Keeping ownership of academic research within the academic community – for visibility, impact, access and re-use

Researchers retain re-use rights in their own work

The UK-SCL is an open access policy mechanism which ensures researchers can retain re-use rights in their own work, they retain copyright and they retain the freedom to publish in the journal of their choice (assigning copyright to the publisher if necessary)

Re-use rights retention enables early public communication of research findings and use in research and teaching, including online courses.

Increased visibility of research outputs greatly improves opportunities for increased impact and citations.

A single deposit action under the model policy ensures eligibility for REF2021 and compliance with most funder deposit criteria.

Researchers retain copyright and remain free to assign it to the publisher

Open Access compliance and eligibility challenges

Compliance with funder OA policies can be difficult, and researchers run the risk that their outputs may not be eligible for submission to the post 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021).

Many publishers ask researchers to transfer copyright in outputs to the publisher, causing difficulties when researchers seek to re-use results in classroom and online teaching.

The Funding Councils (HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC) have set minimum OA eligibility criteria for REF2021 but encourage institutions to go beyond that minimum and give credit to those that do.

UK HE model open access policy with a standard licence

UK researchers are covered by a number of funder open access (OA) policies, not all with the same requirements.

UK researchers publish in journals with a variety of OA policies, sometimes differing depending on who funds the research.

The resultant “policy stack” is complex, causes confusion amongst researchers and is complex to administer.

The model UK-SCL policy and licence removes this complexity.



If an institution adopts the model open access policy, its researchers will retain re-use rights of their work, e.g. for teaching and conferences. Open Access increases the speed and reach of dissemination so that research can be put to use more quickly and by more people. Open Access also improves opportunities for increased citation and impact. Researcher outputs will be eligible for submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) and will comply with most funder deposit requirements.



The UK-SCL is a model open access policy which is aimed at furthering funder aims of a transition towards increased openness in research communication whilst supporting researchers covered under multiple funder policies.



Embedding the UK-SCL model terms as part of an institutional Open Access Policy enables research outputs to be made available under terms which go beyond the REF2021 minimum requirements as encouraged by the UK Funding Councils. It facilitates author retention of re-use rights whilst preserving the freedom to publish in the journal of choice.



The UK-SCL is a mechanism by which authors can be supported in ensuring eligibility of their work in the next Research Excellence Framework and in compliance with their funder policy requirements whilst still being free to assign copyright to publishers where necessary. Open access improves opportunities for increased citation and impact of research.