[Open-access] SPARC Europe has classified the UK's open access policy in a category of it's own

Mark MacGillivray mark at cottagelabs.com
Wed Feb 13 23:53:19 UTC 2013

On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 11:34 PM, Ross Mounce <ross.mounce at gmail.com> wrote:

> I emailed SPARC & Alma about this. Here is Alma's reply (and the message I
> sent to them). I completely disagree tbh and am at a loss with what to do
> next. Alma seems to avoid directly addressing the clear point I addressed
> to her/SPARC:

Presumably you are worried that the classification of RCUK in solitary will
make it look bad. But you have failed to influence the people making the
classification. So instead, positively re-enforce it.

Blog and tweet etc about how great it is that SPARC have acknowledged the
leading stance that RCUK has taken, and how proud you are that RCUK are
doing such great things for open access. If only other orgs across Europe
could follow such lead, and attempt to join RCUK in SPARCs class-leading


> ---------------
> On 13/02/2013 19:22, "Ross Mounce" <ross.mounce at okfn.org> wrote:
> Dear SPARC,
> It has come to my attention that you have recently published an analysis
> of funder Open Access policies:
> http://sparceurope.org/analysis-of-funder-open-access-policies-around-the-world/
> I am perplexed by the classification of RCUK in this scheme. Fred Friend
> has put it in a class of it's own under the title: "Gold (journal-based)
> Open Access required"
> The RCUK policy is summarised here:
> http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/documents/RCUK%20_Policy_on_Access_to_Research_Outputs.pdfIn this document it clearly says "The Research Councils will continue to
> support a mixed approach to Open Access..."
> All of the documents available on the site clearly indicate that both
> green and gold OA are allowed
> http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/outputs.aspx  if only that gold is
> preferred. Preferred does NOT equal 'required'.
> So whilst I appreciate that the RCUK policy has certain interesting
> features, in Friend's classification scheme it clearly belongs with the
> other funders in the "Either Green or Gold routes satisfy policy
> requirements" category.
> Could this change be made ASAP?
> I fear RCUK's lone listing may adversely affect opinion of it. Furthermore
> it undermines the credibility of SPARC if they publish untrue statements
> such as this.
> Many thanks,
> Ross
> -------------------------
> On 13/02/2013 19:22, "Alma Swan" <> wrote:
> Dear Ross
> Thank you for your message. I am sorry you are perplexed. Our
> classification, unlike that of Science Europe, is trying to show the
> differences between policies and the directions in which policymakers
> appear to wish to travel.
> RCUK is claiming that it's 'leading the world' and Fred’s classification
> reflects that. RCUK can't do that and be the same as others that have gone
> before, and indeed it isn't.
> This classification acknowledges the ground-breaking move that RCUK has
> made. The policy requires publication in an RCUK-compliant journal, which
> it defines as one that provides immediate OA (on payment of an
> article-processing fee if it requires to be paid). If the journal does not
> provide OA, then the Green route can be used. No other policy in the world
> is the same as this and the classification highlights this individual
> stance.
> Best  regards,
> Alma
> ------------------------------------
> Alma Swan, BSc, PhD, MBA
> Director of Advocacy Programmes, SPARC Europe: www.sparceurope.org
> Director, Key Perspectives Ltd: www.keyperspectives.co.uk
> Convenor, Enabling Open Scholarship: www.openscholarship.org
> Director, Directory of Open Access Journals: www.doaj.org
> +44 (0)1392 879702
> Skype: almaswan
> http://bit.ly/aQXNEy
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