The Open Access (OA) movement is based upon the key principle that publicly funded research should be made publicly available and as widely accessible as possible. Open Access material is online and free at the point of access, without barriers such as subscription or registration. There is significant evidence to suggest that publishing your work Open Access leads to wider readership, increased downloads and ultimately more citations.
Read the University’s OA Policy
Read the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 OA Policy
The core principle of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 open access policy is that journal articles and conference proceedings with ISSNs must be available in an open access form to be eligible for the next REF. Crucially authors’ accepted manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository within three months of acceptance. The REF 2021 OA Policy does allow the following publisher embargo periods to be observed once the paper is deposited:
- 12 months for REF Main Panels A and B (mainly STEM subject areas)
- 24 months for REF Main Panels C and D (mainly HASS subject areas)
The policy does not apply to monographs, book chapters, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs or data. It is anticipated that very few exceptions will be allowed. If your chosen journal is not compliant with these requirements please contact email@example.com for advice. Find out more about the Research Excellence Framework.
Read your funder's OA policy (if they have one)
The OA policies for major Loughborough funders are available below:
Researchers are now expected to publish their Research Council funded peer-reviewed articles and conference papers in journals compliant with the UKRI Research Councils' Policy on Open Access. The policy also specifies that all papers must include information on the funding that supported the research and how to access any underlying research materials such as data, samples or models.
A coalition of international research funders called cOAlition S have developed a set of principles known as Plan S with the aim of improving access to the outputs that they fund. The key principle is that “With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo.” Signatories include the UKRI, Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation. The UKRI are currently consulting as to how they might implement the principles of Plan S, and the outcome is expected in March 2020. However, the key considerations for academic staff at this stage are:
- The expectation that the policy will eventually extend beyond journal articles and conference papers.
- The phasing out of support for publication in hybrid journals (journals that sell subscriptions AND accept APCs to make certain papers Gold OA) or mirror/sister journals (where publishers have set up a fully Gold version of an existing subscription journal [e.g. ‘Water Research’ and ‘Water Research X’]).
The SHERPA Juliet service also provides a searchable database of funders' policies and their requirements on open access, publication and data archiving.
Non-compliance with funding conditions could potentially affect future grants. Some funders require authors to publish with journals offering a Gold OA option (see below), which may carry associated Article Processing Charges (APCs). If this is the case, check the funding terms to ascertain whether provision has been made for paying these costs. If not, alternative provision will need to be made for covering these costs. If you are funded by a UK Research Council you may be able to access funding the University receives towards these charges, however please note that funds are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.
Apply for funding
Please note that funding is extremely limited at present. From 16th July 2018 we have been operating a revised allocation policy for the Research Council Block Grant. Please read the Research Councils funding allocation policy 18-19 before applying for funding and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Please note that this policy may be subject to further revision.
Please ensure that you complete the Research Councils Open Access Funding Request form, ideally before submitting your paper to a journal. Funding cannot be allocated and guaranteed unless a form has been completed, checked and approved. Please do not agree to any gold open access charges prior to having a gold open access request approved.
Check that the journal you intend to publish in is compliant with your funder's OA Policy
Publisher policies may be available via the SHERPA Romeo Service or you can contact the publisher directly. Papers published under the Gold OA route must be published under the CC BY licence, the terms of which include unrestricted re-use of content (with proper attribution). If you are not happy with making your work available under the terms of this licence please consider using the Green OA route instead.
Deposit your published outputs in the Loughborough University Research Repository
Outputs should be deposited into the Research Repository via the Loughborough University Publications Information (LUPIN) system within three months of the output being accepted (post-peer review but before the publisher's formatting and copy-editing has been added). Your research output must be deposited in line with the requirements above but it does not have to be open access immediately. Some funders allow embargo periods.
Routes to Open Access (Green and Gold)
There are two main routes for authors to make their papers Open Access (OA):
- Green OA: authors publish a copy in a journal or elsewhere in the traditional way, and then self-archive in an Open Access repository, such as the University’s Research Repository. The University's Open Access Policy requires staff to submit a copy of all academic journal articles, conference papers and book chapters to the Research Repository using the LUPIN publication system. Most publishers will permit the author-created final version to be deposited without any charges (but not usually the publisher PDF). There are also a number of 'Green Open Access journals' that offer Open Access without any payments such as Article Processing Charges (APCs) or subscription charges.
- Gold OA: authors publish a copy of their research papers in Open Access (or hybrid) peer-reviewed academic journals or conference proceedings. Many publishers levy a significant Article Processing Charge (APC) for this. Once accepted for publication, the publisher places the final version of the research paper on their website and makes it freely available under a licence. It is important to check any licence agreements that you sign carefully to make sure that you are permitted to deposit the publisher final version in repositories without restrictions on re-use. Loughborough only has a central fund to cover the APC costs for UK Research Council authors.