GuildHEResearch, Conservatoires UK, and the Royal College of Art recently held an engagement session with Research England to discuss the Open Access proposals for REF 2029, revealing common concerns.

These have been brought together in a position statement which we hope will provide similar institutions with starting points for their own deliberations about the proposals.

Amongst our recommendations we have asserted our support for a move away from compliance to Open Access for each research output to a more qualitative assessment of institutions’ activities to support Open Research, made possible via the People, Culture and Environment part of REF2029.

This position is supported by others in the sector who reached out to GuildHE Research to discuss their concerns around the proposed approach to OA, in particular the sheer cost implications of the proposals at a time of financial stress for the sector.

In short, by reimagining the OA policy there is an opportunity to dramatically reduce bureaucracy in this part of the exercise, enable institutions of all sizes to engage more positively by showcasing their endeavours to support open research, and to direct their energy and resources into doing the work to encourage open research as opposed to complying with policies few will realistically be able to meet