Free and open access to publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits. The Government, in line with its overarching commitment to transparency and open data, is committed to ensuring that such research should be freely accessible. Research funders and REF2021 require research publications to be made publicly available as soon as possible.
Open access routes
You can make publications open access (OA) via the gold or green routes.
- The gold route require an article payment charge (APC) and allows the publication to be OA from the publication date.
- The green route, which is the University preferred route, involves making your publication open on deposit of the author accepted manuscript in a repository.
Some funders may require or recommend OA via the gold route as part of their terms and conditions. In some cases you can apply for reimbursement of the APC fee (CSO, FP7) after publication if you can demonstrate you have followed their guidance. If you need to publish via the gold route to comply with your funder there are some discounts available to you as Edinburgh Napier Staff which can be found on the OA blog. The University holds no institutional OA fund, so you will need to consider how an APC can be paid. If you require assistance with publisher OA policies or APCs you can contact the library staff (details below) who can help.
Research funder OA policies
Research funder OA policies typically require publications and research data to be made publicly available as soon as possible after the end of a research project. Often there is a time limit set when they expect this to happen. In some cases an embargo period is allowable to allow you to complete further work, protect any intellectual property (IP) or ensure that your data is properly anonymised and in a suitable format to be made openly available. Always check you funder policies and T&Cs to check you are compliant.
Guidance on funder OA policies and requirements to make publications and data open can be found on their websites or in the T&Cs of award. Research Councils require that publications are openly available via green or gold, but other funders also have a requirement that the publications are available under specific licences. A useful tool to search different funder requirements is the Sherpa Juliet tool whish summaries the policy information and has links to the funder guidance http://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/juliet/
Failure to comply with funder OA policies can result in sanctions which include being prevented from applying for new funding until the previous grant are compliant or funder withholds payment of part of the project. for example: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/managing-grant/complying-our-open-access-policy
REF OA policy
The REF2021 OA requirement is that publications are made open within 3 months of acceptance from April 2018. It is important that when publishing your research you take into consideration the University, funder and REF OA policies as well as the publisher requirements to ensure that your research is openly accessible.