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Open Access at University of Reading: FAQs

Information about support for Open Access publishing in the University

Index of FAQs

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact the Open Access team in the Library.

Open Access funding at University of Reading Green Open Access General questions on Open Access 

Who can apply for funding?

When should I apply for funding?

Can I apply for funding if the article involves authors from another institution?

Can I apply for funding if there's no external funding relating to the article?

Can an author apply for funding if they are not the PI or lead author?

Will the University provide funds for page and/or colour charges?

Which licence should I choose for my journal article? 

I'm publishing in a hybrid journal that is not part of a transformative/transitional deal. Can I apply for funding?

My journal of choice doesn't offer Gold Open Access, what do I do?

Which version of my article must I self-archive?

My journal of choice does not allow me to self-archive within my funder's embargo period, or not at all. What do I do?

My funder isn't listed in SHERPA/FACT. How can I find my funder's policy?

Is funding available for making monographs Open Access?

How do I deposit my article in CentAUR?

What is a transformative/transititional agreement?

What is a transformative/transitional journal?

What are the benefits of Open Access?

How can I find reputable fully Open Access (gold) journals?

I've been sent an email from a journal offering to publish my work, should I send my article to them?

What is an article processing charge (APC)?

What is a hybrid journal?

What is Plan S?

Where can I find the UKRI Open Access policy?

My article has images in it that can't be made freely available, what do I do about Open Access?

Open Access funding at University of Reading

Who can apply for funding?

All staff and students at University of Reading can apply for funding for Open Access fees. 
Eligibility for the publisher deals is normally determined using the email address of the corresponding author. Student and staff email addresses are recognised by the publishers during the publication process. 

When should I apply for funding?

In all cases, you should not agree to pay an APC for Open Access without checking first that it will be covered by the Library's Open Access budgets

  • If the journal that you are publishing in is covered by one of the publisher deals, you do not normally have to apply for funding in advance. Please check the details for each publisher on the relevant tab in this guide
  • For fully Open Access (Gold) journals it is important that you apply before submission or at the submission stage. This is because you will be liable for the fee as soon as the paper is accepted. Invoices submitted to the Library Open Access team without a prior request and approval may not be paid as our budget is limited. 
  • For subscription (hybrid) journals you should apply at the acceptance stage. 
Can I apply to the University's Open Access fund if the article involves authors from another institution?
  • If you are the corresponding author and are now employed by another institution it is unlikely that University of Reading will pay the APC. However, if there are other current University of Reading staff or students on the author list, one of these authors can submit an application for funding (this will not apply to articles in journals covered by publisher deals where it is the institution of the corresponding author that determines eligibility). 
  • If the publication relates to work conducted at an author's previous institution, the APC may be covered if the corresponding author uses a University of Reading affiliation. 
  • If any of the authors acknowledge UKRI funding, it is expected that their institution should pay the costs. Where more than one author acknowledges UKRI funding, the institution of the corresponding author should pay the cost. If the corresponding author does not acknowledge UKRI funding but other University of Reading authors do, the funded authors should apply for funding for the APC. If there is no relevant UKRI funding, and no other relevant grants, the institution of the corresponding author should pay the costs. 
Can I apply to the University Open Access fund if there is no UKRI or other external funding related to the article?

Yes, as long as there are no funds available elsewhere via grants or any other source, and as long as the publication is to be published in a pure Gold Open Access journal (i.e. the journal does not charge a subscription fee and is freely available online to all). In some cases we will pay the fee for journals which do charge subscription fees (hybrid journals), but only if the APC is below £1000 excluding VAT.

Can I (an author) apply to the University's Open Access fund if I am not the PI or lead author?

Yes, as long as the publication shows that you are affiliated to the University.

If the journal that you are publishing in is part of a transformative agreement with a publisher, only the corresponding author is eligible for Open Access. If you are not the corresponding author, it is not possible to fund the APC outside the remit of the deal. In this case, you should check with the corresponding author to see whether their institution has signed up to the relevant publisher deal. 

