May 24, 2022

RCUK (Research Councils UK) Publishes First Independent Review of Its Open Access Policy

From RCUK:

[Yesterday,] Research Councils UK (RCUK) published the first independent review of the implementation of the RCUK Policy on Open Access.

Chaired by Professor Sir Bob Burgess, former University of Leicester Vice-Chancellor, the review received an excellent response from the research community, with over 85 submissions of written evidence highlighting how the policy is working in practice, with many positive responses about the principle of open access publishing. The independent review panel, made up of key experts across the disciplines in research, higher education, open access and publishing, also held oral evidence sessions with publishers and learned societies, plus visited institutions to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the policy in practice.

A number of recommendations have been made by the review panel to help improve some of the processes involved in implementation of the policy, specifically in relation to the impact of embargoes and the use of licences in particular disciplines; communication of the policy; the use and distribution of RCUK’s block grant for open access; as well as the broader impact of the policy on different disciplines.


The review examined the impact of the policy’s implementation for higher education institutions, independent research organisations, learned societies and publishers. This is the first of a number of independent reviews of the policy during the transition period (five years from the policy being introduced), and covers the first 16 months, April 2013 to July 1014, of the policy’s implementation.

Direct to Full Text of Review (40 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.