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UKRI Open Access Consultation

There are a number of points in the newly-proposed UKRI Open Access policy which the Association will address in its response to the consultation. We would like evidence from those in the field to help us substantiate arguments around including images held by third parties in OA articles and books.

UKRI is of the opinion that OA licences for images are no more costly than they are for traditional print and online publishing and that obtaining OA rights for third-party held material (for our purposes, images) is difficult or financially burdensome for licences for books but not for articles. As such, the proposed policy requires that articles with third-party material must be published in OA, but it includes a proposed exception for books. The current REF policy includes an exception to the requirement that articles with third-party held material must be published in OA, and we are concerned that as this does not appear in the new UKRI policy, it may not carry over to the new REF policy for 2028. (UKRI has said that it wants the REF 2028 policy to be in concert with its proposed policy—there will be a consultation on OA in REF will be held in the autumn of this year).

Stakeholders have informed us that obtaining OA licences for images in articles is cost prohibitive. However, until now, we have not asked for specific evidence to support this claim. We are doing our own research on this matter, but primarily for rights holders in the UK. If you have examples either within or outside of the UK, please let us know.

You can help us by responding to these questions:

1) Do you have examples where OA image rights were more costly for an article in comparison to the cost for a licence for a traditional online or print publication? Equally, if this has not been the case, please let us know.

2) Are there rights or permissions holders who have informed you that they do not provide OA licences for images for either a journal article or book? If so, please provide specific examples.

3) Have you faced instances where OA licenses could be granted, but only with ND (non-derivative) or NC (non-commercial) limitations? Please be specific in citing examples in your answers.

Please contact us if you have questions about this and thank you in advance for helping us to make the points on your behalf. Responses by 30 April would be much appreciated.

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