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Research Dissemination Committee Activities

Creative Commons Licenses

As open access policies develop around the world, authors will increasingly need to comply with mandates regarding copyright. Since this can be difficult to navigate, the Royal Society of Biology’s Research Dissemination Committee has produced a paper explaining the different types of ‘Creative Commons licenses’, a type of copyright license that is suitable for open access articles: Creative Commons licences: Guidelines for Authors and Users.

Creative Commons is distinct from research funding and globally applicable; however it is explained in this paper with regards to UK funded research.

This paper is intended to be shared widely and to facilitate internationally collaborative research articles. Please circulate the document to colleagues.

We are also keen to hear your feedback and questions on open access and Creative Commons licenses. To comment, please get in touch via policy@rsb.org.uk

Text and Data Mining

The Research Dissemination Committee produced position statement on Text and Data Mining that calls for stakeholders to take a pioneering lead in this area. We therefore welcome the development of the CrossRef Text and Data Mining Services which enables a Common Application Programming Interface (API) and License Registry that allows researchers to easily harvest content for text and data mining analysis using a standard API across all publishers. CrossRef has provided informative 'FAQs' for researchers and publishers on their website, which explains the service in more detail.


The UK Open Access Implementation Group have developed a tool kit for Learned Societies to review options and take decisions about Gold Open Access publishing. The tool kit provides guidance on changing publishing processes, and managing and reviewing the impact of these changes.

Position Statements and Consultation Responses

The Research Dissemination Committee has responded to the following consultations:


Open Research: a Global Perspective, October 2013
The UK has an impressive reputation for publishing high quality, highly cited research articles, but we act in a global research and publishing system with competition from existing and emerging economies becoming a reality. In addition, Open Access policies are being developed independently across Europe and the US, but with little continuity between nations, what will this mean for international research collaborations and the future of scientific publishing?
The Royal Society of Biology brought together a panel of experts to discuss the challenges and developments of Open Access publishing around the globe at our October Research Dissemination event.


  • OA in the UK; Dr Laura Bellingan, Head of Science Policy at the Royal Society of Biology and Finch Group member discusses the Finch Group review a year after their report
  • OA in Europe - Update from the European Commission; Daniel Spichtinger, Policy Officer Open Access, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation
  • OA in Europe - Update from Publishers; Barbara Kalumenos, Director of Public Affairs, STM - International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers
  • OA in the Americas; Pat Kelly, Wiley USA, VP & Publishing Director,  Life Science Journals US
  • OA in China and Brazil; Adrian Stanley, Chief Executive Officer, The Charlesworth Group, USA
  • OA in Africa and Asia; Jonathan Harle, Senior Programme Manager, Research Access & Availability,  International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)


Publishing in the Open Access Age, October 2012

Royal Society of Biology Membership Organisations were invited to a discussion meeting on Open Access (OA), considering the challenges and opportunities OA will bring to learned Society publishers that rely upon income from journal subscriptions.

Speakers included:

  • Leighton Chipperfield, Head of Publishing at the Microbiology Society, spoke on planning for OA impact on journals
  • Hazel Norman, Chief Executive of the British Ecological Society spoke on embargo periods
  • Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome Trust spoke on OA and Copyright Choices
  • Lee-Ann Coleman, British Library spoke on DataCite and Yvonne Budden, Chair of the UK Council of Research Repositories spoke on repositories

Breakout discussions focused on five different Open Access scenarios, and the challenges and opportunities these would bring.

For more information on Research Dissemination, see our Policy issues pages.

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