What is Open Access?
Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge including for those who do not have personal or institutional subscriptions to journals, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. (Read more in Peter Suber’s Open Access Overview and the Open Access Chronology blog post.)
Open Access at Oxford
Open Access at the University of Oxford is overseen by the OA Steering Group (formerly OA Project Group) which is accountable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Research & Innovation Committee.
On 1st March 2018, the University of Oxford Open Access Publications Policy (pdf) was approved by Research & Innovation Committee. It sets out responsibilities for the University and for researchers, summarised below. Key points:
- The University of Oxford academic community wishes to ensure the widest possible access to its world-class research. The value and utility of research outputs increases the more broadly they are available to be considered and used by others. A core component of this is open access (OA).
- The University continues to support the academic freedom of its authors (academics, researchers, staff and students) to publish where they choose.
- Researchers (academics, researchers, research students, staff) are asked to
- deposit into ORA (Oxford Research Archive), on acceptance, the accepted manuscript of journal articles and conference papers; record details of all other publications and add full text if possible.
- obtain an Oxford-linked ORCID.
- Research students are required to deposit a digital copy of their research thesis into ORA.
- Authors are also advised to check that their publishing licence is acceptable, and reminded of the need to comply with their funder policy.
- The University will provide systems, support, information and training to facilitate open access, including the institutional repository ORA, a permanent and secure online archive of research materials produced by University members. It will undertake advocacy and collaboration with publishers and other bodies.
- The University will provide a service that assists researchers in complying with funder requirements, including HEFCE policy for REF 2021 (see Act on Acceptance below).
- It will continue to administer block grants from funders (RCUK, Wellcome Trust/COAF) to pay publisher OA fees (Article Processing Charges, APCs) when required.
- The University favours, now and for the foreseeable future, open access by means of the Green Route (making a version of the work, usually the manuscript, freely available in an OA repository.)
The policy replaces the 2013 Statement on Open Access at the University of Oxford (pdf).
Act on Acceptance
The UK higher education funding bodies have an open access policy which requires that all journal articles and conference papers (in publications with an ISSN) accepted since 1 April 2016 must be deposited in a repository within three (3) months of acceptance for publication, in order to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).
In line with this requirement, Oxford’s policy is that all authors should deposit the peer-reviewed manuscripts (Author Accepted Manuscripts – AAMs) of newly-accepted papers into the University’s repository ORA via Symplectic Elements. Please visit Act on Acceptance for details of what to deposit and how.
A reminder to Act on Acceptance was sent to all members of staff at the University of Oxford from Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) on Monday 4 July 2016.