Open access position statement
The MRC’s mission is to improve human health through world-class medical research. To achieve this, we support research across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental laboratory-based science to population studies, and in all major disease areas. Further to this, our Royal Charter sets out principles including to advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the UK, and to promote dialogue with the public about medical research.
This page will be updated soon to reflect the new RCUK Open Access policy which came into effect on 1 April 2013. Please see the RCUK website for further details of the policy (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/outputs.aspx).
Last updated: January 2013
The main output of this research is new ideas and knowledge, which MRC-funded researchers are expected to publish in quality, peer-reviewed journals.
It is important that the availability and accessibility of this material is not adversely affected by the copyright, marketing and distribution strategies used by publishers. Recent advances in internet publishing have also changed the way publications are disseminated, and as such MRC seeks to encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed.
The MRC therefore supports unrestricted access to the published outputs of research as a fundamental part of its mission and a public benefit, and this is encouraged wherever possible.
The following outlines our basic principles:
- The MRC expects authors of research papers to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free and, where possible, to retain their copyright.
- The MRC will pay any necessary charges levied by publishers who offer Open Access options. For grants starting after the 1 April 2013, funding will be provided as part of the RCUK block grant. All grants where the start date is before 1/4/13 should include anticipated APC charges (as Directly Incurred) for the tenure of the award – see Applicant Handbook.
- The MRC’s Open Access Policy requires electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by MRC funding, to be deposited into PubMed Central (PMC) or Europe PMC, to be made freely available as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication.
- If an open access fee has been paid MRC requires authors and publishers to licence research papers such that they may be freely copied and re-used for purposes such as text and data mining, provided that such uses are fully attributed. This is also encouraged where no fee had been paid.