Oxford University policy: full text

Why open access?

The University of Oxford supports researchers to ensure the widest possible access to research outputs, e.g. journal articles, conference papers, reports, books, book sections and chapters and working and discussion papers.

The value and utility of research outputs increases the more broadly they are available to be considered and used by others, including scholars, businesses and charities, and society in general. Research that is openly accessible helps to highlight the excellence of Oxford’s research around the globe, raises the visibility of scholars and students, fosters collaboration, and maximises the intellectual, social, cultural,and economic impact of research.

A core component of Oxford’s commitment to open access, as set out in the University Strategic Plan and the Bodleian Libraries Strategy is to support researchers to make their outputs open access.

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Funder requirements for open access

Open access is mandated by many funders; the landscape is complex, with various policies and routes available to authors. Open access is also required for the purposes of national research assessment exercises, such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The accordion below sets out the respective responsibilities of researchers and the Bodleian Libraries in supporting open access.

Oxford receives block grants from some funders to support open access publishing and thus to comply with funder policies. Annex 1 describes the principles by which these funds are managed. The University prioritises open access by means of self-archiving in its institutional repository - the so-called ‘green’ route - and strongly encourages the use of Rights Retention Statements where they are needed to achieve this type of open access. Annex 2 contains a glossary of relevant terms.

Given the complexity and ever shifting nature of open access requirements, researchers are strongly advised to seek advice from the Bodleian Libraries at the earliest opportunity - ideally as they are thinking of publication venue - on the open access and licensing options available to them.

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Researchers’ responsibilities

Academics, researchers, and graduate research students (‘researchers’) who are authors on research outputs should:

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The Bodleian can advise on relevant issues, including: sources of funds, licensing / copyright options, conversations with co-authors about OA costs, and on the relationship between OA and IP.

Eligible outputs include journal articles, conference papers, reports, books, book sections and chapters and working and discussion papers.

Consideration should be given to budgeting for OA publication costs within the grant application, where permitted by the funder, and/or use of rights retention statements to ensure compliance.

Other publication types

Researchers are also strongly encouraged to deposit the full text of all other publications, including monographs, book chapters, working and discussion papers, and reports.

Research data

Authors should either deposit into ORA or create a record of any underlying datasets and other research materials in accordance with the University’s Policy on the Management of Data Supporting Research Outputs, and funder details (where applicable).

Use IT Self-Service or claim your ORCID in Symplectic Elements. By using your Oxford-verified ORCID at every available opportunity, e.g. when submitting publications or applying for grants, you ensure that you are credited for your work with the correct institutional affiliation.

Where appropriate, researchers are strongly encouraged to discuss with Oxford University Innovation the commercial potential of their research outputs before making a publication available under this policy. Making a publication available under this policy on OA terms will not affect the ownership of any IP which the University claims under Section 6 of Part B of Statute XVI: Property, Contracts, and Trusts.

Refer to: The Digital Theses at ORA LibGuide

Refer to: General Regulations Governing Research Degrees

A thesis will be made open access on deposit unless the student has been granted a 1-year or 3-year embargo, or dispensation from consultation from their academic department.

The University’s responsibilities

The University (via the Bodleian Libraries) will:

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Researchers may publish in their choice of publication, provided funder requirements are met and in the context of the University’s principles for maximising the use of OA block funds (see Annex 1).

This includes: administration of monies from funders to meet publishers’ OA charges; provision of training, information, and platforms (see below); and advice on OA matters to researchers in order to make their work open and accessible.

ORA makes research outputs freely available as soon as possible (subject to the authors’ and/or publisher’s permissions and any confidentiality or commercial constraints), and to promote widespread discovery, dissemination and maximise citation of works.

New publishing models will be supported and sustained by institutional block grant funds, where possible and, in collaboration with Divisions and Departments, through savings made from existing library budgets.

Efforts will be made to influence publishing policies, costs, and practices that affect Oxford authors. The Bodleian Libraries collaborates with Jisc and other UK HEIs to reach cost-effective publishing deals and influence national OA policy.

Annex 1: Principles by which institutional block grants for open access are managed at Oxford

  1. The block grants that the University receives from research funders annually to support open access are managed with the aim to maximise Open Access publishing across the University.
  2. No central budget is currently available for open access publishing costs beyond that provided by funders.
  3. The following principles apply in maximising the use of the open access block grants:
    1. Researchers will be encouraged to use the green route to open access as a default, including through the use of rights retention statements;
    2. Priority will be given to outputs published in venues that are covered by Read and Publish deals. The Bodleian’s Read & Publish Review Group (in consultation with relevant Divisions and Departments) will approve a deal where, according to set criteria, where it is considered to offer good value to Oxford
    3. The payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) will be prioritised for outputs published in fully open access journals (as indexed in DOAJ).
  4. Funders do not permit certain publishing costs to be paid from block grants. These are: cover images, editorial assessment fees, extra page and colour charges, personal membership fees, reprints, submission charges, supplemental data publication fees, third party copyright charges.
  5. All funds are allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Funds cannot be reserved for future use, so this approach corrects for the varying lengths it can take for a paper to pass through a publisher’s workflow.
  6. A set amount of Oxford’s block grant will be ringfenced, where possible, to support diamond, community-led, and mission-led open access services and infrastructure.
  7. Spend on the block grant is monitored regularly. Once each block grant reaches a certain capacity, new measures may be introduced to conserve funds. For example, it might be decided that only publishing charges for fully open access journals, and below a certain APC threshold, will be paid.
  8. Where the University is engaging in negotiations for a publishing deal, a decision may be taken to suspend the payment of publishing charges with a particular publisher, or for certain titles, to influence a positive outcome to the negotiations.

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Annex 2: Glossary of terms

Article processing charge (APC)

An APC is a fee paid to the publisher to make an article free at point of access. Whilst Open Access principles promote free availability of research and scholarly output, research papers are not cost free to produce. The cost of publication is moved from the reader (via subscriptions and pay-walls) to the author (via the APC).

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

Creative Commons Attribution CC BY means you can share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix a work for commercial purposes as long as you attribute (cite) the work

Diamond open access

Papers published via a Diamond model are Open Access but do not require the author to make or arrange a payment. Diamond Open Access journals tend to rely on volunteers, universities, and government for resourcing and financing.

Green route

Articles published in a journal or conference proceedings with a freely available version of the article deposited in a repository.

Open access

Open Access literature is digital and freely available online, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, index, or link to the full text, or use for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical barriers. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” (Adapted from BOAI http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/boaifaq.htm#openaccess)

ORA Oxford University Research Archive: University’s institutional repository for research outputs

Research Excellence Framework is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, and is run by the four funding bodies in the UK - led by Research England for England

Rights retention

Rights retention is a funder led initiative that supports the self-archiving route to Open Access. It allows you to publish in a traditional subscription journal (and hybrid journals) and to make your manuscript available Open Access upon publication through self-deposit.

This ensures the widest possible access to your research as well as meeting funder requirements.

Rights retention statements

Statement to add to your manuscript upon submission, where you apply a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to your manuscript permitting immediate Open Access upon publication. After the article is accepted for publication (post peer-review) you should deposit your accepted manuscript into the Oxford Research Archive.

The recommended rights retention statement is:

"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."

Symplectic Elements University’s research information management system that provides data to support assessment (including REF), dissemination (including departmental websites), Open Access (including deposit route into the Oxford Research Archive), and reporting activities (including Researchfish collections).