Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Manufacturing & Materials: Open Access

Open Access Guidance

What is Open Access?

Open access is the practice of providing free, unlimited online access to scholarly works and research outputs in a digital format, with limited restrictions on re-use.

The benefits of open access (OA) include:

  • Increased visibility and impact of research
  • Raised profile for author, funder and university
  • Faster dissemination
  • Compliance with funder and REF requirements
  • Social / public good

There are two ways of making your publications open access: Green open access (self-archiving) or gold open access.

Green Open Access (self-archiving)

Authors publish their work in a journal then deposit a version of the article for free public use in their institutional repository (e.g. Pure) or a central subject-based repository (e.g. Arxiv or PubMed Central‚Äč).  This is known as self-archiving and is often referred to as the "green" route to open access.  Depending on what the journal publisher will allow, the version archived is often an author's final version rather than the published version.

Gold Open Access Authors

publish in an open access journal, or choose an open access option in a hybrid journal, to make the paper open access immediately on publication.  There is often a fee (article processing charge - APC) associated with this option which the author or their institution will pay.

For more information regarding the different types of open access please see our definitions document below.

APCs - Article Processing Charges

The University's preference is to primarily achieve open access through the green route, by making appropriate versions of research outputs available in the institutional repository in line with publisher's policies.  

We do have arrangements in place with particular publishers which can enable articles to be published open access at no additional cost to author or the University. For more detail on this please see the tab 'Publisher Open Access Deals' which forms part of this LibGuide.

From September 2021 we now have an internal Open Access fund to support the payment of Article Processing Charges for authors wishing to publish via the 'Gold' Open Access route with publishers who levy this charge. Conditions in terms of author and journal / publisher eligibility apply. For more information please see the 'Funding to Support Open Access Publishing' tab on this LibGuide.

Articles wishing to access this fund, should first be reviewed internally by the relevant Research Centre. Once this has taken in place and the article approved in principle to be put forward for funding, an application can be made through our online form

Applications to access the fund are then passed on to the Research Panel leads at the University for a final say on approval. Once an application is made, our team will be in touch to keep applicants informed.

We also have access to a small Block Grant provided by UK Research and Innovation to support open access to publications which acknowledge support from a UKRI funding body. This fund is allocated on a first come, first served basis based on eligibility.

Information about the current UKRI Open Access policy is available on our LibGuide. This policy will change after 1st April 2022 when a new Open Access policy will come into place. For information on the policy coming into place from April 2022, please see the relevant tab on our LibGuide.

Eligible UKRI Research Councils are:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Open Access publications published via the 'gold' route should still be added to Pure, the institutional repository, within 3 months of their acceptance for publication. 


In recent times major academic publishers have been moving toward variations of 'read and publish' models which they offer to University libraries. This is where a University's subscription costs include not just access to read journal content but also the costs for its academics to publish 'open access' with those journals. 

Below are those publishers with whom our University has an agreement in place with. Deals vary with publisher to publisher, some permit publishing open access at no additional cost, others provide a discount on the cost of publishing open access.

Please note that in all cases a record for the publication should be created in Pure within 3 months of acceptance. It's also good practice to archive the author accepted manuscript in case the final version is unable to be published open access for some reason. This will ensure compliance with the University's Open Access Standard and REF Open Access policy.

This is a dynamic area and this list will be kept updated as things change. Please contact us at: if you should have any questions.



We are members of the Read and Publish Agreement negotiated between JISC and Sage which came into operation in 2020.

What journals are covered?

Under the agreement articles published in hybrid journals (journals which publish a mixture of open access and subscription only content) which have a Coventry University author as corresponding author are eligible to be published open access at no additional cost to either the author or the University.

What journals are excluded?

A minority of Sage's hybrid journals are excluded from the scheme, these are listed on the Sage website.

Articles which are published in Sage's fully open access journals will still incur an Article Processing Charge, on which we are eligible to receive a 20% discount on the full price rate. We do not have central funds to cover these costs, unless the research has been supported by UK Research Council funding in which case an application to access our Block Grant can be made (please see the 'UKRI (RCUK) Funder Policy' tab of this libguide for more information.

How is eligibility assessed?

Sage will assess eligibility based on the corresponding author's institutional affiliation and will email the corresponding author with a link to make the article open access, with a set time limit of 2 weeks for a response. Authors will then be able to choose between a CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) and CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Non-Commercial) license.

Please note that many major research funders, including UKRI on behalf of the UK Research Councils and Wellcome Trust, mandate a CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) license.

Are there any OA publication limits / caps imposed?

There are no limits on the number of articles which can be made Open Access beyond the Journals and Eligibility criteria outlined above. 

Please note that the Sage deal is the only one which presently allows Coventry University authors who are unfunded by an external funding body to publish via the Gold Open Access route at no additional cost.



We are members of the Open Access Agreement negotiated between JISC and Wiley which first came into operation in March 2020.

Since July 2021 additional restrictions have been in place around who can directly benefit from the agreement; these restrictions are expected to remain in place until the end of 2021. In practice this means that only research which acknowledges funding from a UKRI Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, or a handful of other funding bodies (detailed in the eligibility section below) will be eligible to publish Open Access at no additional cost.

The restrictions are likely to be lifted at the beginning of 2022, which will allow both funded and unfunded authors to benefit from the agreement once again.

What journals are covered?

The Wiley agreement covers both fully open access and 'hybrid' journals. 'Hybrid journals' being those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access content.

From January 2021 the Wiley Read & Publish deal also covers the 40 journals published by the The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). These IET journals from 2021 will be operating on an open access model, with all forthcoming content published open access.

What journals are excluded?

Please note that Hindawi Open Access journals are not covered by the agreement. (Wiley acquired the Hindawi publishing group in January 2021).

How is eligibility assessed?

Eligibility is based on the institutional affiliation of the corresponding author, and from July 2021 to the end of December 2021 papers will need to acknowledge a UKRI funder, the Wellcome Trust or funder who was a member of the now disbanded Charities Open Access Fund (COAF): Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise), British Heart FoundationCancer Research UK,  Parkinson’s UK and Versus Arthritis

Where the journal being published in is an 'open access' publication (publishing exclusively open access content with no subscription paywalls), the request to publish open access under the terms of the agreement gets made at the point of submission.

Where the journal being published in is a 'hybrid' journal (one which publishes open access and subscription access content) there is the option of publishing open access at no additional cost by selecting 'online open' at the point of acceptance. Any open access requests then have to be approved by the library. 

Please note that only primary research and review articles qualify for approval under the agreement. The corresponding author will be asked to select a Creative Commons re-use license - please note that many major research funders, including UKRI Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust, mandate a CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) license.

A full list of open access and hybrid journals covered under the agreement, and an explanation as to the different approval workflows for the different journal types are shown toward the bottom of the Author Services information provided by Wiley.

If an author who is affiliated to a University Research Centre, but who is not in receipt of research funding from one of the designated funders outlined above, wishes to publish with Wiley via the Gold Open Access route they can apply for funding from our University Open Access Fund. Please see this page of our LibGuide for more details on how to go about this.

Are there any OA publication limits / caps imposed?

Yes. The number of articles which can be made open access under the scheme is finite and the fund used to pay for this is shared with the other UK institutions who are part of the consortia. At the start of each calendar year new funds are allocated for open access publication costs, however as the year goes on and funds start to get used up additional restrictions on eligibility are liable to be imposed. 


Taylor & Francis

We are party to the JISC Open Access agreement with Taylor & Francis which came into effect in April 2021.

The agreement as currently constituted does not provide for entirely cost free open access publishing, rather institutions are still liable to pay the VAT based on the full open access processing fee.

As a result from 1st July 2021 additional eligibility restrictions on who can make use of this agreement have been introduced (see eligibility section below).

What journals are covered?

All of Taylor & Francis's 'Open Select' hybrid journals - around 2,300 titles in total. If in doubt look for the 'Open Select' branding on the journal homepage, if this is showing then the journal is covered by the agreement.

What journals are excluded?

Taylor & Francis's range of fully open access journals are not covered by the agreement; neither are titles in the Cogent OA or Dove Medical Press portfolios.

How is eligibility assessed?

Eligibility is based on the institutional affiliation of the corresponding author.

Only certain types of article are eligible, broadly speaking these would fall under the definitions of a primary research or review article.

Once accepted, eligible articles are automatically fed through to a Dashboard overseen by the Research & Scholarly Publications team. When an article is approved to be made Open Access under the scheme the author will receive an automated email and will be asked to complete the Publishing Agreement.

When completing the publishing agreement authors are asked to select between a CC BY NC ND or a CC BY license. Please note that despite appearing as the second option on the T&F dashboard, that the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license should generally be regarded as the default open access license, and is the one required by several major research funders such as the UK Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust.

From 1st July 2021 we have introduced additional eligibility criteria in line with those introduced under the Wiley agreement. This means articles which acknowledge specific funding sources would be eligible to be published via the 'Gold' Open Access route, but those which don't acknowledge relevant research funding would not be. For more information on this please contact us at:

If an author who is affiliated to a University Research Centre, but who is not in receipt of research funding, wishes to publish with Taylor & Francis via the Gold Open Access route they can apply for funding from our University Open Access Fund. Please see this page of our LibGuide for more details on how to go about this.

Are there any OA publication limits / caps imposed?

Yes. Similar to the Wiley deal there is a finite open access fund shared by participating members of the consortia. 



The University is a party to the 12 month pilot agreement negotiated between JISC and the BMJ.

What journals are included?

Journals which come under BMJ's Standard Collection of Journals are included, these comprise a group of 28 'hybrid' journals.

What journals are excluded?

Fully 'open access' journals published by BMJ, such as BMJ Open, are excluded, as is the BMJ journal itself. The journals covered by the agreement are restricted to the 28 journals linked to above.

How is eligibility assessed?

To be eligible, articles must:

A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license should then be applied to comply with funder requirements.

If an author who is affiliated to a University Research Centre, but who is not in receipt of research funding from one of the designated funders outlined above, wishes to publish with a BMJ journal covered under the agreement via the Gold Open Access route they can apply for funding from our University Open Access Fund. Please see this page of our LibGuide for more details on how to go about this.

Are there any OA publication limits / caps imposed?

There aren't any caps on usage, however the agreement in its present form is only set to run to the end of 2021, at which point it will be reviewed.



