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:
There are two ways of making your publications open access: Green open access (self-archiving) or gold open access.
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). 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.
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.
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. There is no internal central fund for gold open access. However, the University is in receipt of a small block grant from RCUK to support gold open access for papers resulting from RCUK funded projects. This grant is finite and is available to researchers on a first come, first served basis for publications that meet the requirements of the RCUK Policy on Open Access. For further information please contact email@example.com.
The Library has an agreement with Sage for a discounted APC rate of £200 when publishing a gold open access article in a hybrid journal which is part of the subscription package. For further details please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gold open access publications can also be added to the institutional repository.
The University has approved an Open Access policy with regard to scholarly publication, which came into force on the 1st August 2015.
This will enable us to comply with HEFCE’s Open Access guidelines for future REFs. It will also ensure that research outputs from the University are disseminated as widely as possible, helping to raise the profile of the authors and University.
When an item has been accepted for publication, authors must record the bibliographic details of the output in the institutional repository, Pure, within three months of the date of acceptance.
Authors must also deposit full text copies of the research outputs, i.e. final accepted peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers (and where appropriate monographs) in Pure no later than three months after the date of acceptance for publication.
Authors may also deposit all other types of research output where copyright allows, and subject to any contracts with third parties, commercial sensitivities and discipline-specific conventions.
Does it make a difference if I am publishing via the Gold or Green Routes?
Coventry University favours open access by means of the Green Route (no fee). This enables the author to publish for free in any 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 future REFs. 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 (or fee-paid) open access route. Where specific funding is available, and where funders require it, this will be used to fund Article Processing Charges (APC) charges incurred to ensure outputs are open access immediately upon publication.
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.
We would encourage authors to negotiate publishing contracts where possible and appropriate, to permit their work to be made available via the institutional repository. An embargo period can be applied as required. This is already a requirement for some research funders and authors should check the terms of their funding agreements before signing contracts with publishers.
For further help and advise, please contact the Library Research & Scholarly Publications Team by email: email@example.com or on ext: 657568
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.
To be eligible for the next REF, 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 in a few years time during the REF selection process, will not meet HEFCE OA requirements. These requirements will apply to all universities in the UK.
HEFCE's Open Access Policy for the post-2014 REF sets out the guidelines, which are summarised below.
To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF:-
The policy does allow for a number of exceptions, for example, to allow for cases where the publication concerned requires an embargo period that exceeds the maximum period, or actively disallows open access deposit in a repository, and in either case was the most appropriate publication for the output.
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 will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed.
HEFCE do not specify which licence should be used in making research outputs openly available, but advise that any outputs licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) licence would meet the requirements of the policy.
See the Copyright and Licensing tab for more information regarding licensing.
This workflow document may be useful in understanding the issues and decisions around OA publishing for compliance with HEFCE policy.
Systems and processes to support CU authors in complying with this policy are currently being developed and information regarding this will be added to this site. Please contact the Library Repository Team with any queries.
The Open Access Policy of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) 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.
|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, an embargo 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||RCUK do not specify a particular licence for green OA. However, they do require that papers are made available without restrictions on non-commercial re-use.||Must be a Creative Commons attribution licence|
|Cost||There is not usually a charge for this route.||There is often an Article Processing Charge associated with this route|
All journal and conference papers must:
Some funders such as MRC require deposit in specific repositories e.g. PubMed Central. Depositing in these repositories does not prevent authors from also depositing in the Pure University Institutional repository.
The RCUK is now reporting on their funded research in the RCUK Gateway to Research. It contains information on RCUK 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 BHF, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, and NIHR).
RCUK have announced that they will be using Researchfish for the Research Councils’ harmonised research outcomes collection system from September 2014. Please see the project announcement on the RCUK website.
For further information on Researchfish and account details contact the Business Development Group.
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.
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.
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:
For further information on the changes click here
Article Processing Charge (APC) - Fee which may be payable to the publisher to publish via the gold open access route. When an article is published in a traditional subscription journal, the author pays an APC to make their individual article freely available from the journal website, without restriction or charge to the reader.
CC-BY Licence - Creative Commons Attribution Licence - This is the most liberal of the CC licences. As long as the original author(s) receives attribution, this allows anyone to copy, distribute or transmit the research, adapt the research and make commercial use of the research. RCUK requires this licence is used if the gold open access route is selected.
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 any application for payment of a Gold Open Access Article Processing Charge (APC).
Creative Commons Licences - Creative Commons licences 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 licences, which allow different types of re-use. See the Creative Commons website
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.
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 to anyone from the repository.
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. A key driver behind OA has been to make publicly-funded research accessible to tax-payers.
Pre-print - 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 pre-print in a repository. However, pre-print versions do not normally meet funder requirements.
REF - Research Excellence Framework - The Research Excellence Framework is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). The next REF is in 2020. To be eligible for the next REF, staff will have to meet open access requirements. These must be met at the time papers are accepted for publication. To access the HEFCE policy for REF 2020 click here.
Research & Scholarly Publications
FL320, Lanchester Library
Frederick Lanchester Building
Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone: 024 7765 7568
Open Access and Institutional Repository - firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Data Management - email@example.com
Pure - Coventry University's Institutional Repository:
Pure Portal -
To deposit on Pure -