Focus on the "DFID Research Open and Enhanced Access Policy"
The UK Department of International Development (DFID) announced its new Research Open and Enhanced Access Policy. The policy mandates that as from 1st of November 2012 all recipients of DFID funded research must make their findings freely available. This announcement follows a similar funders policy by Welcome Trust in a few months ago.
The major strength of the DFID policy is that it requires researchers to make peer reviewed journal articles open access through one of the two routes: open access publishing (gold open access) or self archiving (green open access). The major objective of DFID policy is to
- Increase the number of research outputs that are open access
- Increase information to help locate research outputs
- Increase the accessibility of outputs
The policy also requires that metadata for all outputs be deposited to the R4D, and that open licensing regimes be adopted (preferably CC-BY) and DFID will accept all associated publishing costs and these can be budgeted for and be included in the DFID’s award. The following specific research outputs are covered peer-review journal articles, reports, books and book chapters, datasets, video, audio and images, websites and computer software.
This policy is unique in that it takes a particular reference to issues surrounding Open Access such as Open Access costs, availability of research outputs to developing countries, debates raised in Finch report and issues EU’s SOAP project. However, the policy attempts to mitigate some of the concerns and limitations , such as providing funding so that researchers can publish online, by suggesting that those with limited internet connection they (researchers and institutions) should design research outputs that require minimal data download. If a researcher were to choose to publish in closed access journals, they have to self-archive in six months, thereby encouraging greater availability of research outputs.
The implementation of this policy is supported by a number of supportive administrative guides such as the implementation guide, R4D editorial policy and the DFID Ethics Principles of Research and Evaluation. While the policy will take effect on the 1st of November 2012, current running projects funded by DFID are not bound by it but are encouraged to support the spirit of open access.
For more details on the policy visit http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications1/DFIDResearch-Open-and-Enhanced-Access-Policy.pdf