What do I need to do?

What do I need to do to comply with the university / HEFCW open access policy?

  • When you have an article or conference paper accepted for publication make sure you deposit it in the research information system straight away. It must be the peer reviewed version with the text basically as it will appear in the journal but without the publisher formatting (unless you have paid an article processing charge to the publisher).
  • You will need to check that your publisher allows you to do this and whether they require an embargo period. Sherpa Romeo allows you to do this.
  • More detail here: ‌Open Access and REF Compliance for Swansea University Researchers (PDF)

Open Access Requirements of Other Funders

Many Funders are starting to require some form of open access - look out for policies and possible funding when applying for grants. The details of their requirements may differ from the HEFCE policy.

Sherpa Juliet contains details of many, including quite a few medical charities. 

Open Access FAQ

What type of material is covered by the requirements for the next REF?
The policy covers journal articles and conference papers which are in a publication with an ISSN. No other type of material is required but HEFCW is keen to see universities make as much as possible open access and universities will get credit for going beyond the requirements.

Do I have to pay to make my work open access?
It is not usually necessary to pay. Most publishers allow the deposit of an accepted manuscript or postscript in an institutional repository, often with an embargo period. In some cases where you have funding you can pay the publisher to make your paper freely available straight away (gold open access). At Swansea we have central money available if you are RCUK funded which you can apply for via our APC page.

Does the requirement for open access mean that I need to change where I publish?
In the majority of cases you should be able to use your usual journals. HEFCW / HEFCE say that their aim is not to dictate where people can publish. However, you should make sure you are aware of a publisher's policies before you choose a journal. In a small number of cases it might be advisable to change.

What are creative commons licences?
These set out how a piece of work can be used. There are various different types allowing for reuse, modification, commercial use etc. If you want to apply one to your research it can avoid people having to contact you for permission to use it. The creative commons web site has more information.

Are academic books likely to become open access?
Publishing models for books are complex and at the moment there is no requirement to make books open access. A lot of innovation is starting in this area though. You can read more on this post from our blog. If you would like to make a chapter from your book available you are welcome to put it in RIS/Cronfa if your publisher allows this.

I'm meant to aim for high impact journals. How does this fit with open access?
Publishing open access does not mean you have to avoid high impact journals. The majority of these will allow an author accepted manuscript to be placed in a repository and they will also offer gold open access options if you have funding.

If I want to try publishing in an open access journal how can I be sure that it is a quality publication?
There are some journals which will take money and do little to promote your work. These have become known as predatory journals and an American librarian, Jeffrey Beale, has compiled a list of these which may be useful. If you look for signs of quality such as well known people on the editorial board, other people you know of publishing in the journal and the quality of articles you can see in the journal then you shouldn't have a problem.

More FAQ specifically on the HEFCW policy can be found at: