 2014, the report’s key findings include:

  • Achieving compliance with Research Council UK’s open access Policy cost at least £9.2m in 2013/14 – with a further £11m or more spent on article processing charges (APCs).

  • The time spent on increasing open access to research within UK research organisations in 2013/14 is equivalent to more than 110 full-time equivalent staff members.

  •  The burden of compliance falls disproportionally on smaller institutions, who receive minimal grant funding.

  •  The cost of meeting the deposit requirements for the UK’s post-2014 Research Excellence Framework is estimated at £4-5m.

  • Making an article open access through payment of an APC (the ‘gold’ route) takes 2 hours or more, at a cost of £81.

  • Making an article open access through self-archiving in an institutional repository (the ‘green’ route) takes just over 45 minutes, at a cost of £33.

A copy of the full report is available to download here, and the findings are made available under a CC-BY licence.  The underlying data and workings are also freely available to download via Figshare by clicking here.

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