What you need to know about Open Access


Thank very much to Louise Tripp for the recent session about Open Access, which included an overview of the movement, and the terminology and processes involved in publishing Open Access journal articles.


The recording of the session is now available, or you can simply view the slides below.


Is it the author that pays the Article Processing Charge (APC) to publishers? If you are funded my a research council, the RCUK has provided a block of funding which you can use to pay APCs. The University also provides some money for those who are not funded by a Research Council.

If I am allowed to self-archive by depositing onto Pure, does that mean I can also store a copy on ResearchGate? You would need to check the publisher’s terms, using Sherpa/FACT and Sherpa/ROMEO to find out what your funder requires and what the journal title allows. For example, you may be advised that self-archiving the author’s post-print on your own website after an embargo period of 6 months is permitted, but you can’t assume this means you can upload a copy to ResearchGate, as some publishers (e.g. Elsevier) would consider this ‘Systematic distribution‘. Please look at the publisher’s terms carefully and contact them if it’s not clear.

If I’ve already been published can I just put that version into Pure (i.e. Green route to OA)? You would need to check which version can be self-archived, and whether there is still an embargo in force.

Do many journals restrict self-archiving? Only a handful restrict self-archiving of the author’s post-print, but many do apply long embargoes.

If I apply for Gold funding and there’s no money left, what happens? This is unlikely at the moment due to the block grant from RCUK, but the University may have to apply tighter guidelines in the future if this becomes a problem e.g. only research considered to be 3 or 4 star for the REF


Open Access

During the session on ‘What you need to know about Open Access’ we had some questions, which we’ll try to clarify here.

Can self-funded researchers get help to publish through the Gold Open Access (OA) route?
Researchers who are self-funded can apply for Lancaster University Open Access funding once your article has been accepted. Alternatively you can use the Green route by depositing in an Institutional or subject repository, but you need to check SHERPA/RoMEO whether the journal publisher permits this.

Can you clarify HEFCE’s policy on Open Access publication in relation to the REF (Research Excellence Framework)?
HEFCE’s Circular 07/2014 gives a good overview of this new policy which states that:

“to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, outputs must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication, and made open-access within a specified time period. This requirement applies to journal articles and conference proceedings only; monographs and other long-form publications, research data and creative and practice-based research outputs are out of scope. Only articles and proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 will need to fulfil these requirements, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement the policy now. The policy gives a further list of cases where outputs will not need to fulfil the requirements.”

I’m not the principal author, but would like to publish through the Gold route. What should I do?
If there is a principal author of your research output, they should apply for any available funding from their own Institution. If you work in collaboration and there is no principal author you can apply for funding to you Head of Department.