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Open Access Policy

Background and Context
Open access means making research outputs freely available online so anyone can read, access, download, and use the research.

Benefits of open access include: more exposure and impact; more downloads and higher citation rates; researchers in developing countries, practitioners, and members of the public can access the work; and taxpayers get value for money.

The concept of open access is now widely established in government policy, in the requirements for the national Research Excellence Framework (REF), and in the requirements of other research funding bodies.

Non-compliance with these funder requirements may have broader consequences, for example, an output may not be eligible for submission to the REF.

The policy applies to research outputs produced by all staff at UCA.

A research output is an item that is produced as the final outcome of the research process in order to share the findings, such as a journal article, book, or conference paper, or a practice-based output such as an exhibition or performance.

This policy covers the basic principles and responsibilities for open access at UCA.

This policy does not cover individual funder requirements or individual publisher models for open access, which each have their own nuanced differences and are constantly evolving. Guidance on these is provided at: Open Access Publishing.

Key Terms
The three overarching models for open access are:

‘Green’ open access - the author deposits a copy of their research output in their University’s institutional repository, UCA Research Online (UCARO) at: Publishers may require journal articles or book chapters to be kept under embargo for a specific period and they often specify what version can be deposited in the repository.

‘Gold’ open access - the publisher makes the journal article, book, or book chapter freely available to the public at the point of publication, usually for a fee to the author called an Article Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC).

‘Read and publish’ deal - an agreement between a publisher and a University Library, in which payment for accessing their journals and payment for ‘gold’ open access publishing in those journals is bundled together into a single contract. It is also known as a ‘transformative’ agreement.

Research outputs should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’
Research outputs should always be made open access, unless there is a valid reason for restricting access or reuse, such as commercial or ethical reasons, or because the output depends on the reproduction of third-party content for which open access rights could not be granted.

The University advocates for ‘green’ open access
To this end, the University provides an open access research repository, UCA Research Online (UCARO) at UCARO is freely and equally accessible to all UCA researchers to deposit their research outputs, regardless of their career level, output type, or funding support.

The University provides open access to the full range of creative research
The University’s policy is not driven solely by funder requirements for open access, which currently focus on text-based outputs, but by the benefits of sharing all types of research output from across all the University’s creative disciplines.

Researchers have the freedom to choose the most appropriate publication or location for disseminating their research outputs. However, they should ensure that it complies with this policy and any funder requirements for open access.

All outputs should be deposited by UCA researchers within the University repository, UCARO, with details of the title, date, creator/ author(s), and other information where available.

Outputs should be deposited within UCARO in a timely manner. Certain funders have a specific timeframe within which they require outputs to be deposited in a repository.

If the output is published on ‘gold’ open access, it is still necessary to document the output and provide a link to it within UCARO, to enable collection of data by the Research Office for REF and other research monitoring purposes.

Researchers are responsible for obtaining permissions from any third parties for the rights they hold in their outputs. This permission should explicitly cover publication of the output on open access.

Research Office
The Research Office is responsible for alerting new members of the Research Career field about this Open Access Policy, about UCARO, and about the support and guidance that is available from the University.

The Library is responsible for managing and maintaining the University repository, UCARO, as a permanent, secure online archive.  Library staff will check newly-uploaded outputs for missing information, accuracy of metadata, and that the correct embargo periods have been applied.

The Library will provide researchers with advice and guidance on how to deposit in UCARO; how to comply with funder requirements for open access; publisher policies on open access; the current ‘read and publish’ deals; and advice on third party rights clearance.

Publication Costs
The University does not cover the costs of processing charges (APCs/BPCs) for researchers to publish their research on ‘gold’ open access.

Researchers should check the details of the open access arrangements for any output before submitting it to a publisher. Unexpected APCs/BPCs arising due to failure to check these details will not be met by the University.

If a researcher would like to publish on ‘gold’ open access, or if they are required to do so by a research funder, they must either:

  • seek external funding to cover the processing charges
  • or utilise one of the Library’s ‘read and publish’ deals.  These are listed at: Open Access Publishing

Only in exceptional circumstances can an application to cover article/book processing charges be made to the UCA Research Fund.

The Research Office and the Library will jointly review this Policy every year and any significant changes will be considered and approved by the Research & Innovation Committee.

The Research Office and the Library will monitor open access developments and changes to funder’s open access requirements, and continually update its guidance for researchers accordingly at: Open Access Publishing


January 2024
Review: January 2025