UK researchers are covered by a number of funder open access (OA) policies and publish in journals with a variety of OA policies, sometimes differing depending on who funds the research. This “policy stack” is complex, causes confusion and is difficult to administer. 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