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Research Publishing (Open Access)

Open access compliance and REF 2021

The Scottish Universities Press (SUP) will soon be accepting submissions. 23/10/22

Scottish University Press is a fully open access and not-for-profit publishing press. It is owned and run by a coalition of 18 Scottish academic libraries. By 2024 it aims to do the following:

  • Publish monographs by academics who are based at participating institutions. 

  • Publish fully open access monographs online with CC-BY licences 

  • Have a thorough peer review process managed by the SUP Editorial Board.

  • Provide a full publishing service, including design and typesetting. copy-editing, , marketing, global dissemination and digital preservation.

"An initial call will be issued in the week commencing Monday 7th November inviting proposals from academics at member institutions who have completed, or nearly completed, manuscripts which are not under contract elsewhere. The closing date for proposals will be Wednesday 18th January 2023 with the aim to communicate decisions to authors by 31st March 2023, recognising that this will be dependent on the completion of the peer review cycle. In this stream there will be an expectation that manuscripts will be delivered within two months of acceptance being confirmed"

See more information here


Octopus 11/07/22

Octopus is a new ground breaking open research platform from Jisc. It is described on its website as,

"Free, fast and fair: The global primary research record where researchers record their work in full detail. Octopus is not just another publishing platform, it is designed to be the primary research record, and to create an incentive structure which maintains the highest standards of research and research culture. It sits alongside journals and other dissemination outlets, allowing those to specialise in delivering key findings to their audiences whilst Octopus acts like a 'patent office' to record who has done what and when, and ensure the quality, integrity and accessibility of all primary research, in full."

The Octopus guide for authors outlines how this new platform will work.

To find out more on Octopus and on how it is funded please read the UKRI article "Groundbreaking open research platform, Octopus, launches"

Changes to Plan S 06/07/22

On 06/07/22 Plan S released a statement on peer reviewed publications. It said that: "The key principle of Plan S states that “from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.” The Guidance document defines “scientific publications” further as “peer-reviewed scholarly publications”. These are generally interpreted as peer reviewed articles published in scholarly journals or on platforms.

Scientific publishing is evolving rapidly. A number of initiatives have moved away from the notion that peer-reviewed articles must be published in traditional Open Access journals or platforms. They provide peer review services that are entirely independent from such journals or platforms. These include Peer Community in (PCI), ScietyNext Generation RepositoriesNotify ProjectPREreview, and Review Commons, to name a few. These initiatives give the author the freedom to decide how and when to disseminate their peer-reviewed article.

In light of the accelerating development of these journal-independent peer-review services, cOAlition S would like to explicitly state that ‘peer reviewed publications’ – defined here as scholarly papers that have been subject to a journal-independent standard peer review process with an implicit or explicit validation are considered by most cOAlition S organisations to be of equivalent merit and status as peer-reviewed publications that are published in a recognised journal or on a platform."

To read the full article please go to 

Statement on peer reviewed publications is available through the Plan S website under a CC by 4. licence. 

There is also an interesting article about this development published in Research Professional News