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Research Councils UK responds to Burgess Review


Research Councils UK (RCUK) has today, 29 July, published its response to the independent Review of the implementation of the RCUK policy on Open Access, chaired by Professor Sir Bob Burgess.

Professor Rick Rylance, Chair of RCUK Executive Group, stated: “On behalf of my colleagues in RCUK Executive Group I would like to thank Professor Sir Bob Burgess and his panel for conducting such an excellent review so early in the implementation phase of the policy. After consideration of the recommendations, I am pleased to confirm that RCUK accepts and will implement all of the recommendations made.  As Sir Bob noted, we are still at an early stage of the journey to Open Access and we are confident that the recommendations made his panel will contribute significantly to successful implementation. A number of those giving evidence noted that it was a little early to get a full, evidenced picture. Because of this, we are going to postpone by one year the next independent review so that there is an opportunity to gather better data and assess the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations. The Review Panel has also made recommendations for publishers and for institutions and we strongly encourage those organisations to carefully consider and agree to those recommendations. Meanwhile we will be liaising carefully with our partner bodies to develop a concerted approach.”

In implementing the recommendations, RCUK will establish a Practitioner Group drawn from those working with the policy in institutions, publishers and learned societies. The Group will provide advice to RCUK on areas such as revising policy guidance, collection of data, and communication of the policy. It will also consider concerns around areas of the policy such as licences and embargoes.  Terms of reference for the group will be published shortly with the expectation that it will meet first in the autumn.

RCUK will immediately explore options to incorporate the use of ORCID in its systems. It will do so in dialogue with the sector. Other recommendations included working with other funders of research to ensure that consistency of policy is clearly communicated.  Discussions with HEFCE and others are already underway and we expect to share outcomes later in the year.

Further details of the RCUK response to the review recommendations can be found here .

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Further information

Nicholas Turner
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner

Notes to editors

  1. The Independent Review of the implementation of the RCUK Policy on Open Access can be found here

  2. The RCUK Policy on Open Access can be found here.

  3. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

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