Who requires Open Access?

Aberystwyth University Research Committee and Executive have agreed that where possible, all new Journal contributions, including Conference Proceedings published in a journal edition, should be made available through a Green OA route.  Open Access and PURE submission policy

This is in order for Aberystwyth research to be compliant with both research funders’ open access policies and those of HEFCE/ HEFCW in regards to output submission eligibility for ‘REF 2020. Working with departments and directors of research; open access options and policy compliance have been compiled for popular/high quality journals which academics may wish to consider publishing in. This advisory document is available here.

Within AU, the Green OA route can be achieved by the deposit of research output records in PURE on publication acceptance, along with a full text of the item once available. Once verified, output records will then be made visible via the Aberystwyth Research Portal.

Please note that the deposit of papers on social media sites such as ResearchGate, Mendeley and Academia.edu will not meet with HEFC or UKRI Open Access requirements, either in terms of metadata content or capacity for the records to be aggregated and harvested.  Please always submit your papers to PURE as your primary Open Access deposit route.


Research funders’ open access policies

UK Research & Innovation expect that all research articles derived from their funded projects and submitted for publication within a journal or conference proceeding be made available OA. These articles must include details of the funding that supported the research and, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.

UKRI’s preferred OA route is Gold to allow immediate access to the published research but they also support the Green route- deposit of the author’s accepted manuscript (post-print) within an institutional repository- within set embargo periods (6 month embargo for STEM subjects and 12 month embargo for Arts & SSH).

From 1st April 2013, funding for Gold OA article processing charges (APCs) ceased to be an allowable expense within RCUK/UKRI grants, with funding instead being provided through block grants to institutions for dissemination.  Full information on how to access the AU's block grant from UKRI can be found on the "Open Access - Where" page in the section on Gold/Hybrid Routes.

Other funders such as The Wellcome Trust and the European Commission do allow the cost of APCs to be included within grant bids. However, they do also support the Green route. The Wellcome Trust’s set embargo period for post-print deposit is 6 months. The Horizon 2020 periods are set in-line with that of RCUK (6 month embargo for STEM subjects and 12 month embargo for Arts & SSH).

Details of other funders’ OA policies are available to view within the SHERPA Juliet service: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/juliet/.

Details of research funders requirements for research data availability can be found at: Data requirements from funders.


'REF 2020’ open access policy

HEFCE (on behalf of HEFCW) have introduced a new policy for open access in relation to research assessments after REF 2014. From 1st April 2016, to be eligible for submission to ‘REF 2020’, a record for any journal article or conference proceeding submitted to a publication bearing an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) should be created within an institutional repository within a maximum of 3 months from the date of acceptance for publication. The post-print of the output should then be made available via OA within a maximum of 12 months if it is to be submitted to Panels A and B (STEM disciplines) or within 24 months if it is to be submitted to Panels C and D (Arts and SSH disciplines, including Geography and Sport and Exercise Science).  

Further details and definitions regarding postprints and embargoes can be found on the Open Access- When? page at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/research/good-practice/open-access/when/ .

Full compliance with this policy is expected but a series of possible exceptions have been stated within the policy as eligible reasons why an output could not be made available via the open access route specified. Retrospective open access for outputs accepted after 1st April 2016 is not permitted for eligibility.

How to be Compliant with 'REF2020' Open Access Policy at AU

At Aberystwyth University, this means that for peer-reviewed journal outputs to be eligible for REF2020, a record of the paper with the post-print attached must be deposited in PURE (http://pure.aber.ac.uk) within three months of acceptance. This ruling applies to all peer-reviewed journal articles and to conference papers published in journals with ISSNs.  Open Access and PURE submission policy

When the paper is actually published (i.e. appears on the publisher’s website or appears in print), Information Services will add the final details of the output (e.g. volume, issue, page numbers) to the PURE record, a link to the publisher’s version of the paper (where permissible), set any appropriate embargo period for the final version of the paper and verify that the papers details are correct.

Embargo periods can be checked on the AU’s journal advisory pages at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/research/good-practice/open-access/where/journal-advisory/ or on the Sherpa/Romeo site at: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php

When the full published details are all assembled, the record will be made available via the Aberystwyth Research Portal for widespread availability. The full-text of the paper will not be released in the Aberystwyth Research Portal until any embargo period has been completed.

Gold Open Access Papers

Please note that deposit of post-prints for ‘REF2020’ is not required for papers made open access by the Gold route – where payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) makes the final version of the paper open to all readers immediately upon publication. Deposit of the final published version of Gold OA papers is required in PURE as soon as possible after publication.

The HEFCs Open Access FAQs are available at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/FAQ/.  
Local assistance can be accessed by e-mailing to openaccess@aber.ac.uk


The following is a presentation being given to Aberystwyth University Departmental Research Committees at dates arranged from December 2015 - March 2016: HEFCE REF2020 Open Access Presentation - December 2015 

The following is a talk given by Ben Johnson of HEFCE at the Aberystwyth Open Access Week 2014: