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Advancing open access in the UK

Oxford University Press and Jisc, the education and research not-for-profit, have held a successful and productive Read & Publish (R&P) agreement since 2021. The agreement provides UK universities access to OUP’s prestigious journal collection and allows researchers to publish their research open access (OA) in OUP’s journals.

By publishing OA, researchers can achieve greater visibility and impact for their research findings and be part of a movement seeking to improve scholarly communication, increase trust in research literature, and accelerate progress towards new outcomes.

R&P agreements between academic institutions and publishers, sometimes known as Transformative Agreements, are an important facilitator in the transition to a more open research cycle. OUP’s R&P agreements provide the academic community with transparent, flexible, and inclusive options for OA publishing. Our agreements cover more than 900 institutions in different markets across the world.

This blog post showcases a selection of the achievements of UK researchers who have published their work OA in an OUP journal via our agreement with Jisc.

Showcasing the achievements of UK researchers

Published articles x 300

The number of open access articles published by UK researchers in our agreement with Jisc was 300 x higher in 2022 compared to 2020. Across our global publishing today, 45% of the research articles we have published are OA (as of July 2023).

Increases across all disciplines

The biggest increase in OA publishing since the deal began was achieved by researchers in the life sciences, followed by medicine, and the social sciences. Our R&P agreements are inclusive of all research disciplines and provide opportunities for researchers who don’t have access to specific OA funding or those working in fields that haven’t previously been able to realise the benefits of OA publishing.

8.8 million downloads

Open access articles published in OUP journals get 100% more downloads than non-OA articles. For researchers in the UK who published an article through the Jisc agreement in 2021 and 2022, this means 8,854,419 views of their work.

Our most-read articles include:


Kettle et al report a dearth of literature on how different domains of sitting time relate to other health behaviours. Their study aimed to explore these associations in a sample of office workers.


7170 civil servants completed were surveyed about their time spent sitting, on both workdays and non-workdays, in 5 different domains (travel, work, TV, computer-use, leisure-time), as well as other health behaviours including physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. 

Results & Conclusion

Those who spent 7+ hours sitting at work and a further 2+ hours sitting to watch TV were twice as likely to report 3 or more unhealthy behaviours. People who spent 3 or more hours sitting to watch TV on a non-workday were nearly 3 times as likely to partake in unhealthy behaviours. 

Kettle and team conclude that health interventions need to focus on work settings and TV viewing behaviours, and suggest that public health policy should consider sitting time as an important health behaviour.

Read the full article on Oxford Academic

20,000 citations

OUP’s open access articles have the second highest mean lifetime citation rate of all major academic publishers, demonstrating the quality and impact of our publishing (source: Dimensions). Open access articles by authors at Jisc institutions published in 2021 and 2022 have achieved 19,827 citations of their work, as of July 2023.

The top cited articles include:

Unsurprisingly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is clear in our top read and top cited publications. This demonstrates both the need for reliable and trustworthy peer-reviewed research during a global crisis as well as the value of scholarly literature for helping society progress towards more positive health outcomes for people across the globe.


Increased mortality in older adults was demonstrated early on in the pandemic, but the effect of frailty was less clear.

Study Methods

This multi-centre cohort study involved patients aged 18 years and older hospitalised with COVID-19. The team used Cox regression analysis to assess the impact of age, frailty, and delirium on the risk of inpatient mortality, adjusting for sex, illness severity, inflammation, and co-morbidities. 

Results & Conclusion

Data from 5,711 patients from 55 hospitals in 12 countries were included. The risk of death increased independently with increasing age, frailty, inflammation, renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, but not delirium. Age, frailty, delirium, dementia, and mental health diagnoses were all associated with increased risk of higher care needs on discharge.

Read the full article on Oxford Academic

Featured image by Nickbeer, via Canva

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