Sources of funding to support the costs of publishing via the 'Gold' Open Access route

University Internal Fund

The University Open Access Publishing Fund is available to all researchers who are aligned to Research Institutes and Centres at Coventry University. It can be accessed to cover the costs associated with immediate (gold) open access to research outputs only. Associated costs such as page or colour charges will not be covered by this fund.
This fund is finite and applications to this fund are reviewed and approved by the University Panel Leads. Applications are checked and processed by the Research & Scholarly Publications Team in the Library - 

The full policy in relation to this fund is available as a PDF below.

Benefits of Gold Open Access

Providing immediate, unrestricted access to your research publications can accelerate discovery and increase citations to your work. Studies1 have shown a significant increase in citations when articles are made openly available: increasing visibility and accelerating discovery and potentially increasing impact. Research is useless unless it is disseminated; enabling others to learn from and build on what has gone before.
Ensuring your work is accessible can help to avoid duplication of research by ensuring that research is effectively communicated, and others are aware of research already undertaken in their field and beyond. Text mining is beneficial in terms of providing researchers with an overview of a particular field and uncovering trends and connections with other seemingly unrelated areas. Ensuring articles are not hidden behind subscription barriers means that data mining tools can be utilised to their fullest potential.
Publishing with immediate open access can also help meet funder requirements regarding access to publications resulting from funded research. It can also help ensure papers meet the requirements for research assessments.

Principles governing the fund

• This fund runs over the university financial year for the ease of reporting and alignment with yearly cycles. The fund is split across the course of a year to try to ensure some funds are available throughout.
• The use of the fund is monitored regularly and reported back to the DVC-Research and Research Services.
• Where possible, applications to the fund should be made on acceptance for publication to avoid long delays between allocating the funds and paying the invoice. It is noted that many OA journals require confirmation of funds to pay APCs on submission. Where this is the case, applications should be made on submission.
• The fund will support the publishing of articles, book chapters and books, where funds are available enable this.
• The University is currently in receipt of a Block Grant from UKRI for Open Access and has subscribed to a number of Read and Publish agreements that support open access. Where possible and appropriate, use of these options may provide an alternative route to immediate open access for authors.
• The fund supports submissions to both Gold/fully Open Access journals and hybrid journals where a transitional agreement is in place. Use of this fund for publishing in a ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will not be permitted (an exception applies up until the end of March 2022 where UKRI funded research is concerned, in which case APCs for 'hybrid' journals which comply with the UKRI policy up until the end of March 2022 will be supported).  A list of publishers who have signed Transitional Agreements can be found here. 
• Papers in receipt of this funding must be made available via a CC BY or equivalent license. The University supports researchers in retaining author rights to the author accepted manuscript (AAM) of their publication to enable deposit in repositories under zero embargo.


Following Research Centre / Institute internal review, the form should be completed as fully as possible. Emphasis on the justification for the funding of the paper is essential in terms of clarifying why there is value in funding a particular publication. The draft paper or author accepted manuscript must also be provided.
Submitted forms will be checked by the RSP Team in the library to highlight if other options (RCUK Block Grant or current publishing deals) are available, check journal or funder requirements and ensure funds are available to support the application.
If funds or alternative options are not available, the author will be informed immediately by the library. If funds are available, the application will be reviewed by the Panel Leads. Decisions will be agreed by at least 2 Panel Leads, with all four reviewing where there is any conflict of opinion. The Panel Leads decision is final and will be communicated to the applicant with confirmation of the funding agreed.
Outputs put forward for the University APC fund are reviewed on the following criteria:
• Originality - the extent to which the output introduces a new way of thinking about a subject or is distinctive or transformative compared with previous work in the academic field.
• Significance - the extent to which the work has exerted, or is likely to exert, influence on an academic field or practical applications.
• Rigour - the extent to which the purpose of the work is clearly articulated, an appropriate methodology for the research area has been adopted, and compelling evidence presented to show that the purpose has been achieved.
• Impact – the potential impact and rationale for how immediate OA in the chosen publication will support this and enhance engagement. Is immediate OA required by the funder? If immediate OA is the only route available for a particular publication, what is the rationale for submission to this publication?

Once approval has been received following an internal Research Centre review of a prospective publication, an application for funding can then be made via this online form.

When applying for funding please also upload a word or pdf document of the manuscript. The funding request will be passed on to University Research Panel leads for them to grant final approval. Once funds have been confirmed and allocated the RSP team will contact the author.


UKRI Block Grant

We have a separate fund provided to us by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) to support the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceeding articles which acknowledge financial support by one of the UK Research Councils which UKRI oversees. The intention of this fund is to support compliance of funded authors with the terms of the UKRI Open Access policy via the 'Gold' Open Access publication route.

The Block Grant can be used to support publication in fully open access journal titles, as well as 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access article content). Please note this fund cannot be used to support the publication of open access monographs or book chapters at the present time. Articles funded through the Block Grant need to be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, and this needs to be something which the publication journal supports.

The online application form to access this fund is the same as that for the University Internal Fund. Please clearly specify who the funder is and provide the corresponding grant reference code. We will then be able to identify that the article is eligible to access the UKRI Block Grant Fund and will allocate the funding accordingly.

Our current Block Grant runs to the end of March 2022 and applies to the UKRI Open Access policy as constituted to the end of March 2022. From 1st April 2022 UKRI is introducing a new Open Access policy. We anticipate that the Block Grant will continue in some form beyond March 2022, but the precise details around this are to be confirmed.

However, from April 2022 we will no longer be able to allocate UKRI Block Grant Funds to support publication in 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access content) which are not part of an approved Transformative Agreement which the University is a party to.

Knowing where to start with sifting through all the openly available content online can be a challenge, particularly when you are seeking academic content. This section of the libguide provides guidance on the main resources to explore and tools to utilise if you are seeking legitimately available open access content online.

Please note: To check whether the contents of a particular journal are available through our University subscriptions, it is always advisable to check the library catalogue, Locate. Guidance on using Locate is available on a separate LibGuide.


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

A useful first port of call when searching for Open Access Journals is the DOAJ. Journals added to the DOAJ are vetted to ensure that they are fully Open Access publications and meet various other standards and criteria. This helps to exclude publishers and journals deemed to be 'predatory', for more on what constitutes a 'predatory' publisher please see the 'further information' tab of this libguide.

Journals can be filtered based on subject discipline and many of the publications indexed also support article level searches within DOAJ. Please note that the DOAJ is not exhaustive in documenting every Open Access journal in operation, but it provides the most comprehensive listing which presently exists. 


Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

Open Access Books (also known as Open Access Monographs) have taken longer to get off the ground than open access to journal articles. However, there are increasing factors driving open access to full length academic publications.

The DOAB indexes open access books produced by a variety of different publishers which meet relevant academic and peer review standards. 

Please note Open Access Books are typically free to read and download in electronic form, with the option of paying for a print version.  


Unpaywall (plugin)

Unpaywall is a browser extension which indicates whether there is an open access version of a publication available. 

The Unpaywall plugin works with Chrome and Firefox.

When you visit an article on a publisher's platform, the Unpaywall icon which will display on the right hand side of your browser will turn green if it detects access is covered by a subscription or if there is an open access version available on a repository system. Clicking the green Unpaywall icon will then link through to the available version it has found. 

If Unpaywall cannot detect that the article is covered by a subscription and cannot locate an openly available version then it will display a grey lock symbol.

Within settings Unpaywall also provides an 'OA Nerd Mode' function. This will display whether an article is 'Gold', meaning the final published version is available; 'Green', meaning the accepted manuscript version is available; or 'Bronze', meaning the published version is available on a temporary short-term basis. 


Open Access Button

Open Access Button works by the title, weblink or citation of an article being entered into its search function. It will then scour online repository systems to see if there is an open access version available somewhere and link you through to it. If an article is not available open access a request can be initiated of the author through the website.

Open Access Button also offers a browser extension option for Chrome and Firefox.

Core is an aggregated repository, pulling in content from institutional repositories around the world, with over 10,000 repositories and journals providing data.

The system also supports searching by 'keywords' if there isn't a specific publication you are looking for but want to see what literature on a subject is openly accessible.


PubMed Central

A free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature overseen by the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine. Predominantly indexes fully Open Access articles, but also includes deposition of some accepted manuscripts where the final publication is behind a subscription access paywall.

PubMed Central is associated with PubMed, a major database of citations and abstracts for biomedical and life sciences literature.



SciELO indexes open access journals, predominantly from South America where there is a strong tradition of open access journals run by University libraries and not for profit publishing. Some content is in English, though there is also a large amount of Spanish and Portuguese language content as a result of SciELO's coverage.

SciELO's range of services also include SciELO Open Access Books, Preprints and Data


Pre-Print Servers (Arxiv, BioRxiv and many others...)

In some academic disciplines it is commonplace for 'pre print' versions, typically manuscripts which have not yet been subject to formal peer review which may or may not have been submitted to a journal for consideration, to be hosted on subject repositories.

ArXiv is one of the biggest and most long standing of these platforms, hosting pre-prints from Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and associated disciplines. 

BioRxiv hosts pre-prints from the Biosciences, and several other subject repositories are hosted via the Open Science Foundation, among them PsyArXiv which hosts Psychology pre-prints and PaleorXiv for Paleontology. 

Do be mindful that content found on repositories such as these won't generally have been through a formal peer review process, and that some pre-print systems apply more stringent criteria as to the content they host than others.



A service operated by the British Library, EThOS is the go to place to check for Doctoral level theses produced within UK Universities. Many theses are electronically available to download from EThOS (a free to set up EThOS account will be required), older theses can have a digitisation request made on them through the EThOS system.  Please note that some Universities cover the costs associated with having a digitisation produced, others pass on the cost to the individual making the request.

Many Universities will also host electronic theses on their own repository systems. Content not indexed by EThOS, such as Masters Research theses, may be available here. A useful place to search for institutional repository systems is the ROAR registry.



Coventry University Open Access Standard


The University has had in place an Open Access Standard since 1st August 2015, which is annually reviewed alongside related policies. 

The Open Access Standard ensure that research outputs from the University are disseminated as widely as possible, helping to raise the profile of the authors and University. Furthermore open access facilitates broader knowledge transfer and open science. It also ensures that non- academic organisations such as small and medium-sized enterprises and charities who have limited access to journal outputs are able to freely access published research via the internet.

The Open Access Standard was developed to help ensure compliance with the Open Access policy in effect for the REF 2021 Research Assessment exercise. The Open Access policy in effect for future Research Assessment Exercises is expected to be reviewed in early 2022, and the University Standard is expected to be updated in light of any changes.