Will the University provide funds for page charges and/or colour charges?
  • No colour charges will be paid for any articles regardless of funding. 
  • For UKRI-funded articles, page charges may be paid. This will only apply to articles that are submitted for publication prior to 1 April 2022. After this date, the new UKRI policy will not allow page charges to be covered by our block grant. Please make it clear when you apply for Open Access funding whether you are requesting funds for page charges and how much they are likely to be (estimates are OK).
  • For articles which do not acknowledge UKRI funding, no page charges can be paid. 
Which licence should I choose for my journal article?

The creative commons CC BY licence You are expected to choose the most open of the creative commons licences for your work. This is the CC BY 4.0 version of the licence. If you are funded by the UKRI or other external funders, you must choose this version of the licence or you will not be compliant with your funder's policy. For papers submitted after 1 April 2022, the UKRI will only permit the CC BY version of the licence to be used. Any exceptions will have to be applied for on a case by case basis. 

I'm publishing in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is not part of a publisher transformative/transitional deal. Can I apply for funding?

If the APC for the hybrid journal is under £1000 (excluding VAT), you should complete the Open Access request form. It is not possible to apply for a 'top up' of funds from the University's Open Access fund. Only APCs of £1000 or less will be considered to prevent 'double dipping' by the publisher whereby they charge libraries for subscriptions and then also charge high APCs to authors for Open access. 

If you have UKRI funding, you must first check that the journal is listed as a 'Transformative journal' using the Journal Checker Tool. Any hybrid journal not included in a transformative/transitional available to University of Reading authors must comply with the licencing and immediate access requirements as described in route 1 or route 2 of the UKRI policy. 

Green Open Access

My journal of choice doesn't offer a Gold Open Access option, what do I do?
  • It may be that your journal has not had this kind of request before. While many journals owned and managed by big publishing houses have adapted to Gold Open Access very quickly, others have been slower. It is worth contacting the journal to find out if they can offer a Gold Open Access option with a CC BY licence.
  • You may still comply be able to comply with University, HEFCE and UKRI policies by self-archiving (depositing) your author final version of your article in our institutional repository, CentAUR.
Which version of my journal article must I self-archive?

You must deposit the author final manuscript of your article into CentAUR as soon as it is accepted for publication in order to comply with the University Open Access Policy, and with the HEFCE policy for Open Access in the REF.

You can check publisher policies in advance using the SHERPA/ROMEO website which summarises publishers’ copyright and self-archiving policies. Versions prior to peer review are out of scope for CentAUR and not compliant with UKRI requirements. The terminology for versions varies between policies:

Status Alternative terminology Action
Pre-refereed paper as submitted Author pre-print, Submitted manuscript under review Out of scope for CentAUR 
Final draft incorporating peer review corrections  Postprint, Author post-print, Author accepted manuscript, Author final manuscript, Author's final draft. NOT yet copyedited or typeset by the publisher. NOT a publisher proof.  Deposit in CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication
Final published version Publisher's PDF, Version of record   Can be deposited in CentAUR in addition to the above version (if permitted by the publisher
My journal of choice doesn’t permit me to self-archive my journal article within my funder's embargo period, or at all. What do I do?

Sometimes publishers may not have had this request before, so attempt to negotiate terms with the publisher.

If your journal of choice neither allows paid Gold Open Access, nor deposit in an institutional repository (Green Open Access) with compliant embargo periods, and publication elsewhere is not appropriate for your work, you can proceed but your article, but: 

  • It will not count as compliant in the data reported back to UKRI 
  • It will be eligible for the REF as an exception but to achieve this you must deposit the author final manuscript in CentAUR. It will be embargoed or locked to comply with publisher policy.

Use the SHERPA/FACT web tool to check whether your journal is compliant with UKRI policy

My funder isn't listed in SHERPA/FACT. How can I find my funder's policy?

The SHERPA/JULIET database lists many more funders. Search this to find out whether your funder has a policy about making publications Open Access. Then search the SHERPA/ROMEO database to find your journal's self-archiving and Open Access policies; read the summary of these on the ROMEO site to see if they are offering options that are consistent with the funder policies.

