UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group

A group focusing on setting strategy for major journal and open access negotiations both during this transitionary period and post transition.

About the strategy group

The UUK and Jisc content negotiation strategy group supports and enhances the mandate of Jisc in negotiating publishing agreements with major academic publishers. 

Membership of the group recognises the importance of involving senior leaders from UK institutions in order to achieve sustainable, affordable and innovative agreements.

The group focuses on setting objectives and strategy for the major negotiations concerning research materials in the broader context of teaching, learning and research.

Recognising the importance of the agreements in terms of expenditure, volume of UK research output published in these journal portfolios, the policy landscape and their complicated role in the transition to open access.

It also considers strategy around alternative and innovative models for achieving full and immediate open access beyond the current "Big Deals".

The initial focus will be journals with the expansion into research materials in the longer term. The group will set overarching messages and strategies which will guide the work of the content expert group.

The group will escalate national matters of broader importance and impact to government.

Strategy group members

The UUK/Jisc content negotiation strategy group members includes:

  • Chair: Professor Stephen Decent, principal and vice-chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University (Band 6)
  • Dr Paul Ayris, pro-vice-provost (UCL library services), University College London (Band 1)
  • Simon Bains (Representing SHEDL), university librarian, University of Aberdeen (Band 5A)
  • Chris Banks, assistant provost (space) and director of library services, Imperial College London (Band 1)
  • Rachel Bruce (Observer member), head of open research, UKRI
  • Dr Colin Campbell (Representing AHUA), executive director of academic affairs, Newcastle University (Band 3)
  • Professor Wayne Cranton, dean of research, Sheffield Hallam University (Band 4)
  • Veronica Daly (Representing BUFDG), chief procurement officerKings College London (Band 2)
  • Professor Colette Fagan, vice-president for research, professor, University of Manchester (Band 1)
  • Professor Sue Hartley, vice-president for research, University of Sheffield (Band 2)
  • Libby Homer, university librarian, Anglia Ruskin University (Band 5A)
  • Jennifer Johnson (Representing ARMA), director, innovation and research, University of Northumbria
  • Liz Jolly (Observer member), chief librarian, British Library
  • Dr Sarah Jones, pro-vice chancellor for academic enhancement, University of Gloucestershire
  • Prof Ian Luke, deputy vice chancellor, academic, Plymouth Marjon University
  • Dr David Prosser, executive director, RLUK
  • Sara Raybould, senior pro-vice chancellor (education and student experience), University of West London
  • Professor Richard Reece, deputy vice chancellor (education and student experience), University of Kent (Band 5A)
  • Monique Ritchie (Representing copyright negotiating and advisory committee (CNAC))
    Associate head of open research and rights, Brunel University (Band 5B)
  • Ann Rossiter, executive director, SCONUL
  • Daniel Wake, research policy, University UK

Terms of reference

Core aims

  • Develop and advance strategy for cost-effective publication, acquisition and delivery of research output which takes account of the dynamic nature of the information marketplace and the changing needs of the community
  • Develop and advance strategy for the utilisation of negotiations with publishers and societies to facilitate a quick, cost effective and financially sustainable transition to open access
  • Develop and advance strategy for the use of a broad range of innovative approaches in licensing and negotiation to facilitate the acquisition, dissemination and management of research outputs
  • Provide leadership for national negotiations
  • Act as a conduit between the negotiators and the sector (university leaders, researchers, administration and funders) for the agreement, communication, oversight and reporting on objectives, strategy, tactics and progress of negotiations
  • Facilitate debate and action to help implement long term solutions to challenges in publication and acquisition of research output
  • Oversee the conduct of the negotiations on behalf of the UK academic community
  • Provide a focal point for the provision of guidance on the range of institutional responses to a dynamic research, policy and research environment
  • Evaluate options in the event that negotiations do not proceed as planned and further action from the sector may be required to achieve an acceptable agreement
  • Seek transparency in deals with publishers especially in relation to cost and how institution money is being spent


There will be 12 representative members, as follows:

  • Six PVC-Rs from a cross section of institutions with varying research intensity
  • Six senior library directors from a cross section of institutions with varying research intensity

There will be eight members from professional organisations, as follows:

  • Universities UK
  • Executive Directors/Chairs of professional associations – RLUK, SCONUL, ARMA, BUFDG, AHUA, CNAC
  • Chair of expert practitioner group

In addition, there will be four observer members, as follows:

  • Observers from UKRI, Wellcome Trust, British Library and GuildHE

The term of office for representative members is two years, with the possibility of an additional term of up to two years upon the expiry of the first term.

The chair of the expert group does not have a term of office, but will be a member of this group by virtue of holding that role.

Members from professional organisations and observer members do not have a formal term of office, but these roles will be reviewed annually by Jisc and the chair to consider whether there is the right representation of organisations and roles.


Recruitment should ensure that the group is representative of all UK universities and the diversity of size, income, approaches, ambitions, strategies, students, researchers and staff etc contained within those institutions. The membership should have wide geographical coverage. 

When a vacancy for an observer member arises, the relevant organisation will be invited to provide details of their observer who will join the group.

When recruitment is considered, it is considered against the representation of institutions on the CEG, ensuring a diversity of representation across the two groups.

The two year term of office can be extended by an additional term of up to two years. This would be considered if the member wishes to extend their term and be determined the by chair of the group, UUK and Jisc. The decision would take into account whether the member has normally been able to attend meetings and ensure that terms of office ended at different times to prevent a large change in membership at any one time.

Meetings and administration

There will be four meetings per year.

Meetings will take place between meetings of the Jisc content expert group, in order to allow the discussion at the content expert group to feed into this groups deliberations.

The papers will be shared with the content expert group.

The group will decide what information about their work can be shared with the organisations that they represent, their institutions and other colleagues such as professional groups with whom they have links and would normally be open within the sector about non-confidential matters.  

Where there is strategic benefit in sharing confidential papers or their content with sector groups, this will be advised when papers are distributed. In this situation the papers and their content remain confidential in the sense they may not be shared further by those they are shared with and those who receive them should be informed of this. 

Detailed strategy and tactics and sensitive confidential information remain confidential to this group and the content expert group.