What does this mean for individual researchers?

Research staff and students at the University should be aware of the seven requirements which form the Open Access Standard:

1) Authors record bibliographic details of all research outputs in the University Repository Pure, within three months of the date of acceptance for publication. Authors additionally must deposit full text copies of research outputs, i.e. the final accepted peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers (and where appropriate monographs) in the institutional repository no later than three months after the date of acceptance for publication.

2) Authors must deposit all other types of research output where copyright allows; subject to the conditions of any research contracts with third parties, commercial sensitivities and discipline-specific conventions. Bibliographic details for these outputs must be recorded in Pure even if a version of the output cannot be made available. Authors of practice-based outputs must deposit documentation of the research dimensions of the output.

3) Where publisher’s copyright permissions allow and there is no confidentiality or commercial constraints, the research outputs in the institutional repository must be made available open access, i.e. freely available over the internet.

This process is managed and overseen by our Research and Scholarly Publications team within the Library.

4) Authors must use the standardised institutional affiliation “Coventry University” to ensure clear affiliation with the University and their Research Centre (if they are a member of one) or Faculty.

5) Authors must comply with funders’ policies relating to open access and research data management.

For more on these subjects please see the relevant Open Access and Research Data Management sections of this LibGuide, and contact us if you should have any questions.

6) Authors must acknowledge the source of grant funding associated with a research output in the publication itself. Information about the grant must also be linked by the author, to the record of the publication in Pure.

7) Authors should register for an individual ORCiD identifier and include this on Pure, when submitting publications, and when applying for grants to ensure the individual is credited for their work and the correct institutional affiliation is achieved.

For more on the interoperability between ORCiD and Pure please see the relevant tab within the Open Access section of this LibGuide.


Does it make a difference if I am publishing via the Gold or Green Routes?

You can satisfy the University's Open Access Standard via either route to open access.

Due to financial considerations, Coventry University has generally favoured open access by means of the Green Route (which does not involve an article processing fee).  This enables the author to publish for free in a subscription journal and to self-archive a version of the article for free public use i.e. in Pure, subject to publisher policies.  As well as ensuring your research reaches a wider audience, adding your research outputs to Pure will help researchers comply with funder policies and the requirements for national Research Assessment Exercises. This guide to self-deposit explains how you can deposit your research outputs in Pure.

The University recognises that there are additional benefits of the Gold open access route. This is where the final published version is made Open Access at point of publication, typically under a Creative Commons or equivalent re-use license. Some journals will charge a fee, known as an Article Processing Charge (APC), to facilitate publication via the Gold Open Access route. 

Do be aware that we have arrangements in place with specific publishers where open access publication is possible at no additional cost. Please see the 'Publisher open access deals' tab within this LibGuide for more on this. Additionally, in September 2021 the University launched an internal fund to support open access publishing via the Gold route where an APC may be required. For information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see this page on our LibGuide.

The policy applies in principle to all forms of research output.  However, it is recognised that in some instances (e.g. monographs or book chapters) it may not be possible to make the full text or output available openly.  Where this is the case, authors are encouraged to upload the output to Pure for preservation purposes with an indefinite embargo period applied if required. Restricted access to the document can be set by the Research and Scholarly Publications team who will check publisher permissions and policies and advise where appropriate.

We would encourage authors to negotiate publishing contracts where possible and appropriate, to permit their work to be made available via the institutional repository. For authors in receipt of Wellcome Trust and UKRI Research Council funding it is worth being aware of the funder's Rights Retention Strategies in cases where authors are publishing in subscription access journals. For more on this please see the relevant tabs within this LibGuide. For an introduction to the topic of 'Rights Retention', this short Blog Post may be of interest.

A recommended resource to check the compatibility of a journal's policy against the requirements of a research funder is Sherpa/Fact.

For further help and advice, please contact the Library Research & Scholarly Publications Team by email:

Research England Open Access policy for Research Assessment (REF) (formerly known as the HEFCE Open Access policy)


Most staff will already be aware of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is a system for assessing the quality of research outputs in UK Universities which affects future research funding. 

Since April 2016, to be eligible to submit to the 2021 REF exercise or its successor (details yet to be confirmed), staff will have to meet open access requirements. These must be met at the time papers are accepted for publication - making your papers open access retrospectively during the REF selection process, will not meet the open access requirements. These requirements will apply to all universities in the UK.

The REF Open Access Overview document sets out the guidelines, which are summarised below.  

 Key points

  • The policy applies to all journal articles and any conference papers published in proceedings that have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
  • The REF policy applies for eligible outputs accepted for publication after 1st April 2016. However, the University's own Open Access policy came into effect prior to this from 1st August 2015. 
  • An author's final peer-reviewed manuscript (Version Types) must be deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance of the publication
  • Deposit must occur within three months of the acceptance date (as given in the acceptance letter or email from the publisher to the author)

The REF Open Access policy has three elements:


The accepted manuscript needs to be deposited to Pure, acting as our institutional repository system, within three months of acceptance.

The accepted manuscript should be the version which has undergone peer review and reflects changes resulting from peer review, and which has received final confirmation that it has been accepted for publication. Please note that 'provisionally accepted' manuscripts where changes have been required don't satisfy this criteria. Please see the Version Types document for help in visualising where the accepted manuscript sits within the publication cycle.

The deposited version can be replaced with an updated manuscript if there are late editorial changes not related to peer review or the academic content of the work. The final Version of Record can also be later added if the publisher permits this to be shared.


The output must be publicly visible and discoverable. To comply with this requirement we advise the visibility of a Pure record being set to 'public' from the point a publication has been accepted. This means the output's metadata (title, publication venue, list of authors etc.) being made publicly visible through the Pure Portal.

The default setting on Pure is for visibility of records to be set to ‘public’. The overall visibility of the record operates independently to the access to a document which has been uploaded.


Where outputs have no embargo (a restriction on sharing the paper during a time limit imposed by the publisher) they must be made open access within one month of deposit.

For outputs with an embargo period, those periods should not exceed 12 months for REF main panels A and B, or 24 months for REF main panels C and D. Unit of assessment and Panel information for the 2021 REF is available here. In cases where a longer embargo period is required by a publisher, or a journal's policy is otherwise not compatible with the REF Open Access policy, an exception may be applied provided the publication can be evidenced as being the most appropriate venue for the publication. Please note that in this circumstance the output would still need to meet the Deposit and Discovery criteria outlined above.

Once any embargo period has lapsed, deposited material should be 'presented in a form that allows anyone with internet access to search electronically within the text, read it and download it without charge'.


The 'Open Access Frequently Asked Questions' tab may help answer questions connected to this area. If you have any questions not covered in the FAQ section please get in touch with us.

Please note -  Any output submitted to the REF which does not meet the requirements of this policy and does not meet with any of the allowed exceptions is liable to be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed.

A consultation is expected to be opened on the Research Assessment Open Access policy in early 2022. This is expected to result in a revised Open Access policy to take effect at a later date. More information will follow on this in due course. 

Further Information

This workflow document may be useful in understanding the issues and decisions around OA publishing for compliance with the REF Open Access policy.

The Research and Scholarly Publications team monitor newly created records in Pure and where further action or information is required to ensure an output's compliance with the Open Access policy they will contact the author(s).

In normal circumstances we hold regular drop in sessions around campus and welcome office visitors. However, due to the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic this activity is suspended for the time being. We are however happy to meet virtually online to answer individual questions, please contact us via: and we will be in touch.

Research Council Funder Open Access Requirements


Upcoming Changes to UKRI / Research Councils UK policy from April 2022

On 6th August 2021, UKRI published its revised Open Access policy which will start to come into effect from 1st April 2022.

Please see the neighbouring tab in this LibGuide entitled: 'April 2022 Update - UKRI (RCUK) Funder Policy' for more detail on this.

Policy summary (to end March 2022)

The Open Access Policy UK Research Councils, overseen since April 2018 by the newly formed UK Research and Innovation body, requires all papers submitted after April 2013 whose work was funding wholly or in part by any of the research councils to be made open access.  Though the policy only applies to journal or conference papers, RCUK encourage authors to make other types of output open access where possible.

To comply with RCUK policy authors can publish through either the green or gold route to open access.  The RCUK requirements for each of the two options are explained in the table below.

Green Open Access Gold Open access  

(Publish in a subscription or hybrid journal that allows you to deposit in an institutional or subject repository)

(Immediate open access on publishers website)

Versions to be made available

(an explanation on version types can be found here)

The version made available in the repository should be the version "accepted for publication" i.e. the version which includes the changes made in the peer-review process, but prior to publisher formatting. 

Published version
Delay before the article is freely available Where no gold route is available, an embargo of up to 12 months is permitted for research funded by the AHRC and ESRC, and 6 months for all other Councils.

Where there is a gold route, but APC funding is not available due to having been exhauster, longer embargoes of up to 24 months is permitted for AHRC and ESRC, and 12 months for all other Councils.

Must be made immediately available on publication
Required licence terms Preference is for CC-BY, however, the formal requirement is that the licence places no restriction on non-commercial reuse, including non-commercial text- and data-mining. The licence should also allow for the sharing of adaptations of the material. This means a CC-BY-NC licence, or equivalent is acceptable. A CC-BY-NC-ND licence is not compliant.  Must be assigned a Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY)
Cost There is not usually a charge for this route. There is often an Article Processing Charge associated with this route


This decision tree (PDF) may help you to decide which route to choose. Both green and gold papers can be deposited in Pure and we ask that authors do so within 3 months of acceptance to be consistent with the University Open Access Standard requirements.

Funding to support compliance via the Gold route

The University is in receipt of a block grant to support publication via the Gold Open Access route for authors in receipt of UK Research Council funding. Research funded by the UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC) are eligible.

Up until the end of March 2022, the Block Grant can be used to support publication in fully open access journal titles, as well as 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access article content). Please note this fund cannot be used to support the publication of open access monographs or book chapters at the present time.

The online application form to access this fund is the same as that for the University Internal Fund. Please clearly specify who the funder is and provide the corresponding grant reference code. We will then be able to identify that the article is eligible to access the UKRI Block Grant Fund and will allocate the funding accordingly.

Our current Block Grant runs to the end of March 2022. From 1st April 2022 UKRI is introducing a new Open Access policy. We anticipate that the Block Grant will continue in some form beyond March 2022, but the precise details around this are to be confirmed. From April 2022 we will no longer be able to allocate UKRI Block Grant Funds to support publication in 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access content) which are not part of an approved Transformative Agreement.

