Open Access in Biosciences, seen by the University of Oxford, UK

Editorial Team Open Access, RRI

Open Access STARBIOS2 Dr Laurel Edmunds and Dr Maria Milano University of Oxford

  • How do you understand Open Access in biosciences research? 

Open access is a way of eliminating permission and price barriers in order to guarantee free access to biosciences research publications. Open access means that the public can access your work. This facilitates greater exposure and higher citation rates because researchers from other countries can view your work.

  • What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Open Access in your University and in your country?

The University of Oxford is very committed to open access and has a webpage dedicated to explaining the University’s position: – policy and information. As researchers are actively encouraged to publish open access, this requires a collaborative project that involves many departments such as Research Services, Bodleian Libraries, IT Services, Planning and Resource Allocation Section, Oxford University Press, and Academic Divisions.

There is also an open access policy in institutions of higher education throughout the United Kingdom due to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). In order to receive higher education funding (HEFCE), REF requires journal articles to be made Open Access. The aim of the policy is to increase the amount of UK research which is freely available – and more articles open access means higher REF scores in 2021.

  • What are you aiming for with the implementation of the STARBIOS2 actions towards better Open Access standards for your institute?

The University of Oxford is a leading institution in open access and led a strong communication strategy to engage researchers. We aim to produce an open access evaluation framework based on the experiences of the University of Oxford to identify the key attributions of a successful open access policy. Our goal here is to pass on learnings from these experiences to the rest of the consortium. This will provide an opportunity for mutual learning.

  • What kind of actions are you going to establish to fulfill your objectives?

We will review the literature and consult stakeholders to assess this process and how it is being implemented. The idea is to create a matrix where we highlight the key aspects and processes to trigger a successful open access framework. We are also reviewing the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) policies on publishing open access as peer reviewed publications are a key performance metric.

Open Access STARBIOS2 Dr Lorna Henderson NHIR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

  • Who is involved, from your University, in the AP in order to complete your final objective?

Our work requires a close collaboration between STARBIOS2 team, Dr Lorna Henderson (Oxford BRC Clinical Research Manager), Dr Vasiliki Kiparoglou (Oxford BRC Head of operations), and the Bodleian libraries team. Ms Sally Rumsey (Head of Scholarly Communications & Research Data Management, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) and Mr Owen Coxall (Outreach and Enquiry Services Manager from Bodleian Healthcare Libraries, University of Oxford). Our Bodleian colleagues presented their work to the evaluation team in Oxford, and we are excited to build on this collaboration to make further structural changes.

Read our previous article by the University of Oxford about Societal Engagement.