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Open Access at University of Reading: Open Access and REF

Information about support for Open Access publishing in the University

REF from Library website

Summary of policy

The policy requires final versions of journal articles, and conference proceedings with an ISSN, to be deposited in an Open Access repository no later than 3 months after acceptance for publication, in order to be eligible for the Outputs component of the REF.

Outputs which have been deposited within 3 months of acceptance will comply with the policy, either by meeting the policy’s Open Access requirements or will be covered by its exceptions.

Our implementation

This was introduced by Research England for the 2021 REF. It continues to apply to the current REF cycle until a new REF OA policy is announced.

Process for University of Reading researchers

  1. Deposit the author final manuscript of journal articles and conference proceedings in CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication. (If your publisher says you have to wait before depositing your article in a repository, upload it immediately and CentAUR staff will close access to comply with the publisher policy).
  2. If you are unable to deposit your author final version as soon as it is accepted for publication, please email centaur@reading.ac.uk for advice about allowable exceptions.

Scope of the REF policy

These FAQs should answer most of your questions about the scope, in terms of publications and authors, in our implementation of the REF Open Access requirements. 

Publications

Does this policy apply to all of my articles accepted for publication, or just ones that I think are suitable for REF?

It applies to all of your articles so that none are excluded from possible selection.

My article will be deposited in another repository (e.g. arXiv, PubMed Central), do I still need to upload it to CentAUR?

Yes. This is so that the University can manage its submission to the REF.

Does this policy apply to older publications?

No. However, credit may be given in the research environment component of the REF if earlier publications have been made Open Access.

Does this policy apply to other types of publications?

No. However, credit may be given in the research environment component of the REF for making other publication types Open Access.

Should I add articles that are under press embargo, and for which the metadata/abstract cannot be released until publication?

No, but you must be absolutely sure that the press embargo prevents you from doing this. Instead, deposit the metadata and author final version of the paper as soon as it is published online (and therefore in the public domain).

Does this policy apply to creative writing outputs published in journals?

The policy does not apply to all outputs published in journals – just academic articles. Creative writing outputs could be classified as an ‘other’ output type in the REF submission. This is the best approach. Or, if classified as a journal article, we can ask for an ‘other’ exception to the Open Access policy.

Please contact centaur@reading.ac.uk for advice.

Are monographs part of the REF policy?

No, there is currently no requirement to make monographs Open Access.

Authors

I am new to the University. What should I do about making my articles compliant with the REF policy?

Please contact centaur@reading.ac.uk as soon as possible for advice. The HEFCE policy has provision for authors from other institutions, including from overseas.

I will have left the University by the time of the REF. Do I need to comply with this policy?

If you move to another UK University, the policy for Open Access in the next REF will still apply to your articles. Depositing them in CentAUR helps to ensure they will be eligible for the REF at your new University.

Further help

If you have further questions please email centaur@reading.ac.uk.

 

Versions and formats

These FAQs should answer most of your questions about versions and formats in our implementation of the REF Open Access requirements. 

Versions

What is an author final version?

Author’s accepted and final peer-reviewed text, also known as accepted author manuscript, final author version or post-print. It includes peer review corrections, but it has not been copyedited or typeset by the publisher. Not the publisher proof. Not the published version.

My publisher doesn’t allow me to deposit an author final version in a repository. What shall I do?

Upload it as soon as accepted for publication. CentAUR staff will close access to it. This will comply with the publisher’s policy and the HEFCE policy.

Can I deposit the published version instead?

No (Not unless the published version can be deposited in CentAUR within 3 months after acceptance and it is permitted by your publisher or it is published as gold Open Access).

Can I replace the author final version with an improved version?

You may upload this in addition to the author final version, as long as the improved version has also been accepted by the publisher. Add a statement at the top of the first page indicating that it is an updated version. Email it to centaur@reading.ac.uk for upload. The older version will not be deleted from CentAUR but it may be locked.

There is third party copyright material in my article. I can’t make this Open Access. What shall I do?

Upload it as soon as accepted for publication and inform CentAUR staff about the copyright issue. CentAUR staff will close access to it. This will comply with the publisher’s policy and the HEFCE policy.

Can I upload a redacted version instead?

You may upload a redacted version in addition the author final version, as long as the copyright holder (usually the publisher) permits you to make a redacted copy available in CentAUR. Add a statement at the top of the first page indicating that it is a redacted version and stating what has been removed. Email it to centaur@reading.ac.uk for upload.

Format

Is there a recommended format for an author final manuscript?

The ideal format is a Word document saved to PDF. Corrections and comments should have been incorporated and a tidy copy uploaded. If you have used a publisher’s template please check with the publisher that this can be archived in CentAUR.

Should I include images and tables as separate files or incorporate them into the text document of my author final manuscript?

Please include them in the full document. If it is difficult to insert them into the main body of the document then include them on separate pages at the end of the document.

Do I need to include a statement or coversheet on the author final manuscript?

This isn’t required because CentAUR will generate a dynamic coversheet showing the version, journal title, publisher, the full citation and DOI. If you would like to add your own, please add the following wording (or the wording advised by your publisher) to the first page of the document:

  • Title of article
  • Authors’ names
  • This is an author final manuscript that was accepted for publication on <DATE - this is the date you received email confirmation of acceptance from the publisher> in <JOURNAL name>. It includes peer review corrections but has not been copyedited, typeset or proofed.

Further help

If you have further questions please email centaur@reading.ac.uk.

Funds and funders

These FAQs should answer most of your questions about funds and funders in our implementation of the REF Open Access requirements. You should also refer to HEFCE's own FAQs.

I don’t have funds to pay for Open Access, what shall I do?

Publisher’s do not charge a fee for depositing your author final version in a repository, and this is all that is required by the HEFCE policy (even if the article is locked or embargoed) - this is known as Green Open Access.

Publisher’s usually charge a fee (APC) to publish your article as Open Access in a hybrid journal, or in a fully Open Access journal - this is known as Gold Open Access. Publishing as Gold Open Access is not required for compliance with the HEFCE policy, which is a Green Open Access policy. However, if you do publish your article as Gold Open Access an exception to the policy then applies and you do not need to deposit your author final version. BUT, in order for the University to be able to manage its REF submission you MUST instead add the PUBLISHED gold version to CentAUR.

Is this policy consistent with my funder’s Open Access policy?

Articles deposited in CentAUR which comply with the Open Access part of the HEFCE policy are likely to comply with the Open Access policies of funders. However, those which only meet the exceptions part of the HEFCE policy (e.g. long embargoes) will not usually be compliant with funder policies.

For example, an author final version deposited in CentAUR at point of acceptance will comply with both the HEFCE policy and with the RCUK policy if it can be made available to read immediately or no later than 6 months (STEM) or 12 months (AH & SS) after publication. If the embargo period is longer or permanent then it will comply only with the exceptions of the HEFCE policy and you will need to consider publishing the article as gold Open Access in order to also comply with RCUK.

For more information on funder requirements see: the Funder Policies page in this guide. 

Further help

If you have further questions please email centaur@reading.ac.uk.