In the case of Innovate UK and the UK Space Agency, research funded by these bodies is not eligible to have open access charges paid for via the Block Grant, unless an UK Research Council is also involved.


Requirements that apply to both Green and Gold:

All journal and conference papers must:

Some funders such as MRC require deposit in specific repositories e.g. PubMed Central. Authors should also deposit in the Pure University Institutional repository.

UKRI is now reporting on their funded research in their Research Gateway. It contains information on RCUK / UKRI projects which became active after April 2006, and includes outcomes information submitted in ROS and Researchfish.


Researchfish is a Research Outcomes System designed to enable researchers to report once across multiple funders, and re-use their data. It has a simple one-click environment for adding research outcomes to be stored and/or attributed to an award. A researcher, or one of their delegates, can add, edit and delete entries, and attribute entries to awards they hold or to one of their CV’s held in the Researchfish portal.

Researchfish is currently used by many public and charitable research funding agencies (including the UK Research Councils, the British Heart Foundation, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, and National Institute of Health Research).

UKRI / RCUK have used Researchfish as the Research Councils’ harmonised research outcomes collection system since September 2014. Information concerning the reporting obligations for Principal Investigators is available through the UKRI website.

For further information on Researchfish and account details contact the Business Development Group.

Upcoming Changes to UKRI / Research Councils UK policy from April 2022

On 6th August 2021, UKRI published its revised Open Access policy which will come into effect for journal articles and conference proceeding papers submitted for publication from 1st April 2022.

From 1st April 2022, the following conditions apply to peer-reviewed journal and conference proceeding publications:

* Either the final published version (the Version of Record) or the Author Accepted Manuscript version must be made immediately available at point of publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. (In exceptional cases a Creative Commons No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) license may be applied. More guidance on the circumstances where this may be considered is to be provided by UKRI).

* Open Access Block Grant funding will continue to be provided by UKRI to support open access publishing via the 'Gold' route, however these funds cannot be used to support publishing in 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access articles) which have not committed to an approved 'transitional agreement'. 

* Authors can still publish in non-open access journals, provided the journal accepts terms which permit the Author Accepted Manuscript being made available at point of publication under a CC-BY re-use license. Authors are advised to insert standard text along with their article submission to advise the publisher that a prior license has been applied (please see clause 12 of the UKRI policy).

* The revised policy applies to in-scope articles submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2022.

In practical terms there will be three compliant publication routes available to authors after 1st April 2022:

1)  Publish in a fully open access journal - with the final published Version of Record being made available under a CC-BY license

2)  Publish in a journal which has committed to an approved transitional agreement - with the final published Version of Record being made available under a CC-BY license

3)  Publish in a 'hybrid' or subscription access journal with the author accepted manuscript version being made available at point of publication via Pure under a CC-BY license

From 1st January 2024 the following Open Access conditions apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections:

Long-form publications (monographs, book chapters, edited collections) published on or after 1st January 2024 must make available Open Access either the final published version (Version of Record) or the Author Accepted manuscript version, within a maximum period of 12 months of publication.

* The Version of Record or Author Accepted Manuscript version should be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, or by exception under the more restrictive Creative Commons No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) license. There is, however, understanding within the policy third-party copyrighted material within a long-form work, e.g. images, photographs, diagrams and maps, may be subject to more restrictive licensing terms than the main body of the work. (clause 20)

* Exceptions apply, with the UKRI Open Access policy requirements not applying to those publications categorised as: trade books (unless the book is the sole output resulting from UKRI funding, in which case it is covered by the policy), scholarly editions, exhibition or scholarly catalogues, textbooks and works or fiction / creative writing.


UKRI are signatories to the Plan S Open Access initiative, and their revised policy coming into effect from April 2022 is designed to reflect the overarching terms of Plan S. Please see the Plan S tab in this LibGuide for more information about Plan S and what it seeks to achieve.

If you would like to arrange an information session for your Research Group or Research Centre to find out more about the revised UKRI policy please contact:

Open Access policy for Grants awarded since 2021

The European Commission, which oversees the Horizon 2020 programme, is a signatory to the Open Access framework Plan S. For more on the background to Plan S and what it seeks to achieve, please see this tab on our libguide.

For grants awarded since 2021, Horizon 2020 is adopting a new Open Access policy aligned with the principles of Plan S. A draft of the model grant agreement was released in July 2021.

Summary of the Open Access policy contained in the model grant agreement:

* The policy applies to all 'peer reviewed' publications, which means journal articles and conference proceeding publications but also extends to book chapters and monographs. If at least one independent external expert has reviewed the work then this constitutes 'peer review' under the Horizon 2020 definition. 

* Open Access to research publications needs to occur immediately upon publication, with embargo periods no longer being permitted. This can be achieved by publishing in a fully open access journal, by taking advantage of a transformative publisher agreement which facilitates open access publishing, or by publishing in a subscription access journal and retaining the right to share the accepted manuscript under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. For more on how this latter route works, please see this Blog Post on Rights Retention Strategies.

'Mirror' / 'Sister' journals, the open access partner journals of subscription access journals, are deemed to be fully open access publication venues under the Horizon policy.

* In-scope publications should be licensed under the latest version of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. An exception can apply to monographs and other 'long-form' publications where the more restrictive Creative Commons licenses such as CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND and CC BY-NC-ND may apply.

* Only publication fees in full open access venues for peer-reviewed scientific publications are eligible for reimbursement from Horizon 2020 funding. This means open access costs associated with 'hybrid' publications, those which host a mixture of open and subscription access content, cannot be covered through the Grant.

Please note that the library does not administer any central open access funds on behalf of Horizon 2020. For more on the practicalities on how open access charges can be reimbursed through Horizon 2020, please contact the research office or your funder.

* It is essential that a deposit is made on a suitable repository subject or institutional repository, such as our institutional repository, Pure. Even if a work is open access under the correct license on the publisher's platform, it needs to be archived on a repository to comply. In line with our institutional policy we advocate that records get added to Pure within 3 months of their acceptance for publication.

For more detail and guidance around Best Practice around Open Science practice, please see the latest guidance in the Model Grant Agreement.


Open Access policy for Grants awarded prior to 2021

Publications expressly covered by the policy are peer-reviewed scholarly articles, typically published by academic journals.

Horizon 2020 also encourages open access to a broader range of publication outputs, such as:

  • monographs
  • books
  • conference proceedings
  • grey literature (informally published written material not controlled by scientific publishers, e.g. reports)

There are two routes to comply with the open access requirements:

Green Open Access

The author, or a representative, archives (deposits) the published article or the final peer-reviewed manuscript in an online repository such as our Pure system. We ask that this be done within 3 months of the article being accepted for publication in keeping with the REF and University open access policy requirements.

Horizon 2020 imposes a maximum embargo period of 6 months (12 months for Arts and Social Science disciplines).

To check whether a journal's policy allows for open access to be provided to the accepted manuscript within the parameters of the Horizon 2020 policy please check Sherpa/Romeo or contact our team at: for guidance.

Horizon 2020 does also provide a 'model agreement' copyright transfer document which authors can use in order to seek to negotiate embargo terms with a publisher which otherwise is not compliant with the reduced embargo period which Horizon 2020 mandates.

Gold Open Access

Authors can also publish in open access journals, or in hybrid journals which publish a mixture of subscription only and open access content, and which offer the option of making individual articles openly accessible.
'Article processing charges' are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project (as other costs defined in the Model Grant Agreement). The article must also be made accessible through a repository, such as Pure, upon publication.

The costs of 'gold' open access publications incurred once a project is completed cannot be refunded from that project's budget.

Horizon 2020 does not mandate a particular Creative Commons license, but we would advocate using a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license wherever possible to maximise the value to third parties of making the work available open access.

Please note that the library does not administer any central open access funds on behalf of Horizon 2020. For more on the practicalities on how open access charges can be reimbursed through Horizon 2020, please contact the research office or your funder.

Horizon 2020 Research Data Policy

For more information on the Horizon 2020 approach to Research Data Management please see the FAIR Data tab on the Research Data Management part of this libguide.


Policy from 1st January 2021 onwards

The Wellcome Trust are signatories to Coalition-S, the group of funders behind Plan S. Please see the information tab on Plan S within this libguide for further context around this.

The Wellcome Trust's Open Access policy based on the Plan S guidelines came into effect from 1st January 2021. 

Routes to compliance

There are three ways to comply with the policy:

i) Publish in a fully open access journal or platform under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

A fully open access journal or platform is one which publishes exclusively open access content, as opposed to 'hybrid' journals and platforms which may publish a range of open access and subscription access content. To publish in a fully open access journal an Article Processing Charge (APC) may be charged to facilitate publication. The library does not have funds to cover this cost as we are not in receipt of a Wellcome Trust Block Grant, however open access costs can be claimed back through the funder.

ii) Publish in a subscription access journal and archive the accepted manuscript version to Europe PMC (we would also ask that a deposit be made to our Pure system) at the point of publication.

This document is to be made freely available from point of publication without an embargo period, this document needs to be made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Publishers may ask authors to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement from point of acceptance, it's important to note that Wellcome Trust requires authors to be permitted to share their accepted manuscript versions under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

It's advised that research articles which acknowledge Wellcome Trust funding have the following statement attached at point of submission: “This research was funded in whole or in part by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission."

March 2021 update - Wellcome Trust has published additional clarification in relation to this route to Open Access compliance. Where 'hybrid journals', those which host a mixture of open access and subscription only content, haven't committed to a transformative agreement which would see them commit to becoming fully open access by the end of 2024, the Wellcome Trust does not permit individual article Article Processing Charges to be paid to them. If the journal does not allow the archiving of the accepted manuscript at no cost under the terms outlined above, then Wellcome advise that authors request an APC waiver, or seek an alternative publication venue.

iii) Publish in a journal which has signed up to a transformative agreement with the University to which the author is affiliated.

A transformative agreement is one in which the publisher agrees to shift their business model from a subscription access to open access model over a designated timeframe. Complying via this route will see the final published version being made open access under a  Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

For more details on those publishers that Coventry University have agreements in place with, please see the relevant tab of this libguide. You would be welcome to contact us at: if you should have any questions in relation to this.

Checking if a journal is compliant with Wellcome's policy

It is advised that authors are clear when submitting to a journal as to which of the three compliance routes the journal comes under.

