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LIBRARY GUIDES
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Subjects, Services and Resources

Open Access: Funder and REF Requirements: Guide

This guide explains the Open Access requirements of funding bodies, the REF and RGU.
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Open Access

Funder and REF Requirements

An increasing number of funding bodies have Open Access requirements as part of their grants. This is particularly the case for organisations who support publicly-funded research (like the Research Councils UK and the European Commission) and also for charities focused on health research (like the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK). However, even if your funder falls outside of these categories, you should always carefully check your grant documentation for any Open Access requirements.

 


Funder Requirements

 

The tabs in the box below summarise the Open Access requirements of some of the major funding bodies. This information was last updated in September 2018. For definitions of some of the terminology used, see the following links:

The UKRI policy on Open Access has not yet been released. The information below is based on the policy for the organisation "Research Councils UK", which was incorporated into UKRI in 2018. This includes Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Science and Technology Facilities Council.

 

Research Outputs Affected

Mandatory for peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers.

Route to Open Access

Green or Gold (Gold preferred). Must deposit in OpenAIR or another suitable repository, if Green.

Version of document required

Author Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record if possible).

Deadline

For Gold, must be made immediately available on the publisher's website. For Green, embargo cannot exceed 6 months for STEM disciplines, or 12 months for social sciences and humanities. With the exception of research funded by the MRC, the maximum permitted embargo is doubled for journals where a Gold route is available but cannot be funded.

License

For Gold, must be Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. For Green, must permit unrestricted non-commercial re-use (e.g. a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial / CC BY-NC license).

Source

RCUK. 2013. RCUK policy on Open Access and supporting guidance. Swindon: RCUK [online]. Available from: https://www.ukri.org/files/legacy/documents/rcukopenaccesspolicy-pdf/ [Accessed 2018-09-04].

Includes projects funded by the Horizon 2020 (also known as the FP8) programme.

 

Research Outputs Affected

Mandatory for peer-reviewed journal articles and research data. Recommended for all other outputs.

Route to Open Access

Green or Gold. Must deposit in OpenAIR or another suitable repository, even if Gold.

Version of document required

Author Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record where possible).

Deadline

For Gold and Green, must deposit no later than the date of publication. For Green, embargo on access cannot exceed 6 months for STEM disciplines, or 12 months for social sciences and humanities.

License

As open as possible. Creative Commons licenses are recommended.

Source

EC. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. 2016. H2020 Programme: guidelines on Open Access to scientific publications and research data in Horizon 2020. Brussels: EC [online]. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/oa_pilot/h2020-hi-oa-pilot-guide_en.pdf [Accessed 2016-10-19].

Includes Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise, British Hearth Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson's UK and the Wellcome Trust.

 

Research Outputs Affected

Mandatory for peer-reviewed journal articles. Recommended for monographs and book chapters.

Route to Open Access

Gold preferred, but Green acceptable where Gold option unavailable. Since RGU does not receive a COAF block grant, researchers can apply directly to the specific charities for funds to cover Gold. Must deposit in Europe PubMed Central, even if Gold. Not sufficient to deposit only in OpenAIR.

Version of document required

Version of Record preferred. Otherwise must be Author Accepted Manuscript.

Deadline

For Gold, must be deposited immediately upon publication. For Green, embargo cannot exceed 6 months.

License

For Gold, must be Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Recommended for Green, otherwise as open as possible. Cancer Research UK requires a minimum of Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) for Green.

Source

Arthritis Research UK. 2016. Open Access. Chesterfield: Arthritis Research UK [online]. Available from: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/research/information-for-award-holders/open-access-and-travel-support/open-access.aspx [Accessed 2016-10-19].

Bloodwise. 2016. Our policy on open access. London: Bloodwise [online]. Available from: https://bloodwise.org.uk/page/our-policy-open-access-we-research-policies [Accessed 2016-10-19].

British Heart Foundation. 2014. Open Access policy. London: British Heart Foundation [online]. Available from: https://www.bhf.org.uk/research/information-for-researchers/managing-your-grant/open-access-policy [Accessed 2016-10-19].

Cancer Research UK. 2016. Policy on Open Access. London: Cancer Research UK [online]. Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/funding-for-researchers/applying-for-funding/policies-that-affect-your-grant/policy-on-open-access [Accessed 2016-10-19].

Parkinson's UK. 2017. Open access policy. London: Parkinson's UK [online]. Available from: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/sites/default/files/2017-07/Open%20Access%20policy%20and%20FAQs%20Jul%202017_0.pdf [Accessed 2018-09-04].

Wellcome Trust. 2016. Open Access policy. London: Wellcome Trust [online]. Available from: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/managing-grant/open-access-policy [Accessed 2016-10-19].

