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RCUK, in line with many other funding bodies, published a new policy as a direct outcome of the July 2012 Finch report . Essentially, RCUK-funded articles that arise in whole or part from research funded by one or more of the Research Councils must now be published open access, and must have maximum re-use rights associated with them – i.e. published under the CC-BY attribution licence.

Researchers, as the generators of all of the research papers and responsible for much of their peer review, are expected to publish any peer‐reviewed research papers which acknowledge Research Council funding in journals that are compliant with the RCUK policy on Open Access. All papers 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.

Since 2006, the Trust’s open access policy has required that all original, peer-reviewed research papers funded in whole or in part by the Trust be made available via the Europe PubMed Central repository as soon as possible, and in any event within six months of the date of publication.

On May 30th 2013, the Wellcome Trust announced that it is to extend its open access policy to include all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grantholders as part of their Trust-funded research.  The extended policy became effective for holders of grants awarded after 1 October 2013, and for existing grantholders from October 2014. The new policy does not apply to textbooks, ’trade’ books, general reference works or works of fiction, or to collections edited but not authored by Trust grantholders. It would not affect, for example, a non-fiction work written by a medical historian aimed at a general audience and published by a commercial publisher.

From 1 January 2021, Wellcome Trust open access policy is changing. It will require all research articles which arise from Wellcome funding to be made freely available at the time of publication and openly licensed.

The green route to Open Access focuses on self-archiving post peer-reviewed copies of articles in UWTSD’s Open Access Research Repository.   If researchers put their papers into the repository the papers are available freely and openly on the web, the researchers comply with the RCUK policy and the University does not have to pay a publisher fee.

Sherpa RoMEO contains publishers’ general policies on self-archiving of journal articles and certain conference series. Each entry provides a summary of the publisher’s policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.     

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Open Access encompasses a range of components such as readership, reuse, copyright, posting, and machine readability. Within these areas, publishers and funding agencies have adopted many different policies, some of which are more open and some less open.  For example, a policy that allows anyone to read an article for free six months after its publication is more open than a policy that creates a twelve month embargo; it is also less open than a policy that allows for free reading immediately upon publication.  This could also be said to apply to the licensing scheme: CC-BY allows the reader to do far more than, say, CC BY-NC-SA or a licence with the ND clause.

The Versions Toolkit is useful in understanding the different versions and it has some good tips for authors.

The funders’ and authors’ compliance tool (Sherpa FACT ) maps journals and publisher information with funder requirements.   You can (and should) check your actual journal’s policy on self-archiving by visiting the author pages on the journal’s website.

Most journals will permit deposit of a copy of an article into the University’s Open Access Repository. There might be a condition such as an embargo period (for example, the Open Access Repository copy may only be released 6 months after publication. As a general rule of thumb publishers permit the ‘submitted’ version (ie the final version with all changes following peer-review included) to be disseminated via the Open Access Repository, but not the published manscript with the journal’s formatiing and so on.

SHERPA FACT and SHERPA ROMEO host information about publishers’ Open Access policies and funder requirements. Use this web site to check the position of your chosen journal.  But we strongly recommend you check the actual journal’s policy (usually found under ‘For Authors’ or similar) or ask Library and Learning Resources for help by contacting them at

Yes. All UWTSD authors should note HEFCW’s policy:  to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, the accepted manuscript of articles and conference papers submitted from 1 April 2016 must be uploaded to an institutional or subject repository within 3 months of acceptance, and made open access within a specified timeframe. 

An ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a unique researcher identifier, used worldwide, that you keep throughout your life and retain even if you move institution. From August 2015, ORCIDs will be required for Wellcome Trust grant applications. 

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Their copyright licences provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use creative work — on conditions of the creator’s choice.  For more information – see

For externally sponsored research (such as RCUK, Wellcome Trust and the EU) a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence must be used for research published under the Gold route. This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon researchers’ work, even commercially, as long as they credit authors for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. It is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.  For research published under the green route, which shall be usual practice in the University, a CC BY licence should be sought as a matter of preference, although the open access requirement can also be met by use of the minimum of a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC). Publisher-specific licences may also be acceptable providing they support the aims of the Policy, and allow re-use including non-commercial text and data mining.

For research that is not externally funded a minimum of Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) licence should be used. This licence is the most restrictive of the six main licences, only allowing others to download researchers’ work and share them with others as long as they credit them, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. If any researcher requires that anything other than a CC BY-NC-ND licence this must be made known at the point of submission to the Repository. Such considerations also fall within the scope of the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Intellectual Property Committee should the need arise.

In all cases, research staff should consult Research, Innovation & Enterprise Services regarding the negotiation of Intellectual Property Rights with publishers (including copyright, licensing, embargo periods) in order to secure contractual terms which meet the terms of this Policy, and any other that should apply, such as the University’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy

When as an author you use a CC-BY Licence (sometimes referred to as a “CC Attribution Licence”), you retain copyright over your work, while allowing others to distribute, remix and build upon it, even in a commercial setting. Any users of your CC-BY licensed work MUST attribute you in any resulting works. CC-BY does not affect your moral rights to the work (regarding “derogatory use” of your work) or your “fair use” rights. Further explanations of these terms are provided below.

Use of CC-BY makes it clear to your audience that such derivations are permitted without their having to contact you and ask – this licence aims to foster maximum dissemination of your work. If you choose to licence under CC-BY, it is advisable to provide a short citation statement telling potential users how you would like to be credited (for example, this can be seen on the front of many PLOS papers). You may want to provide a link to the CC-BY online summary to help your users understand their obligations:

The Creative Commons website provides full listings for each of their licences:  Indeed, Creative Commons make available three listings of each licence: an easy-to-read “summary”, a copy of the full legal code and a machine-readable licence. Their handy Licence Chooser can also help you decide which licence is most appropriate for your work.

The following explanations are taken from the Creative Commons listing for the CC-BY Licence.

  1. MORAL RIGHTS: In addition to the right of licensors to request removal of their name from the work when used in a derivative or collective they don’t like, copyright laws in most jurisdictions around the world (with the notable exception of the US except in very limited circumstances) grant creators “moral rights” which may provide some redress if a derivative work represents a “derogatory treatment” of the licensor’s work.
  2. FAIR USE: All jurisdictions allow some limited uses of copyrighted material without permission. CC licenses do not affect the rights of users under those copyright limitations and exceptions, such as fair use and fair dealing where applicable.

See the guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities, and social science researchers by the OAPEN-UK project.

It explains publishing and business models and addresses common concerns such as legal issues, financial concerns, and quality.

Creative Commons Graphic
Adapted from the University of Oxford under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY 3.0).  Original content at:

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