A Journal Checker Tool has been developed to help with the process to check the compliance of specific journals with the terms of Plan S funders. At the time of writing (October 2021) the tool is still in beta mode, therefore it cannot be relied upon to be 100% accurate.

If you should have any questions about your funder requirements and whether you can meet them through your intended publication channel please contact us at:

Exceptions to the CC-BY licensing requirement

Authors who are concerned about making their work available under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY), can apply to use the more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives license (CC BY-ND) instead. All requests must be made through the funder in advance of publication.


Former Policy in place until the end of 2020

The Wellcome Trust Open Access policy in effect to the end of 2020 permitted compliance via the 'Gold' and 'Green' open access routes. 

Gold Route - If an Article Processing Charge (APC) had been paid to support open access then the article should have been made available open access under a CC-BY license immediately at point of publication.

Green Open Access - A maximum embargo period of 6 months was permitted where the accepted manuscript is archived for open access purposes.

PubMed - Wellcome requires that articles be made open access through PubMed, after a maximum period of 6 months from publication if via the Green route. The author manuscript submission system Europe PMC plus can be used to self-archive papers if the journal does not offer this service directly.


Monographs Policy

The Wellcome Trust expanded their open access policy to include monographs and book chapters from 2014. This aspect of the open access policy contains the following elements:

* The policy applies to all original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grantholders as part of their grant-funded research. The policy does not apply to textbooks, ‘trade’ books, general reference works or works of fiction, or to collections edited, but not authored, by Wellcome grantholders.

* Grantholders are required to make these research outputs available through PMC Bookshelf(opens in a new tab) and Europe PMC(opens in a new tab) as soon as possible, with a maximum embargo of six months. A list of publishers whose policies Wellcome considers compliant with its policy is available online.

Where a publishing fee is levied, such works must be available without embargo, and be licensed in ways which support their re-use. Ideally this would mean a CC-BY license being used, although more restrictive forms of Creative Commons license are also acceptable.

Funding through the Wellcome Trust is available to support compliance with these requirements.

Please note that a useful resource for checking the compatibility of a particular journal with the policies of a research funder is Sherpa/FACT.

For any questions you can of course contact our team at: and we will endeavour to advise.

Research funders which have their own open access policies:-

UK Government Department for International Development (DFID)

DFID first introduced its Research Open and Enhanced Open Access Policy in November 2012.

Main components of the policy are:

* Authors are encouraged to publish via the Gold Route to Open Access where possible, DFID will include the cost of APCs (Article Processing Charges) in the overall project budget. Publication in fully open access journals are favoured over hybrid journals.

* If researchers do not pursue the Gold Open Access route then they may publish in a subscription access journal provided they are able to provide access via the Green Open Access route after an embargo not exceeding 6 months.

* Researchers are encouraged to make use of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license on outputs published.

* Research outputs must be deposited in R4D, DFID's own research repository, that is in addition to our institutional repository system (Pure).

* Datasets are required to be placed in an open access repository within 12  months of final data collection or on publication of outputs underpinned by that data, whichever is sooner (unless exempted by DFID). Publications must include information on how to access raw datasets which underpin the research findings. (Research Open and Enhanced Open Access Policy, sections 57-60)

* The policy covers: peer reviewed journal articles; reports and other written materials; books and book chapters; datasets; video, audio and images; websites; and computer software. (Research Open and Enhanced Open Access Policy, section 30)

DFID comissioned a review of its open access policy in 2019 which made a range of recommendations, it is therefore possible that the policy may change in the near future, possibly to align with the principles of Plan S.

Grants linked to DFID which are distributed by a UK Research Council are subject to the Research Council's Open Access policy. Please see the associated tabs in this LibGuide for further information. 

Please note the Department for International Development (DFID) has now been merged into the newly created Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office. This information will be updated once further information is received concerning any changes to their Open Access requirements.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Open Access Policy


This policy applies to any peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers, final reports or executive summaries) that are supported in whole or in part by NIHR funding awarded post-April 2014. For the purposes of this policy, the NIHR considers that the ‘content’ of a paper includes, but is not limited to, the text, data, images and figures within a paper.

The policy does not cover books, critical editions, volumes and catalogues, or forms of non-peer-reviewed material. However, the NIHR encourages authors of such material to consider making them open access where possible.

Compliance Routes

The main study findings should be published in a fully open access journal under a CC BY license.

Other research publications supported in whole or in part by NIHR can comply by having the accepted manuscript made available through Europe PMC within 6 months of publication via the 'Green' Open Access route. 

Some journals will make the deposit to Europe PMC on an author's behalf, in other cases the author will need to deposit themselves. Please see the Europe PMC guidance on how authors can submit their work to the system.


A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is required for the publication detailing the main study findings.

Funding Support

NIHR grant holders are expected to make provision within their award to cover the costs of open access publishing. If necessary, researchers may need to contact the awarding NIHR coordinating centre to discuss covering open access costs. 

No central funds are held at a University or Library level specifically to support NIHR funded authors meet their open access requirements.


British Heart Foundation (BHF) Open Access Policy


Each peer-reviewed primary research paper or non-commissioned review article, supported in whole or in part by BHF funding is in scope of the policy.

Compliance Routes

There are two compliance routes available:

* Gold Open Access where the final published version is available from point of publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

* Green Open Access where the final published version is restricted to subscribers, but the accepted manuscript is archived on the Europe PMC platform and made available within 6 months of publication. Some journals will make the deposit to Europe PMC on an author's behalf, in other cases the author will need to deposit themselves. Please see the Europe PMC guidance on how authors can submit their work to the system.


A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is required for articles published via the Gold Open Access route where immediate open access is provided to the final publication.

Funding Support

Our University receives a small annual grant from British Heart Foundation to support open access publishing costs via the 'Gold' open access route for research which acknowledges their funding. To make an application please complete our funding request form.

Exceptions to the policy

If a researcher wishes to publish a paper in a journal that will not allow deposition in Europe PMC and open access within 6 months of publication, a case must be made in advance to BHF, exceptions are only granted in exceptional circumstances.


Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Open Access Policy


Policy applies to any original primary research article which is accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and which acknowledges CRUK funding.

Compliance Routes

* Gold Open Access where the final published version is available from point of publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

* Green Open Access where the final published version is restricted to subscribers, but the accepted manuscript is archived on the Europe PMC platform and made available within 6 months of publication. Some journals will make the deposit to Europe PMC on an author's behalf, in other cases the author will need to deposit themselves. Please see the Europe PMC guidance on how authors can submit their work to the system.

From 1st January 2022 the policy toward Green Open Access is changing, with Open Access needing to be provided immediately with a six month embargo no longer being permitted.


A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is required for articles published via the Gold Open Access route where immediate open access is provided to the final publication through the payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC).

Funding Support 

Please note that Coventry University are not a recipient of Block Grant funding from Cancer Research UK.

Authors have the ability to use any underspend on their active CRUK grant to cover Article Processing Charges (APCs) if wishing to publish via the Gold Open Access route.


All CRUK-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to:

  • post preprints (pre-peer reviewed versions of research)  of their work en-route to their publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • publish preprints under a CC BY license on a platform that is indexed in Europe PMC.


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Open Access Policy


The policy is effective for all grants awarded from January 1, 2015 and applies to all Funded Research consisting of manuscript submissions and data depositions made starting January 1, 2021.

This policy implementation change does not apply to:

  • Review articles and other works of synthesis or opinion/analysis where grantees are invited to contribute on a specific topic.
  • Researchers publishing monographs or book chapters.
Compliance Routes

Gold Open Access - Authors publish in a fully Open Access journal with the final publication being made Open Access at point of publication under a CC BY license.

Green Open Access - Authors publish in a subscription access journal, but retain sufficient rights over their accepted manuscript that they are able to make it available immediately upon publication through an open access repository under a CC BY license.


The Open Access version, whether the final published version or accepted manuscript, must be subject to a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license or equivalent.

For authors publishing in subscription access journals, this requires them to retain sufficient rights over their work to permit them to archive their accepted manuscript under the appropriate license without an embargo. For context around this please see the Plan S guidance around author Rights Retention.

The Foundation requires that the following standard text be provided on manuscripts submitted for publication: "This work was supported, in whole or in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [grant number]. Under the grant conditions of the Foundation, a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License has already been assigned to the Author Accepted Manuscript version that might arise from this submission."

Funding Support

The foundation shall pay reasonable fees required by a publisher or repository to effect immediate, open access to the accepted article. This includes article processing charges and other publisher fees. For special issues and supplements, only the article processing charges are covered by the foundation. Effective as of January 1, 2021, the Foundation shall only pay these fees for articles being published in fully Open Access journals. It is suggested grantees refer to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) for a comprehensive list.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are a signatory to Plan S. To find out more about this initiative and what it hopes to achieve, please see the tab on our LibGuide covering this area.


Research Data - Each accepted article must be accompanied by a Data Availability Statement that describes where any primary data, associated metadata, original software, and any additional relevant materials necessary to understand, assess, and replicate the reported study findings in totality can be found.

The Foundation shall require that underlying data supporting the accepted article shall be immediately accessible and open upon article publication. Grantees are encouraged to adhere to the FAIR principles to improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse of digital assets.

Preprint deposit is encouraged - While not needed to fulfill the Open Access policy requirements, Grantees are encouraged to deposit Funded Research consisting of their submitted manuscript, and its subsequent versions, on a preprint server under a CC BY 4.0 license.


Arcadia Fund


For grants awarded from 1st January 2022 Arcadia's open access policy will include research articles, book chapters and books within the scope of the policy, where research has been funded in whole or in part by the Arcadia Fund.

Compliance Routes

Research articles

There are two routes to compliance:

i) By publishing in a fully open access journal, whereby the final publication is immediately available upon publication, or a journal covered under a Transformative Agreement negotiated by the UK HE sector

ii) By making use of the Rights Retention Strategy developed under Plan S. This means publishing in a non-fully open access journal, with the accepted manuscript archived on a system such as Pure and made available immediately upon publication. This will require that authors retain sufficient rights over their accepted manuscript to permit them to do this, this requires grantees to not transfer copyright over research articles to the publisher. 

Books and Book chapters

A maximum embargo period of one year is permitted between point of publication and the point when an open access version is made available through the publisher platform or from a suitable open access repository.


A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Licence is preferred, this applies to all output types. This is in keeping with the default Plan S approach.

