RLUK OAPP2022-10-21T10:40:57+01:00

RLUK Open Access Publisher Processes Group (OAPP)

The group formed in 2013/14, when publishers were developing new processes and deals associated with Gold Open Access (OA), and were seeking feedback on new proposals and existing practices from institutions with large RCUK block grants. It was agreed that a RLUK group focussing on the challenges, barriers, and other issues in relation to publisher OA practices and processes would provide an effective and coordinated means of providing community feedback.

The group comprises a maximum of 14 members. Limiting its size in this way enables agility, stimulates member engagement, supports rapid consensus and allows for productive interaction with publishers.  We have included a representative from Jisc in recognition of their extensive work in this area and to ensure consistence across the sector.

While the primary focus of the group has been paid-for Gold OA we have not excluded Green OA from discussions where appropriate because a key aim has been to engage with publishers on transparency of policy information, and that has to include Green and Gold.

The group aims to meet twice a year. Outside of formal meetings most communication is conducted through a Jiscmail distribution list and discussions with publishers normally take place at scheduled face-to-face meetings.

  • To identify, share and understand the challenges, barriers and other issues involved in Open Access publishing where these relate to publisher processes and practices.
  • To address relevant challenges as defined by Reshaping Scholarship, the RLUK Strategy 2018-21.
  • To work collectively and with publishers to resolve problems, improve processes and achieve a better understanding on both sides of how best to support our researchers and funders.
  • To inform, and receive direction from, the RLUK Board.

Operating practices

  • •To share information with each other about the issues we are facing at an operational level when working with publishers, in pursuit of both Gold and Green routes to Open Access through all relevant publishing models.
  • To work with the RLUK Collections Strategy Network and Digital Scholarship Network to enable the exchange of information and expertise, as appropriate.
  • To develop consistent messages and approaches within the academic library community, to inform and improve interactions with publishers.
  • To work together, and directly with publishers and funders, in order to resolve any identified issues.
  • To maintain communications with all relevant stakeholders and to share and learn from initiatives and projects.
  • To work closely with Jisc Collections on related work, projects, messages and priorities to ensure alignment and to avoid unnecessary duplication.
  • To produce reports on a regular basis to the RLUK Executive team and Board.

Out of scope

OAPP will focus on processes and practices in connection with the pursuit of Gold and Green OA. It will not deal with costs, negotiations and related issues (e.g. total cost of ownership) which are being addressed elsewhere within RLUK, in partnership with Jisc Collections.


These terms of reference, the Chair, and group membership, will be reviewed biennially.

RLUK institutions: members should be directly involved in an operational capacity in relevant service areas. The RLUK directorate will also be represented on the group.

Other institutions: by invitation, and where there is particular relevance and value (e.g. members of relevant national projects, role in a related initiative or group, etc.).

Jisc Collections: to represent relevant Jisc projects and Jisc Scholarly Communications Support.


The Chair will be a senior member of an RLUK Library with a relevant operational remit.


The group will meet face to face at least twice a year. Discussions and information sharing will be done electronically as much as possible. Ad hoc meetings will be arranged as required (e.g. with publishers) and will involve selected members of the group.

Meeting notes and papers will be shared publicly where possible. Confidential papers will be restricted on request.

The group will communicate with each other via an RLUK Jiscmail list.

The group will communicate to the Board via written report in advance of Board meetings.

The group will communicate with RLUK members and other interested organisations and institutions as required in order to promote its work, to offer support and to avoid duplication.

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