FAQ – Green OA & Repositories

    • What is a repository?

      What counts as an institutional or subject repository? If it’s listed in OpenDOAR , the ‘authoritative directory of academic open access repositories’, you can be confident it is recognised by your funder.  Oxford’s institutional repository ORA definitely qualifies, as do subject-based repositories like arXiv, PubMed Central and its counterpart Europe PMC , RePEc and  Zenodo. They are: a permanent and stable archive; have institutional or funder support & staffing; are organised & managed, using international standards; can assign DOIs and permanent URLs; and comply with copyright regulations.

      From the end user perspective they are open to all, no login required – unlike networking and sharing sites such as Academia.edu, Mendeley and ResearchGate, which perform a different role.

      In terms of Open Access policy for REF2021, Oxford researchers are required to deposit articles in ORA even if also depositing in a subject repository such as arXiv or EuropePMC. Subject repositories do not meet the metadata requirements of the policy, for example, they do not collect ‘date of acceptance’, which will be required as part of the REF submission. They also do not necessarily meet the open access requirements of Research England’s policy, so to ensure your publication complies you should deposit the manuscript in ORA.

    • If I decide to go for green open access/self-archiving, do I have to deposit in PMC myself or will ORA do it?

      Some funders, e.g. Medical Research Council, NIHR, and Wellcome Trust / Charity Open Access Fund require deposit in PMC/Europe PMC. The ORA team don’t add papers to other repositories, so if you are using the ‘green route’ for open access and the journal doesn’t automatically deposit in EuropePMC for you, you need to do it yourself. The record will then get a PMCID number.
      To get started please go to https://europepmc.org.

      This is in addition to depositing into ORA via Symplectic, for ‘Act on Acceptance’ (open access and next REF) – http://openaccess.ox.ac.uk/home-2/act-on-acceptance.’

    • How do I deposit (self-archive) in Europe PMC?

      You deposit through the system called Europe PMC Plus. There’s a link to it on the EPMC homepage (top right).

      For help with the deposit process there’s a step by step guide called “How do I submit a manuscript?” on the EPMC Help pages.

      If you have problems opening EPMC Plus with Internet Explorer try another browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

      1 May 2019: new Europe PMC Plus submission system launched: http://blog.europepmc.org/2019/05/welcome-new-EuropePMC-plus.html.

    • How do I deposit in PubMed Central (PMC)?

      For PubMed Central (USA), go to the home page: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/.
      From “Public Access” on the lower right of the screen the relevant link to click on is “How Papers Get Into PMC”:
    • Where can I look up whether or not green OA (self-archiving) is permitted by my chosen journal?

      Sherpa RoMEO is a good starting point if you need information on what is allowed by your publisher. The funders’ and authors’ compliance tool (Sherpa FACT ) maps journals and publisher information for RCUK and COAF. You can also check your actual journal’s policy on self-archiving by visiting the author pages on the journal’s website.

    • How do I make my work Open Access via the Green route at Oxford?

      Publish your article in a journal in the traditional way, and deposit your accepted manuscript in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA), which makes it available freely and openly on the web, usually after a publisher-imposed delay known as the embargo. Oxford is asking all its academics and researchers to do this for all newly-accepted articles, under the Act on Acceptance initative for open access. No publisher fee is required.

      The way to deposit articles into ORA is via the online deposit form in Symplectic Elements.

      All academics and researchers will automatically have Symplectic accounts created using Single Sign-On.

      Those who are not given automatic Symplectic access (e.g. administrative staff, technical support staff, postgraduate research students, college-only researchers etc.) can now request accounts directly from the central Symplectic Helpdesk symplectic@admin.ox.ac.uk. For other queries please visit the support pages on the Research Services Symplectic Elements website (https://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/researchsupport/awards/symplectic/) or contact your Departmental Symplectic administrator.

    • What version of my work should I self-archive?

      The latest version of your work permitted by the journal publisher (usually the Author Accepted Manuscript, AAM). Sherpa RoMEO is a good starting point if you need information on what is allowed by your publisher. Your funder terms and conditions will also stipulate which version you are allowed to self-archive, if this is the route to OA that you are taking.

      The Open Access Button team have produced two useful guides: Direct2AAM (Helping Authors Find Author Accepted Manuscripts) and versions explained (Pre-prints, post-prints, and publisher’s PDF explained).

    • What do the journals and publishers think of green OA repositories such as ORA?

      Most journals will permit deposit of a copy of an article into ORA. There might be a condition such as an embargo period (for example, the ORA copy may only be released 6 months after publication. As a general rule of thumb publishers permit the ‘accepted’ version (ie the final version with all changes following peer-review included) to be disseminated via ORA. 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 your <subject librarian> for help.

    • If I move to another University, what will happen? Is there a way of pulling papers together and putting them in the same repository?

      Common practice is for researchers to submit items to their local repository whilst they are a member of staff at that university. When they move the paper will remain in that repository. The papers can usually be linked to for example, from personal or departmental web pages, whatever their location. Repositories like ORA are usually set up to comply with standards so they can ‘harvest’ items from other repositories. A cross-repository search facility is available from the SHERPA service OpenDOAR (http://www.opendoar.org/search.php).