Funding Support

The Library does not hold any specific central funding from Arcadia to support compliance with their open access policy.

We would advise grant recipients to check their funding conditions to see if open access costs, such as Article Processing Charges (APCs) for fully open access journal publications, can be recouped through the grant.


Research Data

Research data and any other digital materials funded in whole or in part by Arcadia must be freely available online wherever possible, for as long as the grantee organization exists.

Grant recipients must manage and share digital data arising from our grant in accordance with FAIR and CARE principles. The materials that grant recipients make available online must be of sufficient quality to ensure that they can be used for research. This commitment will last for as long as the grantee organization exists.

Please see the Research Data Management section of this LibGuide for more information on FAIR Data principles. 


The following research funders don't have specific, formalised open access requirements, but do be advised that the University and REF Open Access policies would still apply as they do for unfunded authors:-

British Academy

The British Academy does not have a specific open access policy, and does not permit their awards to be used to pay for Open Access publishing costs. However their APEX Awards terms and conditions have previously stated that: 'The Society is committed to the widest possible dissemination of research outputs through the awards that it supports, and encourages Award Holders to publish peer-reviewed articles and monographs in Open Access journals.'

The British Academy maintains its responses to open access consultations and initiatives on their website.

Leverhulme Trust

The present policy of the Lerverhulme Trust is to 'make no stipulations regarding mandatory archiving or open access publication for Leverhulme grant holders' (Question 8).

However, the Leverhulme Trust does consider open access publishing costs as permissible costs which 'should be included either within the 25% associated costs allowable on Research Project Grants and Research Programme Grants or within the research expenses category for fellowships'. See Question 6 of the Leverhulme Trust's Associated Costs / Research expenses page for full information on this.

The Royal Society

Section 12 of the Royal Society's Conditions of Award stipulate: 'The findings from the research funded by the Award are to be made freely available to the broader scientific community as soon as possible. However, the publication or release of such findings may be reasonably delayed enabling protection of any intellectual property. It is the responsibility of the Award Holder and the Host Organisation to actively communicate the findings from the research to the public at the relevant local, national or international level.'

At a minimum The Royal Society expects to follow the 'green' route to Open Access, as is the case under the University and REF Open Access policies. While the Royal Society's preference is for research to be made Open Access at point of publication, the Royal Society does not consent to cover Open Access publishing costs (Question 11 - 2022 Research Fellowship FAQs).

Furthermore the Royal Society states that 'it encourages Award Holders to publish peer-reviewed articles and monographs in Open Access journals', however it does not permit Royal Society funds to be used to cover open access publishing costs (Frequently Asked Question 9).

Please note the above video was made in July 2020. Since the creation of this video the Wellcome Trust has begun to implement its Plan S aligned Open Access policy, and UKRI have published their revised Open Access policy which is due to take effect from 1st April 2022.

Information about these funder policies are available within our LibGuide.


First launched in September 2018, Plan S is a new open access framework which has been signed up to by several major research funders who comprise Coalition-S. The principles of Plan S are due to come into effect from 1st January 2021, though some signatory funders, such as UKRI, are choosing to fully implement the principles at a later date. In the case of the UKRI they are implementing a new Plan S inspired Open Access policy from 1st April 2022

The overarching goals of Plan S are to:

  • End embargo periods which delay research publications being made available open access by requiring immediate open access upon publication. This can take place via the Gold or Green routes to open access. The version released open access should be published under an open license, ideally a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.
  • Have publishers of subscription journals commit to transformative agreements which would see their business model 'flipping' from subscription access to open access over a period of time up to the end of 2024.
  • Support authors retaining additional rights over how they can share their research, by allowing the accepted manuscript to be shared immediately at point of publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.
  • Signatory funders commit to assess research based on the intrinsic merit of the work and not based on the publication channel, its impact factor (or other journal metrics), or the publisher. 

The 10 Principles of Plan S are available to read online.

There is also a Plan S FAQ page which is updated on an ongoing basis.


Funder signatories

The following major funders of research conducted in the UK are signatories:

In addition there are numerous national research funders. The situation is dynamic, with new funders invited to sign up. For a complete list please check the Coalition-S website

An overview of the implementation timetables of different cOAlition S members is available through their website.


Routes to compliance

If you are a researcher funded by a Coalition-S signatory funder, there are three broad ways to comply with the Plan S open access requirements:

i) Publish in a fully Open Access journal under a CC BY license (may necessitate payment of an Article Processing Charge)

ii) Publish in a journal subject to an approved transformative agreement under a CC BY license (may necessitate a charge and would need to check whether journal was signed up to a Plan S compliant Transformative Agreement). Please see the section below for more information in relation to this.

iii) Comply via the Green route by archiving the accepted manuscript to Pure, or other nominated repository, under a CC BY license with no embargo (please see information on the Plan S rights retention strategy below for more on how this may work)

Please note that each Coalition-S member will develop their own local open access policy which connect to the overarching goals of Plan S, and there may be subtle differences between them. Please see individual funder information from the tabs in this guide, or contact us directly for further information.


A quick note on transformative agreements

Plan S supports three strategies in this area:

1) Transformative Agreements - these consist of contractual agreements between publishers and library consortia (e.g. JISC in the UK context) whereby subscription costs are reallocated to support costs of open access publishing. Such agreements are also known as 'Read & Publish' deals. Under this model subscription costs are to be phased out by the end of 2024 but Universities who are parties to such agreements continue to make payments to support publication costs. Plan S calls for such agreements to comply with ESAC Guidelines.

2) Transformative Model Agreements - these involve smaller publishers, such as Society Publishers, but otherwise follow similar principles to Transformative Agreements with libraries continuing to pay a subscription charge to the journal / publisher and in exchange authors from their University are able to publish with the journal in a compliant open access fashion without additional payment needing to be made.

3) Transformative Journals - where a journal commits to incrementally increasing the proportion of open access articles published year on year, with a corresponding decrease in subscription costs. The journal commits to fully 'flipping' to become an open access journal once 75% of its content is being published open access.


Rights Retention Strategy 

To help authors comply via the 'Green route' cOAlition S has developed a rights retention strategy aimed at ensuring authors retain the right to license their accepted manuscripts under a CC-BY / Creative Commons Attribution license.

In principle the Rights Retention Strategy route should allow authors to publish in 'subscription' and 'hybrid' access journals whilst adhering to the Plan S funder policies of providing immediate Open Access to the author accepted manuscript version under the appropriate CC BY license termscOAlition S have communicated this approach to publishers, and the great majority have not indicated that they would decline papers subject to the Rights Retention Strategy requirements, however it is necessary to make journals aware at the point of submission where this funder obligation applies.

There are two strategies in place in this area:

  • Some funders will implement a 'prior license' to all future accepted manuscripts which stem from their funding. This then takes precedence over any subsequent license agreements.
  • Other funders will impose a 'prior obligation' on their grantees to license accepted manuscripts under the terms of the CC-BY license.


What happens next?

In November 2020 a Plan S journal compliance checker tool was launched in Beta mode. The intention of this service is that it will clearly indicate to researchers whether a particular journal is compatible with a particular funders policies. As of October 2021 this is still in 'beta' mode so cannot be relied on to be 100% accurate.

From July 2022 open access journals which charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) will be required to provide transparent pricing as to how their APC costs are arrived at and what services are being provided in exchange for the fee.

There is also the prospect in the future of the remit of Plan S being expanded to cover publications such as monographs, though presently they are outside the scope of the Plan S policy.

Whilst Plan S is designed to help provide a standardised Open Access policy framework for there will be some variation in how the principles contained within Plan S are implemented and adapted by signatory funders.  



Copyright and Licensing


You may find the following information useful, though please note that this page can only provide guidelines and should not be relied on for legal advice.

Introduction to Copyright

Copyright law grants exclusive rights to creators of original works of authorship. National laws usually extend protections to such works automatically once fixed in a tangible medium, prohibiting the making of copies without the rights holder’s permission, among other things. On the internet, even the most basic activities involve making copies of copyrighted content. As content is increasingly uploaded, downloaded, and shared online, copyright law is becoming more relevant to more people.

Useful links:

  • Copyright User is a multimedia resource aimed at helping creators, media professionals and the general public understand copyright. A joint collaboration between CREATe and Bournemouth University, Copyright User consists of videos, interactive tools, subject resources, and FAQs. The resources are meant for everyone who uses copyright: musicians, filmmakers, performers, writers, visual artists or interactive developers. It informs creators how to protect their work, how to license and exploit it, and how to legally re-use the work of others.
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official government body responsible for IP rights in the UK, includes patents, designs, trademarks and copyright information
  • Jisc Legal offers copyright guidance, resources and FAQs.
  • CREATe is the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, based at the University of Glasgow. It is funded jointly by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). CREATe investigates the future of creative production in the digital age, and in particular the role of copyright.

Changes to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 for the purposes of teaching and research

The Act was amended in 2014 to update the framework of exceptions to copyright and rights in performances, expanding the freedoms in copyright law that allows third parties to use copyright works.

The new legislation includes:

  • Copyright and Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) regulations 2014, no.1372
  • Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) regulations 2014, no.1384
  • Copyright (Public Administration) regulations 2014, no.1385

For further information on the changes click here


Licences and Reuse

Creative Commons offer a suite of licenses which permit varying degrees of reuse.

Guide to Creative Commons licenses
CC license Commercial re-use permitted?

Adaptation / Remixing

of content permitted?

CC Zero (CC 0) Yes Yes Works published under this license are in the public domain, with authors waiving copyright and associated IP rights.  
Attribution (CC BY) Yes - subject to attribution Yes - subject to attribution The most accommodating CC license which still enables authors to maintain copyright. This is the license which RCUK and Wellcome Trust require to be provided on articles they fund via the Gold Open Access route.
Attribution Share Alike (CC BY SA) Yes - subject to terms Yes - subject to terms Same as the CC BY license, with the additional rule that works derived from the original work must also be subject to a CC BY SA license.
Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY ND) Yes - subject to attribution No The work cannot be adapted, however re-use of the original work for any other purpose, including commercial, is permitted subject to attribution.
Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY NC) No Yes - subject to terms

Re-use must be non-commercial, but adaptation of original work is permitted subject to the license terms.

Derivative works do not have to be licensed on same terms.

Attribution Non Commercial – Share Alike (CC BY NC SA) No Yes - subject to terms

Re-use must be non-commercial, but adaptation of original work is permitted subject to the license terms.

Derivative works must be licensed on same terms as the original work.

Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY NC ND) No No The most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses. Content can be copied and redistributed, subject to the terms of the license.  

Major research funders such as Research Councils UK and Wellcome Trust require that articles published via the Gold Open Access route which have been funded through them be made subject to a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. 

Further information on Creative Commons licenses is available on the Creative Commons website.


ORCiD is a free service providing a persistent identifier allowing authors to bring together all of their research outputs and avoiding the confusion which can arise around authors with similar names being considered one and the same person, and the opposite problem of outputs by the same person being split among different name variants. 

Having an ORCiD ID can also help with Scopus and Pure interoperability and will assist with research funding applications, as an increasing number of research funders require an ORCiD ID as part of their application criteria.


Getting set up

Registering for an ORCiD account is free and straight forward to do. When setting up an ORCiD ID you have the option of whether the information connected with your ORCiD ID displays publicly or not. The ID itself will then consist of a randomly generated 16 digit number which is unique to your account. 

Once set up you will be able to link your ORCiD ID to your Scopus ID and LinkedIn profile. Linking to your Scopus ID is particularly beneficial as it will help address any author mismatching on the Scopus system.


Adding publications to an ORCiD ID

There are four main ways to update an ORCiD record with the details of past publications (or 'works' as they are known in ORCiD). 

1) To directly import records from other systems, including Scopus and Pure

2) Add works using an identifier such as a DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

3) Using a Bibtex file

4)  By adding works manually

For forthcoming and future publications, many publishers support the automatic import of publication information from their system to ORCiD provided the author's ORCiD ID is provided when submitting for publication. 


Interoperability between ORCiD and PURE

To link up your ORCiD ID to Pure, first login to the Pure system. Once logged click on your name / login ID which will display toward the top left of screen, then click 'edit person profile'. Once you have done this you will see an option inviting you to 'create or connect' to your ORCiD ID. Once the link is set up subsequent records created in Pure will migrate over to your ORCiD profile provided they relate to published content, have been validated and are set to 'public visibility'. The exporting of this data typically happens overnight. Your ORCiD ID will also display on your public facing Pure Portal person profile.

For past publications, ORCiD can be used as an import source. To utilise this select 'Import from online source', where ORCiD is offered as an option. The publications linked to the ORCiD ID will then display and you can import individual records to the Pure system from here. Most of the mandatory information fields should already be populated using the ORCiD data. Once the link is established you will be prompted for any new publications to import when you log into Pure which are detected via your ORCiD, unless this function is turned off. (Please note however that as we are encouraging records to get added to Pure at the point of acceptance that we would typically expect to see a record on Pure before it appears on ORCiD following publication.) 


Interoperability between ORCiD and Scopus

Records in Scopus can be migrated to ORCiD, however records in ORCiD cannot be migrated to Scopus. This is because Scopus have restrictions around what they index on their system, so not all publications will be eligible for inclusion in Scopus. 

To sync up ORCiD and Scopus first log into Scopus, using your Coventry University credentials via Open Athens or through Locate where it's recorded as a database.

Once you have found your author Scopus profile, you will see the option 'connect to ORCID'. By selecting this you will by invited to login to your ORCiD account. Once you have associated your ORCiD ID with your Scopus account you will then be able to import records from Scopus into ORCiD if any publications are missing.   


De-duplicating multiple Scopus IDs

Scopus author IDs get automatically created when Scopus indexes a publication. While Scopus does attempt to identify where the same author appears on different publications and matches them to the same author, mismatches between publications and author are still fairly common however. Mismatches often can occur if an author publishes under variations of their name (e.g. John Smith, J Smith, J.W. Smith etc.), if they move institution or change their name. 

Preventing future mismatches can be achieved by signing up for an ORCiD ID and linking it to Scopus (see above). To deal with existing duplicate Scopus IDs the simplest way to do this is by using the author feedback wizard which sits below your author profile in Scopus.

From here you will then be able to suggest that author profiles be merged if your publications are spread out over multiple author profiles in Scopus. Corrections can take a few days to a few weeks to take effect depending on the change required and degree of manual intervention needed from Scopus. If you have any difficulties please contact us at: as we can act on your behalf if we know what the issues are.

For more information please see the advice given by Scopus on updating an author profile.


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I create a record on Pure?

Provided a record is set to status ‘for validation’ (this shows at the bottom of the record) this will enter the work queue of the Research and Scholarly Publications team. Our team will check that the information in the record appears accurate and where applicable will check the record against the REF Open Access policy. If any further information is required, a member of our team will get in touch. This includes cases where an accepted manuscript is required to make the record compliant with the REF Open Access policy.

Please note that where the status of a record has been changed to ‘entry in progress’ that it is assumed the record creator is intending to return to the record to make changes. ‘Entry in progress’ are not checked as a matter of course by our team.

How can I know what a journal’s policy is toward open access?

A useful source of reference is the website Sherpa / Romeo which documents the policies of many academic journals. If the publication does not appear on Sherpa / Romeo it would be worth checking with the journal editor and examining the detail of any copyright transfer agreement (CTA) which you may have been asked to sign.

Elsevier have a separate journal by journal list of embargo periods for UK authors.

Sherpa/Romeo also operates a sister site, Sherpa/Juliet which details whether a journal complies with particular funder policies. If you are publishing in a journal which either requires an embargo which exceeds the maximum permitted for REF (over 12 months for REF Panels A and B, over 24 months for REF Panels C and D), or in a journal which doesn’t permit dissemination of the accepted manuscript, you will still need to upload the accepted manuscript to Pure within 90 days of its acceptance. There is provision in the REF policy for an exception applying if the publication can be shown to be the most appropriate publication venue for the research.


When are embargo dates calculated from?

The REF Open Access policy advises that they be set from date of first publication. This is often classified as the ‘e-pub ahead of print’ date where electronic release of the article comes before the print publication.


How will embargo dates be set if the article is not yet published?

The RSP team in the library will implement a provisional embargo on the day they check and validate the record, and have a system for periodically checking back on records to see when publication occurs..

However, if authors can remember to update Pure records following publication to add such details as publication date and DOI / weblinks to the final publication this is helpful as it will lead to the record getting checked sooner and the final embargo date being correctly set.


In what circumstances should I change the visibility settings of a Pure record?

We suggest the default visibility setting of a Pure record should be set to ‘public’. There may be grounds however to restrict the visibility of the record where one of the following scenarios apply:

  • A press embargo has been requested by the publication

  • A publication is at the stage of being submitted for publication or is being prepared for publication

  • The record details a confidential report or similar whose details are not to be publicly disclosed

  • The output meets the REF's definition of posing a security risk to the author(s) - please note in such circumstances it would be expected that the author(s) would not disclose their organisational affiliation(s) on the publication

Please note that the visibility of the record operates separately to the visibility of any documents attached to the record. It is possible for the overall Pure record to be set to ‘public’ even where the attached document is under an embargo.

In cases where the restricted visibility of a newly created record may impact upon its compliance with the REF Open Access policy, a member of our team will get in touch to query this.


At what point will a record display against my profile in the Pure Portal?

Records will display on the Pure Portal once they have been validated, provided the visibility of the record is set to ‘public’ (which is the default setting). Records are validated by the Research and Scholarly Publications team in the library.

Please note that when changes are made to a record which has been validated this will trigger the record going into ‘re-validation’ for a member of the Research and Scholarly Publications team to check the information which has been added is accurate. During this period the record will for a brief time not display on the Portal.


Can I freely share my work through Research Gate and similar platforms?

Before uploading any version of a publication to an academic social network site such as Research Gate, we would advise authors to check any Copyright Transfer Agreement which may have been signed with the publisher. While the posting of publications on academic social networking sites remains fairly widespread, authors do risk infringing publisher copyright if they do so in violation of the terms of a Copyright Transfer Agreement and there have been cases of publishers issuing copyright takedown notices to authors as a consequence.

Please note as well that academic social networking sites such as Research Gate are not repositories which meet the Open Access requirements for research funders or for any Research Assessment Exercise, such as the REF. In order to comply with this policy, please archive the accepted manuscript of any journal and conference proceeding publications to the Pure system within three months of their acceptance for publication. 


Can I share the accepted manuscript / the published version of my paper with colleagues?

To ensure you are not violating any agreement which you might have signed with the publisher, we would advocate checking the terms of any Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) which you have signed up to

Most publishers permit private sharing with colleagues and peers, but the form that this takes can vary. Some publishers for instance provide a 'toll-free' link to an off-print of the published version which can be shared by the author a finite number of times to researchers who may not have access to the final publication through the journal platform.


If you have a question which is not covered here, please contact us at:



Further Information


Advice on finding reputable venues to publish in

Whilst the development of the internet has greatly increased the ways that information can be disseminated and allowed for the development of new academic publishing models, it has also given rise to some publishers regarded as ‘predatory’ and disreputable. Publishing in these venues can result in good research being devalued and reputational harm.

Predatory journals tend to display behaviour such as:
  • Sending unsolicited emails
  • Claiming an exaggerated impact factor
  • Not being transparent about publication costs
  • Lacking a rigorous peer review process
  • Promising quick acceptance and publication
Tips for avoiding predatory publishers:
  • Visit Think Check Submit for guidance on performing due diligence on a publisher
  • Is the journal one that you yourself read / Assess the quality of previous publications
  • Seek to verify information the journal may claim around its impact factor and the membership of the editorial board (be aware that sometimes predatory journals may include names of academics without their knowledge or consent)
  • Check whether the journal is indexed by the major bibliographic databases for your subject area (e.g. PubMed, Scopus etc.)
  • Check the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Open Access Scholarly Publications Association (OASPA) to see if the journal / publisher is listed
  • If in doubt consult with colleagues or contact our team

On a related note, some academic conferences may similarly misrepresent themselves and prioritise receipt of delegate registration fees above their content quality, which has led to them being branded 'predatory conferences'. Conferences of this nature often market themselves via unsolicited emails.

The website Think Check Attend helps prospective participants ask the right questions to help avoid falling foul of any dubious practices in this area.



