Posted by: bluesyemre | November 24, 2014

Counting the Costs of Open Access

cost of oa

Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Councils are the two most significant providers of public funding for research in the UK. Both have recently introduced new requirements for UK research organisations to make their published outputs openly accessible. Research Consulting was commissioned by London Higher and SPARC Europe to undertake this study of the costs to research organisations of implementing these requirements. The total cost to UK research organisations in the 2013/14 academic year of implementing the RCUK open access policy was at least £9.2m. This figure excludes expenditure on article processing charges (APCs) for RCUK publications ofsome £11m or more, meaning the total costs were in excess of £20m. The majority of implementation costs related to management, advocacy and infrastructure development. Article administration accounted for only a small proportion of the total, at £0.8m for ‘gold’ and £0.1m for ‘green’ open access. While APCs and a proportion of other costs can be met from RCUK block grants, many costs are not recoverable through this route, and must be borne by research organisations. In the
case of less research-intensive institutions, the cost of implementation vastly outweighs spending on articles, and is substantially greater than the block grant funding these institutions receive from RCUK.

Counting the Costs of Open Access


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