Open access policies
Open access guidance documents and FAQs
Open Access Policies (UOE & UKRI) - Frequently Asked Questions
What counts as a submission for the purposes of deciding whether a paper submission falls after 1st April 2022? E.g. if I submitted a paper prior to 1st April 2022 but then get a Revise and Resubmit decision that means the revision is submitted after 1st April, do I need to worry about these policies?
This is not explicit in the policy documents. We think a reasonable interpretation is that submitting revisions for any paper with an Accept decision, even if it is e.g. Accept with Major Modifications, does not count as a new submission, therefore if the initial submission was prior to 1st April the paper does not fall within the scope of these policies; however, the resubmission of a paper with a Revise and Resubmit decision could reasonably be taken as a new submission, meaning that the policy would become relevant if the resubmission fell after 1st April. You should use your judgment, but in general, and particularly for papers acknowledging UKRI we would recommend erring on the side of caution and assuming the policy applies if you are in doubt.
This depends on the journal and in many cases we do not yet know. Many of the journals we frequently publish in are covered by “read and publish” deals, and one of the components of those deals is that publishers should accept the rights retention statement stating the intention to release the accepted manuscript CC-BY, so journals under these deals should not object to the inclusion of the rights retention statement. For journals which are not covered under these deals, they may nonetheless have policies which explicitly allow the Author Accepted Manuscript to be released at the time of publication (e.g. this is the policy of the University of Chicago Press, who allow you to release the Author Accepted Manuscript under a CC-BY licence if you are required to by your funder and cannot obtain an exemption, which is the case for UKRI). And journals which have policies which are silent on this or which appear to explicitly rule this out may nonetheless accept it: for instance, the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (an APA journal, whose policies seem to be inconsistent with the rights retention statement) have nonetheless published papers including this rights retention statement. On the other hand, a few journals have refused to accept or publish submissions featuring this statement. While the University of Edinburgh policy has an opt-out which can be used in such cases, UKRI does not, and a journal which refused the rights retention statement in a paper acknowledging UKRI funding where Route 2 is your only route to compliance would therefore unfortunately not be a good venue, since the paper would be non-compliant with UKRI’s requirements and sanctions might be applied.
Once the policy has been active for some time we will conduct an audit and see which journals are publishing papers featuring rights retention statements; in the meantime, if you have problems (or successes) with particular journals and want our help or just to let us know, please contact us at PPLSOpenResearch@ed.ac.uk.
Route 2 is where you include the rights retention statement “For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a 'Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission” in the cover letter and/or acknowledgments, deposit the accepted paper in Pure as soon as possible after acceptance, then we release the author-accepted manuscript under a CC-BY license at the time of publication. This is always an option, even in so-called Gold journals (i.e. journals which charge APCs and only publish open access) or journals which are part of a "read and publish" deal. Some journals have embargoes, but assuming the journal or publisher does not object to the rights retention statement we can share the accepted manuscript at the point of publication. You will always be compliant with UKRI requirements if you follow Route 2, regardless of where you publish.
Read and publish deals are potentially complex - they usually require that the corresponding author is affiliated with the University, and they are subject to change at relatively short notice. We therefore recommend that you always include the rights retention statement, even if you are submitting to a journal covered under a read and publish deal and even if you are corresponding author. One of the requirements of these read and publish deals is that publishers should accept the rights retention statement, so journals under these deals should not object to the inclusion of the rights retention statement.
If your paper acknowledges UKRI or Wellcome funding, then the University will cover the APCs for publishing in Gold open access journals (including Frontiers) via a block grant administered by the Scholarly Communications team. Otherwise, there are no funds available to cover APCs, for Frontiers or any other Gold journal not covered under a read and publish deal, so we would advise against submitting to such journals. Note that some Gold journals are currently covered under read and publish deals, e.g. PLoS ONE.
UKRI conducted a consultation on their policy that PPLS contributed to, both directly and as part of the larger University response; some of the requests we made during this consultation were adopted in the policy. More information on the UKRI open access consultation can be found in the UKRI consultation document and associated analysis.
The University of Edinburgh policy was formulated by the Scholarly Communications team. They summarise their process as follows:
We initially consulted the institutional Legal Services team who were able to give us confidence that what we were proposing was legally viable and that we had backing from the University. We then sought to brief the University’s Senior Management Team and seek their input and support to proceed. With this in place we were able to consult the various academic committees that govern the University – including, but not limited to School, College and School Research Committees, Knowledge Strategy Group, HR Policy Development Group, UCU Edinburgh branch, Research Policy Group – before ending up at the University Executive for formal approval. Feedback from each committee led to the refinement of the policy at each stage.
We are not aware of any direct consultation with anyone in PPLS.
We recommend you use the University’s journal checker tool to check for the most up-to-date information on which journals are covered in read-and-publish deals: if a journal is included there, you can be confident that including the rights retention statement and releasing the Author Accepted Manuscript immediately on publication (i.e. UKRI’s route 2) is an option (because one of the requirements of these read and publish deals is that publishers should accept the rights retention statement, so journals under these deals should not object to the inclusion of the rights retention statement); assuming you meet the other requirements (e.g. the corresponding author is based at Edinburgh) then Route 3 will also be possible.
If your journal is not included in the list the next step is to check the journal’s policies - as mentioned elsewhere, they may nonetheless have policies which explicitly allow the Author Accepted Manuscript to be released at the time of publication, which means they will be compliant with UKRI Route 2 and would allow you to make the Author Accepted Manuscript open access as per the UoE policy. And even if their policy appears appear to explicitly rule that out they may nonetheless accept papers with the rights retention statement.
We went through this process for 20 frequently-published-in journals for each of the subject areas in PPLS, and we have included this information in the tables below, indicating whether the journal’s allows release of an open access version of the paper consistent with the various UKRI routes and the UoE policy - note that this is correct at the time of writing (late April 2022) but may change.