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REF Requirements

 

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national audit of research quality, conducted by Research England (formerly the Higher Education Funding Council for England [HEFCE]) in conjunction with its partner organisations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Ensuring a good outcome in the REF is a key factor in securing ongoing funding for RGU, as well as contributing to the University's overall reputation.

Although the full details of the next REF are not yet known, Research England have produced a set of Open Access requirements, the details of which are summarised below. It is very important that RGU's researchers comply with these, as failure to do so will have a negative impact on the University's performance.

 

Research outputs affected
Mandatory for journal articles and conference papers published with an ISSN (i.e. in series), and accepted for publication after 1st April 2016. Encouraged for all other outputs.

Route to Open Access
Green or Gold. Green preferred. Must deposit in OpenAIR or another suitable repository, if Green.

Version of document required
Author Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record if possible).

Deadline
Must deposit no later than 3 months of acceptance*. Must be discoverable from the point of deposit. Embargo on open access cannot exceed 12 months for Panels A and B (i.e. health, science and technology), or 24 months for Panels C and D (i.e. social sciences and humanities). Some exceptions can be used (see the document for full details), but excessive use will be penalised.

Licence
No specific licence required, but must permit as a minimum the same level of access and reuse as is described in a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.

* For outputs accepted between 1st April 2016 and 1st April 2018, this is extended to within 3 months of first publication. For outputs accepted from 1st April 2018, it is still possible to obtain compliance through the application of an exception, if the "within 3 months of acceptance" deadline is missed but the output is still deposited within 3 months of first publication. However, we strongly recommend that you deposit your work with OpenAIR within 3 months from the date of acceptance, because we must keep the number of exceptions minimal.

Sources

HEFCE. 2016. Policy for open access in Research Excellence Framework 2021. Bristol: HEFCE [online]. Available from: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/HEFCE,2014/Content/Pubs/2016/201635/HEFCE2016_35.pdf [Accessed 2018-09-04].

HEFCE. 2017. REF 2021: decisions on staff and outputs. Bristol: HEFCE [online]. Available from: http://www.ref.ac.uk/media/ref,2021/downloads/REF%202017_04%20Decisions%2023.11.2017.pdf [Accessed 2018-09-04].

Research England. 2018. Open access research. Bristol: Research England [online]. Available from: http://re.ukri.org/research/open-access-research/ [Accessed 2018-09-04].

 

The following advice is intended to help RGU researchers comply with the above requirements.

Step 1: Identify Where You Want To Publish

Does the publisher's policy on Open Access enable you to meet the REF requirements? The Publications Team is happy to help investigate this for you - contact us at publications@rgu.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can find this information yourself directly on the journal - or publisher website, or the SHERPA RoMEO tool. Specific questions to ask are:

  • Does the publisher permit Green Open Access? This is sometimes called "self-archiving".
  • Does the publisher let you deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript? This is the version of the document you have at the point when the publisher formally accepts your work for publication.
  • Is there an embargo? If so, does it fit within the timescale of your relevant panel?
  • Does the publisher permit at least CC BY-NC-ND licencing for the version you deposit?

If the answer to any of the above means that you would be unable to comply with the REF requirements, then it is recommended that you look for an alternative. As mentioned above, there are some exceptions that can be used, but it is in the interests of the University to keep these to a minimum. If you have any queries about choosing somewhere to publish, contact the Library's research support at library.support@rgu.ac.uk. Once you have found a suitable venue for your research, submit your work to the publisher.

Step 2: Get Your Author Accepted Manuscript Onto OpenAIR

It is recommended that you retain all the different versions of your work as you go through the publication process. The key part in terms of the REF is the point at which the publisher formally informs you that your work has been accepted for publication. When you are notified of acceptance by the publisher, you should contact the OpenAIR team at publications@rgu.ac.uk with the version of the document you have at that point (the "Author Accepted Manuscript"). The OpenAIR team will then ensure that your work is deposited as soon as possible. Further information about OpenAIR is available in a separate guide.


RGU Requirements

 

RGU has itself issued an Open Access mandate, which affects all of its researchers. This was primarily created as a response to the REF requirements, and so the requirements are broadly similar. These are summarised below. This information was last updated in October 2016.

Research outputs affected
Mandatory for all publications.

Route to Open Access
Green. Must deposit in OpenAIR.

Version of document required
Author Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record where possible).

Deadline
Must deposit within 3 months of acceptance. For publications accepted prior to 1st April 2017, must deposit within 3 months of publication.

License
As open as possible. (OpenAIR applies a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license by default.)

Source

RGU. Research Committee. 2015. University mandate: Open Access post-REF 2014. Aberdeen: RGU [online]. Available from: http://www.rgu.ac.uk/file/research-committee-university-mandate-open-access-post-ref-2014-pdf-112kb [Accessed 2016-10-19].