Is funding available for making monographs Open Access?

Yes, there may be limited funding available – please see the Research books and chapters section of this guide for more details.

How do I deposit my article in CentAUR?

If you are a staff member at University of Reading you can log into CentAUR with your usual credentials. If you are a student you will need to ask a staff coauthor to add it for you or ask the CentAUR team to upload the article on your behalf.
If you have linked your ORCID iD to CentAUR, you may be able to add your output from your ORCID record. 
There are guides on how to deposit your article on the CentAUR website. 

General questions on Open Access

What is a transformative/transitional agreement?

A transformative or transitional agreement is a deal between institutions (or often large groups of institutions or consortia) and journal publishers. The agreements aim to change the business models of publishers and help them transition to a fully Open Access model. They are often referred to as 'Read and Publish' deals as they incorporate journal subscriptions and the ability of authors to publish their work Open Access with the publisher. The idea of the agreements is to reduce the costs for institutions and lead to a shift in publisher business models towards Open Access. 

What is a transformative/transititonal journal?

A  transitional/transformative Journal (TJ) is a subscription (hybrid) journal that has actively committed to transitioning to a fully Open Access journal.

In addition, a Transformative Journal must agree to:

  • gradually increase the share of Open Access content; and

  • offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments - often called 'double dipping').

What are the benefits of open access?

Publishing your work open access means that it will have a larger audience as it will not be behind a subscription paywall. Other benefits include: 

  • Higher citation rates
  • Practitioners, who probably won't have subscriptions to journals, are still able read and apply your findings to their work
  • Researchers in developing countries can see and use your work
  • The public can access your research
  • Taxpayers get value for their money
  • Compliance with the rules of the funder of your research or your institution's guidelines  
  • Your research can influence policy makers as it is open for them to consult
  • Your work will have more exposure as it is available to everyone
How can I find reputable fully open access (gold) journals?

Most publishers now offer some fully Open Access journals so check the publisher's website. A good source of reputable Open Access journals is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Tools such as Scimagojr and Scopus also allow you to filter journal searches to only show Open Access journals. 

I've been sent an email from a journal offering to publish my work, should I send my article to them?

In general, it is never a good idea to respond to unsolicited emails asking you to submit your work to a journal or publisher. Often these emails are from less-reputable, so called 'predatory' Open Access journals. The emails are often very flattering and will offer very quick publication in an 'international' journal. You should always check out any journal carefully before you submit your work to them. There is a good checklist of things to look out for on the Think Check Submit website. If in doubt, contact the Open Access requests team in the Library for advice. 

What is an article processing charge (APC)?

An article processing charge (or sometimes referred to as the article publication charge) is a publication fee that is charged to authors in order for their work to be made open access. Most fully open access journals levy an APC. Hybrid journals will also charge an APC for an author to make their work open access in a journal that is usually only open to subscribers. The APC should be clearly stated on the journal website. 

What is a hybrid journal?

A hybrid journal is one that charges subscribers for access to the content published in the journal and then also charges authors to make their work open access. 

What is Plan S?

Plan S is an initiative with the aim of accelerating the transition to open access publishing. The plan was launched in September 2018 by an international consortium of research funding organisations and organisations that conduct research. Signatories to Plan S require that scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals or open access platforms. Some funders, for example, Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have adopted Plan S and require the beneficiaries of their grants to comply with the conditions when publishing research. It is important to check your funder's requirements on open access if you have external research funding. 

Where can I find the UKRI open access policy?

The UKRI Open Access policy is available on their website. The new policy applies to journal articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022. 

My article has images in it that can't be made freely available, what do I do about Open Access?

Humanities in general, but especially Art History, rely on images. Reproducing images from museums and galleries often involves significant licensing fees, especially if online. If this is not possible, Green Open Access with images removed is an option, in which case the article can be deposited in CentAUR. If removal of the images significantly affects the sense and quality of the article, a redacted version should not be deposited. Contact the CentAUR team for advice.