FAQ – University position and ORA

    • What is the University’s position on OA?

      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 already 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 encourages its researchers to provide Open Access to published research, so that they are available on-line with the fewest restrictions on use. Such access is made consistent with copyright and licensing that may be inherent in the research itself and in the publishing agreements.

    • Can I still publish where I wish?

      If an Oxford researcher chooses, for sound academic reasons, to publish in a journal that is not ‘RCUK compliant’ the University will defend that decision. Our academics, researchers, staff and students must be free to publish in the journal 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. This enables authors to publish in any journal and to self-archive a version of the article for free public use. Thus the Green approach provides most of the benefits for a much smaller additional cost than Gold Open Access (which involves paying Article Processing Charges). 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 the RCUK 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 subject repositories and at Oxford, this can be achieved via the Oxford Research Archive (ORA). If researchers put their papers into ORA, 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.

    • What is ORA & how do I deposit?

      The Oxford Research Archive (ORA) is our institutional repository and was established by the University some years ago 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 2 methods: directly, or via Symplectic Elements.

      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 now request accounts directly from the central Symplectic Helpdesk symplectic@admin.ox.ac.uk. For other help 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.

    • 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, set the embargo, and you’re done.

      To enable Oxford authors to meet the requirements of their funding agencies with regard to Open Access, information about Oxford-authored papers will be harvested from subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central and arXiv; citation indexes such as Web of Knowledge and Scopus; the University Symplectic system; and local systems within the University subject to availability, and the author will be expected to upload full text of their publications to ORA. These will be stored and preserved and, copyright permitting, made freely accessible by the Bodleian Libraries. Authors will be asked to provide details of the funder(s) and of the source of data for publicly-funded work (as required by the Research Councils UK from April 2013).