'Transparency is at the heart of the Government's agenda, and this also applies to published research. In a recent discussion with members of the research community and publishers I stressed the importance of open access to this information for everyone, and I'm delighted that the Research Councils and HEFCE have committed to taking this forward.'
Commenting on the joint commitment, Professor Douglas Kell, RCUK Champion for Information, said:
'I am delighted that both RCUK and HEFCE have made this commitment to working together on the important issue of Open Access. Research is essential to the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. Ensuring the widest possible access to research, both within and outside of the research community, will mean that the groundbreaking discoveries made in science and research can have a greater impact on all our lives.'
David Sweeney, HEFCE Director for Research and Innovation, said:
'HEFCE is committed to supporting researchers exploiting the full potential of the internet to share and disseminate the outcomes of publicly funded research promptly, effectively and in new ways. Open access publication in an appropriate form should become a key feature of the new information landscape.'
In making this commitment RCUK and HEFCE have developed the following statement to set out the principles of how they will work together:
'Research Councils UK and HEFCE have a shared commitment to maintaining and improving the capacity of the UK research base to undertake research activity of world leading quality, and to ensuring that significant outputs from this activity are made available as widely as possible both within and beyond the research community. Open access to published research supports this commitment and, if widely implemented, can benefit the research base, higher education, and the UK economy and society more broadly. To achieve this, open access needs to be implemented with clear licensing agreements, sustainable business models, and working with the grain of established research cultures and practices.
'HEFCE and the Research Councils will work together and with other interested bodies to support a managed transition to open access over the medium term, and welcome the work of the UK Open Access Implementation Group in support of this aim.'