FAQ – University position and ORA

    • What is the University’s policy on Open Access?

      The University of Oxford academic community is strongly committed to ensuring the widest possible access to its research. The value and utility of research outputs increases the more broadly they are available to be considered and used by others. The University is very active in disseminating research both for the benefit of the international research community and for society more widely. Access to Oxford’s published research, for everyone, from everywhere, will highlight the excellence of its research, attract scholars and students, and foster collaboration.

      The University introduced an Open Access policy in March 2018 which can be found on the Open Access at Oxford page. It asks academics, researchers and research students to provide Open Access to research outputs by depositing accepted manuscripts into our institutional repository ORA.

      Other staff who publish (librarians, professional/admin/support staff) are also strongly encouraged to deposit.

      A pdf leaflet, Open Access at Oxford (September 2017), gives an introduction to OA at the University.

    • Can I still publish where I wish?

      Yes. The University’s Open Access policy supports the academic freedom of its authors (academics, researchers, staff and students) to publish in the publication of their choice.

    • Does the University favour one route to OA over another?

      The University believes that the UK must adopt an approach to Open Access that supports and is credible to researchers, sustainable and makes the best use of resources. The major research funders in the UK encourage or mandate Open Access, as do most international funding bodies. In complying with these mandates, we favour, now and for the foreseeable future, open access by means of the Green Route (author self-archives into an open access repository a version of the article for free public use).

      We will utilise special allocations from our funders in those cases where their policy requires that APCs be paid.

      What we do not wish to see is for funder policy to dictate publication venue; this must remain the author’s decision. We do not wish to see financial issues dictate academic choice, and materially damage the standing of the research.

    • How do I publish Open Access via the Green route at Oxford?

      The green route to Open Access focuses on self-archiving post peer-reviewed copies of articles in repositories. At Oxford, this can be achieved via the Oxford Research Archive (ORA). If researchers put their papers into ORA, the papers will be 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.

    • What is ORA & how do I deposit?

      The Oxford Research Archive (ORA) is our institutional repository and was established by the University in 2007 as a permanent and secure online archive of research materials produced by members of the University of Oxford. We are now enhancing the coverage and features in ORA to provide a single point of public access to electronic copies of peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings by Oxford authors and Oxford research theses. This will also provide a means for institutional compliance with funders’ Open Access requirements.

      You can deposit in ORA via Symplectic Elements (unless it’s a thesis or dataset, in which case deposit directly into ORA.)

      Symplectic Elements accounts are automatically created for academics and researchers 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 request accounts by filling in a new user request form on the Research Services Symplectic Elements website.  For other help please visit their support pages or email the university’s Symplectic Helpdesk at symplectic@admin.ox.ac.uk, or contact your Departmental Symplectic administrator.

    • Does putting a copy of my article in ORA enable me to comply with funder OA mandates?

      If your publisher allows you to self-archive a version within the timeframes expected by your funder, then yes – ‘green’ OA (self-archiving) via ORA is the answer. If you put your paper in ORA, the papers are available freely and openly on the web – you deposit the permitted version, and you’re done. The ORA team take care of the embargo.

      To help Oxford authors, information about Oxford-authored papers is harvested by Symplectic from subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central and arXiv; citation indexes such as Web of Science and Scopus; and the author is expected to upload full text of their publications to ORA. These are stored and preserved and, copyright permitting, made freely accessible by the Bodleian Libraries. Authors are expected to provide details of the funder(s) and of the source of data for publicly-funded work (as required by the Research Councils UK since April 2013).