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April is set to be a busy month for open access (OA), particularly for UK authors. In fact, on April 1st new OA policies were introduced by both the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust.  The UK is one of the only countries to have a national OA policy so all eyes are focused on the UK to see how successful this will be.

However, one important question arises: will authors publishing in Elsevier journals still be compliant with the new UK policies?

The short answer to this is yes! Elsevier has been actively engaged with funding bodies and institutions to help facilitate the successful implementation of OA policies and mandates. In fact, we have established agreements with major funding bodies, including RCUK and the Wellcome Trust, to ensure authors can comply.

We have also been busy scaling our Gold OA services to offer authors greater publication choices - 1,500 of our established journals offer OA publication options and we have more than 35 open access journals. With each of these options, authors can choose from a range of publication licenses, including Creative Commons' CC BY. These options allow us to test and learn about author preferences and business impacts. With the knowledge we gain we will continue to refine our approach.

We have also developed a Green Open Access policy, further details of which are available in the article What is the green route?. Under the terms of this policy, when funding is not available, authors for whom we have an agreement with their funder or institution will still be able to publish OA by self-archiving their accepted author manuscripts after journal-specific embargo periods.

Figure 1. Publishers Association decision tree (endorsed by BIS and RCUK)

What does this mean for my journal?

Simply said, it means that authors will be able to continue to publish in your journal and comply with a variety of OA policies or mandates which will vary depending on their funding body, their location and, of course, their subject area.

Elsevier’s aim is to try to help facilitate the successful implementation of open access by offering authors choices. We have taken steps to streamline our publishing processes and help improve awareness of OA options within our journals.

We have also ensured our agreements with funders and institutions allow our journals to operate in a sustainable way. We support both open access and subscription business models and will scale our services as the needs of both authors and the wider community develop and change.

For further information on our funding body and institutional agreements visit

Author biography

Alicia Wise

Alicia Wise
Alicia holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She joined Elsevier in June 2010 to lead the Universal Access team. In this role she is responsible for our access strategy and policies, for launching and monitoring access pilot projects, and for building relationships with other stakeholders in the scholarly communication landscape who share our interest in broadening access. The Universal Access team works closely with colleagues throughout Elsevier and is a catalyst for information exchange and innovation.