An increasing number of research funders are introducing open access (OA) policies. At the same time, publishers are introducing OA publication options. Research institutions need to consider how to respond to these developments, including the possible introduction of institutionally co-ordinated funds for payment of OA publication charges. This paper describes the international background to the issue of institutional OA funds and summarizes the current UK situation, presenting recently gathered data from UK institutions. It then reports on work carried out by the University of Nottingham to introduce and manage an institutional OA fund. Early usage data of the Nottingham fund are presented. The paper outlines lessons learned from the Nottingham experience, then goes on to suggest a number of ways in which institutions and other agencies can take developments forward.
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