Imperial College London

Imperial hosts roundtable to launch new UKRI Open Access policy

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Science Minister announces funder’s new Open Access policy at virtual roundtable hosted by Imperial.

Imperial hosted a virtual roundtable organised by the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss UKRI’s new Open Access Policy which was launched on 6 August.  The roundtable brought together key government partners and colleagues at Higher Education Institutions across the country who lead on Open Research, to reflect on the wider context of Open Research and implications from the recently published R&D People and Culture Strategy. A number of early-career researchers from the College also attended to share their reflections on Open Research and research culture.  

UKRI’s new Open Access policy will increase the opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. UKRI’s updated policy requires immediate open access for peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022. 

Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Amanda Solloway MP delivered a speech at the roundtable in response to the newly launched Open Access policy. The Minister said: “This policy will ensure that the results of UKRI-funded research are made as freely available as possible – not just for reading, but for reusing and recombining with other results, and creating the shared repository of human knowledge that will unlock the potential of even more people, in the UK and abroad, to learn, to discover, and find innovative new solutions to our most pressing problems.”

Minister Solloway highlighted that the UK has been a central player in the major international collaboration and the plan to deliver full and immediate open access to the world’s research output. As a global science superpower, it is right for the UK to be at the heart of the global push for open research.

Together we will develop a new culture of openness and collaboration, as an essential part of building the research culture we need to embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead. Amanda Solloway MP Minister for Science, Research and Innovation

Professor Nick Jennings, Imperial’s Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) chaired the roundtable and was part of the UKRI advisory group that developed the new policy. He emphasised the importance of the policy and its effectiveness in ensuring that the UK's research is open and accessible to as many people as possible. 

Professor Jennings said, “Culture is something that is really important for research and for the UK to maintain its position as a leading R&D nation - it is essential that we have a vibrant culture that welcomes everybody and lets everyone flourish.”

Mrs Chris Banks, Assistant Provost (Space) and Director of Library Services, is the College’s lead on Open Access. She explained Imperial’s approach to embedding Open Research through the College’s research strategy. She welcomed the new UKRI policy and particular that it supports researchers publishing in the journal of their choice. As the library community work nationally to negotiate affordable agreements with publishers, Imperial’s researchers can continue to contribute to research and education for the benefit of society and with a culture of openness and collaboration at the heart.

Chris Banks said: “We aim to remove barriers, eliminate discrimination and make sure everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UKRI explained that the Open Access Policy will ensure there are increased opportunities to access, share and reuse the outputs of research, benefiting the research community and generating greater social and economic impact.

The roundtable concluded with early career researchers from Imperial discussing their experience of the research environment at the College, and sharing their reflections on an Open Research agenda and its role in supporting a positive culture in research. 

The Minister’s full speech from the roundtable can be found here.

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Amna Siddiq

Amna Siddiq
Office of the President

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Email: amna.siddiq@imperial.ac.uk

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Lisa Bungeroth

Lisa Bungeroth
Office of the President

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