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Confusion surrounds UK policy on open access publishing, review finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1710 (Published 27 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1710
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Research Councils UK has failed to dispel the “confusion” over its policy on open access, nearly two years since its launch, an independent review has found.

The policy, launched in April 2013, allows for two “gold” and “green” open access routes to reports of publicly funded research, although the gold route is stated as a “clear preference.”

The review, published on 26 March, found that the policy was creating a “two tier system,” with those favouring the green model “following a perceived inferior route.”1 “The council’s preference for gold has therefore been at times seen as a barrier to implementation and ‘buy-in’ from various communities across the disciplines,” the review said.

The gold model, which reflects government policy,2 involves immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer reviewed …

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