A post was published last December at the UKCoRR blog examining the question of whether Green Open Access could become mainstream at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as a result of the policies resulting from the Finch report and aiming to drive the scholarly communication model towards a Gold OA-based one. Buiding on the discusions held at the webinar "The Role of Institutional Repositories after the Finch Report" organised by the Repositories Support Project earlier that month, the post highlighted the role IR managers were to play in explaining the different options for policy compliance at HEIs and the relevant role deposit into institutional repositories would acquire as a result of the economic impossibility to make the whole institutional research output available via Gold Open Access.
A few months later, at a time when the RCUK Open Access policy is about to come into effect, preliminary strategies for ensuring compliance are being designed at HEIs. Driven by the RCUK policy statement that "The RCUK OA Block Grant is principally to support the payment of APCs. However, Research Organisations have the flexibility to use the block grant in the manner they consider will best deliver the RCUK Policy on Open Access, as long as the primary purpose to support the payment of APCs is fulfilled", institutions are wisely investing part of the Block Grant funding on enhancing their Green Open Access infrastructure (including human resources) and making sure their institutional repository will be ready to provide support for Open Access dissemination purposes to all researchers whose publications are not awarded Gold OA funding.
In an even more inspiring realisation of this leveraging policy, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) released last week the requirements it will apply for authors to be eligible for Gold Open Access funding (Spanish only). With the caveat that "due to limited resources, just one article per author will be allowed per year", these include the need to deposit the author's research outputs published in the last three years into the Digital.CSIC institutional repository in three months time since the funding for the payment of APCs has been awarded.
Compliance monitorisation is becoming a key concern at HEIs as a result of these policies and attempts at having pilot systems in place for ensuring the reporting tools for policy compliance are available will shortly be carried out at pioneering institutions. In the meantime the whole move towards Gold and Green Open Access remains a daring experiment whose outcome -including the way researchers in different domains are willing to follow the policy guidelines- will be very interesting to follow in upcoming months. The Global Research Council meeting in Berlin next May 2013 will provide a good opportunity to agree on an international action plan for implementing Open Access to Publications – Open Access implementation is one of only two items on the agenda.