Open access policies
Multiple open access (OA) policies will apply to your research, including the University of Nottingham, Research Excellence Framework (REF) and various funder policies.
On this page:
The University of Nottingham open access policy
The University of Nottingham OA policy supports a mixed green and gold model of open access.
All research papers (including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and similar material), where copyright allows, should be made available in an open access form upon publication.
All academic staff are required to make their research outputs open access wherever possible through the University repository (RIS):
- All research papers including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and similar material, either in the form of the author's final manuscript or the formally-published version, where copyright allows, should be deposited in RIS upon acceptance for publication or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Where it is not possible to deposit an open access version of the full-text of the paper, a record of the publication should be created in the repository with a link to an externally held version.
- Where external funding is available to meet the costs of open access article processing charges, researchers should take advantage of opportunities to publish their work with immediate open access upon publication.
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A single OA policy was adopted in 2013 by the seven UK research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, ESRC, AHRC, MRC, NERC and STFC), under the umbrella of Research Councils UK (RCUK).
Peer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils:
- must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on open access.
- must include details of the funding that supported the research - see our making your publications count webpage for the exact format for acknowledgements.
- must include a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.
You can achieve compliance with the policy through two routes:
- Green OA. The journal must allow deposit of author accepted manuscripts which include all changes resulting from peer review, without restrictions on non-commercial re-use. There should be an embargo period of no more than six months, or 12 months for research funded by the AHRC and the ESRC.
- Gold OA. The journal must allow your work to be licensed as CC BY. You can claim funds for Article Processing Charges (APCs) from UKRI (see note below) via a block grant provided to the University. Please note that we prioritise funding for papers with University of Nottingham lead or corresponding authors, although we will consider other requests.
Note: On 1 April 2018 a new body was created called UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which comprises: the seven research councils formerly grouped as RCUK; Research England; and Innovate UK.
UKRI is currently undertaking an Open Access Review which will also consider the OA policy of the post-2021 REF and alignment with Plan S principles. UKRI expects the revised policy to apply during 2020. In the interim, the current RCUK and REF OA policies continue to apply.
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The REF OA policy forms part of the REF 2021 Guidance on Submissions (REF 2019/01). The policy applies to journal articles and conference papers in publications with an ISSN:
- Any article or conference paper accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 must be made open access to be eligible for submission in REF 2021.
- The appropriate version, usually the author's accepted manuscript, of an output must be deposited in an institutional repository i.e. RIS (or subject repository) within three months of acceptance (three months of publication until 1 April 2018).
- Gold and green routes to OA are acceptable.
- Embargo periods for green OA must not exceed the following maxima: 12 months for REF main panels A and B or 24 months for REF main panels C and D.
- The REF 2021 OA policy makes allowances where there are legitimate barriers to open access and these are listed as exceptions in the policy. See our Meeting REF requirements page for further details.
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SHERPA Juliet is a database detailing funders' policies on gold and green OA and claiming OA funding. You can use it to find details on the policies of most University funders not covered here e.g. Horizon 2020, Leverhulme Trust, NIHR.
COAF (the Charities Open Access Fund) is a collaboration between a number of funders. You can claim funds for Article Processing Charges (APCs) from COAF via a block grant provided to the University. The funders covered are:
- British Heart Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- Parkinson’s UK
- Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK)
- Wellcome Trust
You can read further details on the open access policies of these funders from the links on the COAF website. The Wellcome Trust has additional requirements and funds to support making scholarly monographs and book chapters open access.
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