How do I publish open access?

You can make your work open access by depositing your work (usually the author's accepted manuscript, i.e. the final peer-reviewed draft) in to the UWL Repository. This is known as 'green' open access and involves no fee.

Journals may offer a paid open access option ('gold' open access) which involves an Article Processing Charge (APC). APCs can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds, the average being about £1,900 per article, and up to £12,000 for a book. This allows immediate open access of the final published version of record via the publisher's website.

Do I have to publish open access?

To be compliant with REF open access policy you should deposit your work to the UWL Repository. You do not need to pay for 'gold', immediate open access.

Do the REF policies restrict my choice of journals?

If a particular journal is the most appropriate place for publication, the REF policy is not intended to restrict your choice of journal. If you are publishing in a journal with a non-compliant embargo period (i.e. over 12 months for REF Panels A and B, or over 24 months for REF Panels C and D), you should still deposit your paper within 3 months of acceptance for publication. Please contact the Repository Team at library@uwl.ac.uk if you have any questions.

What does 'embargo period' mean?

An embargo period is a period following publication, during which the full text of the article cannot be made available for public download. You should deposit the full-text and bibliographic details in the UWL Repository, where the embargo period can be set. The bibliographic details about the publication can be made immediately available (e.g. the article abstract, information about where it was published), while the full text will be made automatically available when the embargo period expires.

My chosen journal exceeds the maximum embargo period allowed by the policy/my journal does not allow depositing at all. What should I do?

If the journal allows deposit of the manuscript after an embargo period that exceeds the maximum allowed for your REF panel, please deposit your work within the 3 months after acceptance for publication as usual. If the journal does not allow deposit at all, you should deposit the bibliographic details about the publication.

Which version of my work should I deposit in to the UWL Repository?

Usually the author's accepted manuscript (i.e. the final peer-reviewed draft). Check your publishing agreement, SHERPA/ROMEO and our webpages for further information.

What do you mean by author's accepted manuscript?

The author's accepted manuscript is the final refereed draft submitted to the journal or conference. This version incorporates any changes made after peer-review. It is usually a Word document, but you may have converted it to PDF. If you are not the corresponding author, please make sure to contact them to receive a copy. Please do not provide the publisher’s proofs or final published version as these cannot be accepted, unless you have paid for gold open access.

How do I find out the date of acceptance?

You, or the corresponding author, should have received an email from the journal editor confirming that the article has been accepted for publication. The date this email was sent is the date of acceptance. Additionally, the date of acceptance is often listed on the publisher's website following publication of the article.

How do I find out the date of publication?

If the article has been published already, the exact date of publication should be listed on the webpage for the article on the publisher's website. You should look for the earliest date of publication - usually the date of online publication - rather than the date of the print volume.

If your paper has just been accepted, you can leave the date of publication blank when depositing your article to the UWL Repository. To work out the embargo end date, you can use the acceptance date initially. The Repository Team will update this to the correct date based on the online publication date later.

Why can't I deposit the final, published version of my article?

Publishers generally do not allow the final, published version to be used. The publishing business is adapting to open access policies. A concession publishers in general have made to enable a transition to making research available open access is to allow the author’s accepted manuscript (i.e. final peer-reviewed draft) to be deposited to institutional repositories. This version may occasionally contain some typographical or superficial errors, but it is fully peer-reviewed and should be identical in substantive content to the final version.

I think I'm allowed to deposit the final published version rather than the author’s accepted manuscript. Can I use this version?

Please deposit the authors accepted manuscript in the first instance. The Repository Team can supplement this version with the final version of record if this is allowed.

Do I need to deposit monographs, book chapters, editorials or letters?

Book chapters and monographs are not covered by the REF open access policy, but these should be deposited where possible as stipulated by the UWL Publications Policy.

Editorials, letters and published abstracts should be deposited to the UWL Repository. They may contain original research that could be used in a REF submission.

If my article is available through a subject repository or pre-print server like arXiv, SSRN or PubMed Central, do I need to deposit my article to the UWL Repository?

Yes. Publishers or funders may deposit your work to PubMed Central, and you may have posted a pre-print to a subject repository (e.g. arXiv, SocArXiv or SSRN). However, your paper should also be deposited to the UWL Repository to be compliant with the REF open access policy.

Can I post my article on ResearchGate, Academia.edu or my personal website?

ResearchGate and Academia.edu are commercial social networking sites and do not count as open access repositories. They cannot guarantee long-term and stable access to your work. Similarly, if you have a personal website, long-term access is not guaranteed (your service provider might shut down your website, for example). A few publishers do allow you to post your work to social networking sites and other websites, but you should check publishers' copyright policies carefully before doing so. To be compliant with open access policy for the next REF, you should deposit to the UWL Repository.

How do I obtain funds to pay for Gold open access?

Some Heads of Schools may have limited funds available to pay for Article Processing Charges (APC). Your co-authors based at other institutions may have access to funding for 'gold' open access via their libraries. However, UWL Library does not manage any central funds for gold open access. Some journals may offer a waiver scheme to publish your work 'gold' open access – it is worth asking the editor of your chosen journal.

There are some discount schemes available via the Library's institutional memberships, which provide individual authors with discounted Article Processing Charges (APCs). For the latest information, please see here.

If you cannot obtain funds for gold open access, you can make your work open access, after any applicable embargo period, by using the UWL Repository. The publisher has said my article is 'free' to access. Is this open access? Not necessarily. Some publishers make articles available freely on a promotional, short-term basis. If a fee hasn’t been paid to the publisher, it is probably not open access.

How can I find open access research?

If you are looking for a specific article, you could try searching for the article on the author's institutional repository. They may have deposited their article there.

You could also use the Open Access Button, a tool to find open access versions of articles. Simply enter the weblink or DOI of the article you would like to find and it will search the web for a freely accessible version.

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a database of open access books from over 150 publishers.

How do I find out the DOI?

Most journal articles and published conference proceedings papers are assigned a DOI at publication. You can check the webpage for the article on the publisher's website, where the DOI should be listed. Some journals - especially those hosted run by academics or small, independent publishers - do not assign DOIs.

I'm a PhD student. Can I use the UWL Repository?

Yes. PhD students should log-in using their student number as their username. Taught postgraduates are not usually provided with accounts.

Which REF panel am I in?

Generally, REF Panels A and B cover STEM subjects (with some social sciences), and REF panels C and D cover the arts and humanities (with some social sciences). Check with your colleagues if you are unsure.

I've been approached by a journal, should I publish with them?

You should consider whether they are the best journal to publish with and whether they are a reputable journal. If you are choosing to publish in a fully open access journal you have not heard of before, check whether the journal is listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and use the website Think. Check. Submit. This will help you to avoid disreputable or 'predatory' journals, who may charge you to publish with them.

What is ORCID?

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an organisation that issues ORCID IDs to researchers. These are permanent and unique ID numbers that identify individual researchers. They are primarily intended to avoid name confusion, e.g. that 'J. Smith' is one 'Joanne Smith' and not 'Joe Smith' or even another 'Joanne Smith', and to provide a stable record of your research profile as you move through your career. UWL recommends all researchers sign-up for and use ORCID IDs, and they can be supplied when depositing items to the UWL Repository.

How do I get help?

Email library@uwl.ac.uk in the first instance.