Rights retention

What is it?

Rights retention is a new funder initiative from cOAlition S.

Several funders, including the Wellcome Trust (Jan 21), UKRI (Apr 22), the NIHR (Jun 22) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Jan 21), have Plan S-aligned policies which include a rights retention requirement.

Rights retention supports the green or self-archiving route to open access. It enables researchers to publish a version of record with a publisher, and the author accepted manuscript in a repository, ensuring the widest possible access to your research as well as meeting funder requirements.

What do researchers need to do?

Plan S funders typically have the following ‘routes’ to open access publishing:

  1. Publish in a fully open access journal, and pay an APC for immediate gold open access for the version of record.
  2. Publish in a journal that provides gold open access via a Read & Publish deal. Publish costs are paid upfront as part of this deal. No individual APC is paid.
  3. Publish in a subscription/hybrid journal and use rights retention to apply a CC BY licence to your accepted manuscript, and deposit it in your funder’s preferred repository (e.g. Wellcome Trust requires EuropePMC). No individual APC is paid.

In order to use ‘route 3’, the rights retention strategy, you will need to secure on submission by stating your intent to apply a CC BY licence to your accepted manuscript. The statement will vary slightly by funder, but broadly it should say:

This research was funded in whole or in part by [Funder] [Grant number]. For the  purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any  Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission. 

Once the paper is accepted for publication, you will need to deposit the accepted manuscript in your funder’s repository of choice – making sure that it is available online, under the stated licence, by the time the version of record is published.

 Where can I get further help?

Whilst we are not aware of any journals that are actively refusing to consider papers that contain the rights retention statement, we encourage authors to contact us and their funder if they experience difficulties, or have any questions about the process.