Helpful Steps To Make Sure OA Funder Requirements Are Met:

  • Know your funding body's open access policy - If you're not sure, check the Sherpa Juliet database for guidance, and the website of your funding body
  • Look for a compliant journal to submit to - Check the compatibility of the journal policy with that of your funder by checking against the Sherpa FACT database or with the publisher directly before you submit. If the publisher does not meet the conditions of your funding then consider negotiating with the publisher via a License to Publish agreement or choose another journal.
  • Know what you are signing with the publisher - There is a difference between a 'License to Publish', an Author Addendum and a 'Copyright Transfer Agreement'- (refer to the Copyright and Licensing page). Retaining rights at the submission stage makes self-archiving easier down the line - a useful Author Addendum form is available via the SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) website in the Resources for Authors section
  • Know your version types, and keep them safe - If you are considering self-archiving (the green OA route) in an institutional, subject or disciplinary repository, you probably won't be able to deposit the published version if you signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement. To comply with REF 2020 and RCUK funding policies you will need to submit your accepted, peer-reviewed final proof version under the green OA route where the published PDF is not allowed to be archived. Make sure you keep the submitted, accepted and published versions of your papers. The Repository Team will be able to help you identify the best one to deposit, where, and whether the publisher will deposit a version to a disciplinary repository on your behalf.
  • Know what you are getting if you pay the gold OA fee - What additional rights do you retain in a subscription journal by paying the fee?  



Advance Online Publication

Some publishers enable articles to be published online as soon as they have been fully copy-edited and proof-checked, ahead of the final, ‘printed’ version. This version of the article is in exactly the same format as they appear in the final issue except for page numbering. Any embargo periods pertaining to Open Access start from this release date. Also known as Early or First online publication.

Article Processing Charge (APC)

Fee which may be payable to the publisher to publish an article via the gold open access route. APCs are typically charged by 'hybrid' journals (those which publish a mixture of open access and subscription access content) and some fully open access journals.  APC prices vary from a few hundred, to a few thousand pounds. The term Book Processing Charge (BPC) applies where an equivalent charge is made to publish a book / monograph open access.

Bibliographic Record

The bibliographic description of a digital publication. Search engines crawl the internet to find documents and, depending on the quality of the metadata, they list the 'hits'. The high-quality metadata for items deposited in repositories enables the documents to be easily discoverable. Also known as Publication record or Metadata.

Bronze Open Access

This term applies to cases where an article is made publicly available on a publisher's website but where it is not subject to a re-use licence, such as those offered by Creative Commons. The publication may only be available on a short-term promotional basis and therefore does not meet conventional definitions of open access as required by institutional, research assessment and funder policies.

CC-BY License - Creative Commons Attribution License

This is the most liberal of the CC licenses which still upholds the author(s) moral rights to be recognised and credited as the creators of the work. As long as the original author(s) receives attribution, the license allows anyone to copy, distribute or transmit the research, adapt the research and make commercial use of the research. Several research funders such as the UKRI Research Councils and Wellcome Trust require this license to be selected to research articles acknowledging their support. Please see the relevant UKRI and Wellcome Trust tabs of this LibGuide for more detail about their policies.

Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)

Many publishers will ask authors to sign one of these upon accepting a work for publication. Terms of CTAs vary, but traditionally involve the copyright being transferred from the author to the publisher. CTAs will often outline which rights the author maintains concerning re-using and re-distributing the publication.

For authors seeking to negotiate or amend the terms of a CTA, the SPARC Author Addendum can provide an alternative framework. 

Please also note that some research funders (The Wellcome Trust from 1st January 2021 and UKRI from 1st April 2022) require that authors utilise a standard Rights Retention Statement in place of signing a Copyright Transfer Agreement.

Corresponding Authors

The author responsible for manuscript correction, correspondence during submission, handling of revisions and re-submission of the revised manuscript. On acceptance of the manuscript, the corresponding author is responsible for co-ordinating the payment of a Gold Open Access Article Processing Charge (APC), where applicable.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses can be used in open access publishing to help authors retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of their work. There are several different Creative Commons licenses, which allow different types of re-use. See the Creative Commons website for more information.

Diamond Open Access (also known as Platinum Open Access)

Functions like Gold Open Access in that the final publication is made available immediately without the barrier of a paywall. However, this method of Open Access does not require the payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) and is therefore free to author and reader alike. Diamond journals may have their running costs supported by Universities, learned societies or research funder bodies.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a good starting point for identifying open access journals which don't levy Article Processing Charges.

DOI - Digital Object Identifier

A unique identifier for an online document, used by most online journal publishers. As the DOI is unique to the publication, linking to an online document by its DOI provides more stable linking than simply referring to it by its URL.

Embargo Period

An embargo in academic publishing is a period during which access to a research publication self-archived in an open access repository (via the Green open access route) is restricted. The purpose of this is usually to protect the revenue of publishers who rely on subscription payments to cover the costs of publication.

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC)

A life sciences and biomedical research subject repository. The Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and most other UK biomedical funders require copies of funded articles to be deposited in Europe PMC within 6 months of publication. The USA-based PubMed Central is the repository containing global content.

Gold Open Access

The full text of the article is instantly available to anyone without a subscription or viewing fee from the publisher's website. Normally the article will also be published under a Creative Commons license or equivalent. Payment of an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher may be required.

Green Open Access

Author publishes in a traditional, subscription based journal and a copy of the research (usually the author’s final, peer-reviewed manuscript – sometimes referred to as a post-print) is deposited in either an institutional or subject repository, usually at the point of publication. No APC is paid to the publisher. Following any embargo period set by the publisher the manuscript is then made free to access. The published final version of the journal sits behind a subscription pay wall on the journal website, while the "post-print" copy is available open access from the repository.

Institutional Repository

Online digital archive of an institution’s research publications. Coventry University's Institutional Repository is Pure. It can be accessed here and outputs can be deposited here.

Open Access (OA)

Open access is the practice of providing free, unlimited online access to scholarly works and research outputs in a digital format, with limited restrictions on re-use. There are several forces driving open access to research including: government and funder mandates, academic activisim and new academic publishing models and practices.

Plan S

A new Open Access policy initiative due to come into effect from 1st January 2021. The terms of Plan S will apply to authors in receipt of funding from a Plan S affiliate, who include major UK research funders UKRI on behalf of UK Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust. Funders will maintain their own Open Access policies and may implement their Plan S aligned policy at different times, though they will be based on the common principles established by Plan S.

Please see the Plan S tab of this LibGuide for further details.

Platinum Open Access

(please see entry for Diamond Open Access)


Refers to the final draft author manuscript, as accepted for publication, including modifications based on referees' suggestions but before it has undergone copy-editing and proof correction. It is often referred to as the author's accepted manuscript. The postprint version is the one that should ideally be deposited in Pure in order to meet REF and funder requirements, if the final published version will be restricted to subscribers.

Predatory Publisher

This is a contested term, but publishers accused of predatory practices typically charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) and in return fail to provide the necessary quality checks expected of reputable publishers. Such publishers may misrepresent who sits on their editorial board, the journal impact factor and lack a rigorous peer review process. To avoid inadvertently submitting to a predatory journal we would advocate following the principles outlined by Think Check Submit to help identify if a journal is reputable.


This is usually defined as the author's final draft of a paper before peer-review. It is also often referred to as the author's submitted manuscript. Many publishers allow authors to place the preprint in a repository, and there are a range of preprint servers which exist to support this practice. However, the deposit of a preprint version does not normally satisfy funder and research assessment requirements. The version required for Open Access policy compliance is the post-print / accepted manuscript version which follows after the Preprint and includes amendments made as a result of peer-review and the journal's editorial process. 

Preprint Server

A purpose built repository developed to host and make available pre-peer reviewed versions of research articles.

Preprint servers tend to be subject / discipline specific in terms of the content they host. For a listing of Preprint servers, the Open Science Foundation directory is a useful port of call.

Published PDF (Version of Record)

The formatted PDF file that appears in the journal. This version will be the publisher's copy-edited PDF with final page numbers, typesetting and journal branding included. Many publishers will not allow you to self-archive the published version unless you have paid an APC to make the paper openly available immediately (gold OA route).

Publisher Agreement

(please see Copyright Transfer Agreement)

Publisher Proof

This is the version generated by a publisher after a publication's acceptance, but before the Final Version of Record has been produced. It may exist in a 'Corrected' or 'Uncorrected' form. Typically the Proof version cannot be hosted through Pure due to publisher copyright considerations. The version required for Open Access policy compliance is the post-print / accepted manuscript version which exists prior to the Proof.

Pure (see also Institutional Repository)

Coventry University's Institutional Repository. It can be accessed here and outputs can be deposited here.

REF - Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework is a research assessment exercise which is designed to assess the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The exercise takes place approximately every 6 years. The last REF was submitted in April 2021, with results expected in May 2022. We await further information about the next REF exercise post-2021. The Open Access policy for the REF exercise, first introduced in April 2016, remains in effect. Details are available here.

Rights Retention Strategy

A strategy developed from the Plan S open access initiative to allow authors to retain additional rights over the accepted manuscript (Postprint) version of their work in compliance with Plan S funder requirements. It is intended that the Rights Retention statement will substitute for the standard terms of a publisher Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) which are typically more restrictive.

For more please see the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy information.

Subject Repository

Prominent subject repositories include PubMed (for Medical and Biosciences), RePEc (for Economics) and Arxiv (used by researchers in various fields such as Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics). Some subject repositories contain predominantly pre-print material (such as Arxiv), others contain accepted manuscripts or final publications.

To ensure REF Open Access compliance we advise always recording publications on our Institutional repository (Pure) even if it is also recorded in a subject repository.

Transformative Agreement

A transformative agreement can operate at a publisher or individual journal level, and is where a publisher / journal commits to adjust their business model over a period of time to shift from one based around revenue from subscription access charges, to one based around open access publishing charges. At the end of a transitional period the journal(s) are to become fully open access publications.

A major driver for publisher's entering into such agreements is the Plan S Open Access framework supported by many research funders. Plan S guidance sets a deadline of the end of 2024 for publishers entering into Transformative Agreements to become fully Open Access. In the UK context transformative agreements are negotiated by JISC on behalf of the UK HE sector.

Such agreements may also be termed as Transitional Agreements or Read and Publish Agreements.


Open Access Requirements Introduction

Please also see the accompanying Pure Introductory video within this libguide.

Contact Us

Research & Scholarly Publications

FL320, Lanchester Library
Coventry University
Frederick Lanchester Building
Gosford Street
Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone: 024 7765 7568


Open Access and Institutional Repository -   

Research Data Management -

Pure - Coventry University's Institutional Repository:

Pure Portal

To deposit on Pure


Lanchester Library
Coventry University
Frederick Lanchester Building
Gosford Street
Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone:+44 (0) 24 7765 7575
Coventry University logo