You need cookies enabled


You need cookies enabled

The UK-wide survey on open access policies has closed. A report analysing the responses will be published in winter 2017.

Survey on open access policies

combined logos of funders - hefce jisc rcuk wellcome

HEFCE, Jisc, the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK (RCUK) are working in partnership to enhance their understanding of how the higher education sector is meeting funders' open access policies.

To inform this understanding, an appropriate individual at the majority of UK higher education institutions (HEIs) have been sent a link to an online survey (16 August 2017).

The analysis of this survey will be published in winter 2017.

Survey aims

Specifically, the survey will seek to understand:

  • to what extent HEIs are meeting the funder requirements 
  • tools used by the sector
  • repository use
  • staff costs associated with open access
  • repository metadata and licences.

The survey is intended to complement, and not duplicate or replace, existing open access reporting processes. Institutions in receipt of Charity Open Access Fund or RCUK block grants will still be required to submit their annual returns.

Survey development

We commissioned Research Consulting to develop an appropriate and realistic survey.

Research Consulting worked with the project sponsors (HEFCE, Jisc, RCUK and Wellcome) to develop a pilot survey which was sent to 18 institutions. The feedback from this work informed the final survey.

What will the data be used for?

HEFCE, Jisc, Wellcome and RCUK will analyse the responses and publish a report of the high level findings in winter 2017.

Data will be reported on the aggregate and not institutional level, ensuring anonymity of individual responses. It will not inform funding allocations by any of the partners.

The report will provide an overview of how the sector is managing the delivery of open access in relation to funder policies. This will include data pertaining to the REF open access policy.

The data will be used by each individual partner to consider policy implementation and systems development.

Data collected via this survey will not be used in the REF2021 assessment.


The following document has been prepared to help institutions fill out the survey. 

Guidance for the UK-wide survey on the delivery of funders' open access policies:

Download the Guidance_document_UK-wide_survey_OA_policies as PDF (310 KB)

A Word template of the survey is also available below to help institutions prepare their response. Please note that only responses submitted via the online survey will be analysed. 

For further information please contact


Page last updated 2 October 2017