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RAS responds to RCUK on dissemination of research proposals

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 16:16
Published on Thursday, 01 September 2005 00:00
The RAS has responded to the proposal of the eight UK Research Councils, under the umbrella of Research Councils UK (RCUK), that research papers arising from Council-funded work must be deposited in openly  available repositories
In particular  RCUK has proposed that :

 *  for all grants awarded from 1 October 2005, subject to copyright and licensing arrangements, wherever possible, a copy of any resultant published  journal articles or conference proceedings will have to be deposited  in a freely accessible e-print repository. Deposit should take place at the earliest opportunity, wherever possible at or around the time of publication.

 *  award-holders will also be encouraged, but not formally obliged,  to deposit articles arising from grants awarded before 1 October  2005.

 *  applicants for grants will be allowed, subject to justification  of cost-effectiveness, to include in the costing of their projects,  the predicted costs of any publication in author-pays journals.

 The Research Councils's position is that technology offers new possibilities to communicate the results of research, through developments in electronic publishing such as open access journals and e-print repositories. Their full statement can be read
on the RCUK website  at

The RAS has made a comprehensive response which puts a major focus on peer review  and stresses that the sustainability of peer review is  an important management issue for the Society. That leads naturally  to the financial impact of the RCUK repository policy. The RAS  takes the position that the jury is out on this issue and that more  debate, guided by quantitative data, is essential. But since the impact is currently unknown it's a risk that the Society must treat  as a major issue and manage appropriately. The  financial risk is best managed by gradual change and thus the  RAS opposes dramatic change, such as mandatory deposit as from October 2005 would cause. The response also takes the opportunity to flag  the need for a broader review of support for peer review - to address 
the need for scientists to have working time to act as referees and editors.

The full RAS submission can be read here pdf_small RAS_response_to_RCUK.pdf (41.92 KB)