Guidance on access to research outputs
NERC is committed to the principles articulated in the RCUK statement on access to research outputs and to ensuring that the ideas and knowledge derived from its research, survey and monitoring activities are made available as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable. To support access to environmental data NERC already requires that award holders offer a copy of any dataset resulting from NERC-funded activities to its data centres.
From 1 October 2006 NERC requires that, for new funding awards, an electronic copy of any published peer-reviewed paper, supported in whole or in part by NERC-funding, is deposited at the earliest opportunity in an e-print repository. NERC also encourages award-holders to deposit published peer-reviewed papers arising from awards made before October 2006.
NERC has established an e-print repository to improve access to the outputs of its research centres. NERC staff will be expected to deposit copies of any published peer-reviewed papers, supported in whole or in part by NERC-funding, in the NERC repository. NERC award holders should use their own Institutional Repository.
Full implementation of these requirements requires that current copyright and licensing policies, such as embargo periods, are maintained by publishers and respected by authors. Under this policy, at no time will individual authors be required to negotiate copyright and licensing arrangements with their publishers. NERC will work with publishers to put in place mechanisms for publishers submitting publications on behalf of authors, where this is possible. The version of the paper deposited will depend upon publishers' policies on deposit in repositories.
To help support the effective management and exploitation of its intellectual property, NERC will retain copyright in NERC-funded outputs produced by its own staff.
Learned Societies have expressed concerns that mandating deposit in repositories may affect journal subscription income and thus the financial sustainability of some societies. It is in NERC's interest to ensure that the Learned Societies remain as key members of its research community and NERC, along with the other research councils, will work with the societies to look at ways that they can adapt to and exploit new models of publication. Specifically, NERC will work with those Learned Societies within the NERC community who have an interest in this area, to develop thematic repositories offering value added services. The nature and location of these thematic repositories will be agreed on a case-by-case basis; however, NERC is open to finding ways of supporting these and linking them to its own repository.
NERC has amended its grant conditions to reflect the requirement for deposit of published peer-reviewed papers. Compliance with this requirement will be taken into consideration when considering further applications for funding.
Open Access covers a wide range of issues not all of which are addressed within this guidance note. NERC will therefore review and revise this guidance as it further develops its position on Open Access.
For further information please contact: Mark Thorley
Mob: 07760 422925