Universities are taking on new roles in communicating research and may, in time, lose an old role. The new roles are in managing payments on behalf of their researchers when they publish in OA journals and, in the light of the recent HEFCE letter, potentially in curating research outputs using their repositories.
The internet has challenged many industries and communities, empowering some and threatening others, and the same is true in communicating research. Many argue that there are remarkable opportunities for research and innovation in the internet age and OA is a condition for realising those. The UK Government response to the 2012 report by British sociologist, Dame Janet Finch and subsequent responses from major research funders, all confirm that they understand those opportunities and the role of OA in realising them. But the transition will be long and, given acknowledged differences in interests between some of the major players, might be bumpy in places.