All about open access

Why make my work open access?

Making your research outputs openly available helps to widen exposure to your research and can provide a number of other benefits:

Benefits for you

  • Greater exposure for your work, leading to more downloads and increased citations

Benefits for the University

  • A showcase for the research output of the University
  • Potential to increase research collaboration both internally and externally

Wider benefits

  • Ensures that members of the public, teachers and researchers without access to expensive journal subscriptions can access your work

University of Salford Open Access Policy

The University of Salford Open Access Policy, updated in February 2019, sets out open access publishing requirements for all research outputs produced by staff and postgraduate (PGR) students, including all peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers authored or co-authored by our staff and PGR students and accepted for publication.

Under the policy staff and postgraduate research students must deposit journal articles or conference contributions in conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) into USIR at the point of acceptance for publication, and no later than three months after that date. The version of a paper that must be deposited is the author’s accepted manuscript i.e. the final version submitted by the author(s) before they received formal acceptance for publication.

Wherever publishing contracts and copyright permit, and in all cases mandated by funder requirements, authors should make journal articles and conference contributions available under an open license, preferably a Creative Commons (CC-BY 4.0) license.

Researchers should also maximise the visibility, accessibility and use of other forms of research by making them available on an open access basis (e.g. data, monographs, PhD theses, video and audio files, code, tools and creative works). Outputs should be made available in USIR, the institutional research data repository or other appropriate repositories as soon as possible. This should be done in accordance with other appropriate requirements:

Researchers will also need to comply with the policies of all funders who have supported their research.


Complying with funder policies

To encourage researchers to make their work openly available, many research funders now require that publications that acknowledge their funding should be open access. It’s also an integral part of REF2021.

The University of Salford Open Access Policy has been designed so that, if you follow the University of Salford Policy you will automatically comply with the REF Open Access Policy.

The REF Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research outputs (peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles) accepted for publication to be:

  • deposited in a repository (such as USIR)
  • discoverable on the internet, and
  • accessible (i.e. the full text available for download)

It sets maximum timescales for each of these things to happen within, starting from the date of acceptance for publication (or for papers accepted from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, starting from the date of publication) with full text having to be accessible within either 12 months or 24 months depending on discipline.

If you deposit your author’s accepted manuscript into USIR with accurate and complete descriptive information, as soon as it has been accepted for publication, the Library Open Access Team will make sure that it is made discoverable and accessible within the required timescales. If for any reason we can’t do this (e.g. due to publisher restrictions) we will contact you to let you know and to offer further advice. Research output that does not meet the requirements of the REF Open Access Policy may not be eligible for submission to the REF 2021.

Read the REF 2021 Open Access Policy

The RCUK Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research outputs (peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles) from research partly or wholly funded by the UK’s Research Councils, to:

  • include proper acknowledgement of the funders
  • include a statement of how to access the underlying research data
  • be made open access (full text available to read free of charge) within specific timescales after publication (6 months or 12 months depending on discipline)

The RCUK Open Access Policy includes a preference for immediate open access, and is linked to funding that is available to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). Where this funding is used to pay an APC, the research output must be published under a CC BY License.

If research outputs from RCUK-funded research does not meet the requirements of the RCUK Open Access Policy this may jeopardise future RCUK funding applications.

Read the RCUK Open Access Policy and guidance information.

The RCUK Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research partly or wholly funded by the European Research Councils:

  • research outputs (research papers and monographs) must be made publicly available as soon as possible, and no more than six months, after publication
  • primary data and data-related products (e.g. computer code) must be deposited in relevant databases as soon as possible, and no more than six months, after publication of the research output

The policy also specifies preferred subject repositories for some disciplines and highlights that Article Processing Charges (APCs) may be charged against ERC grants.

Additional open access requirements may be specified in grant agreements (e.g. for FP7 and HORIZON 2020 projects).

Read the ERC Open Access Policy

Six medical research charities are working together to advance open access. Each charity has its own policy, but they are jointly funding payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) through block awards to some research intensive organisations. The University of Salford is not in receipt of a block award so researchers working on research funded by any of these charities should refer to that charity’s policy and guidance. Some of these (for example, the Wellcome Trust) may require publication under a CC-BY licence.

How do I make my work open access?

You can make your published outputs openly available by sharing them in a repository, like USIR and/or through an open access journal or a journal that offers an open access option. These two approaches are often referred to as 'Green' and 'Gold' open access.

Green Open Access is the deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts into an Open Access repository. Publishers often have a required embargo period, which must expire before the manuscript can be made publicly available. Embargo periods differ in length from 6 - 36 months and vary in subject fields and this will affect when your manuscript will be able to be viewed and accessed. We can help you to find out how a publisher’s embargo might affect you.

What does self-archiving mean for you?

  • Upon acceptance, log into USIR and deposit your author accepted manuscript (AAM)
  • The USIR team will check the publisher copyright policy for you and make the paper available in USIR after the embargo period expires.

It will:

  • increase the availability and visibility of your work
  • remove the need to pay Open Access charges

Free access to the final published versions of articles, immediately on publication. The publisher requires an Article Processing Charge (APC) which includes Open Access charges.

The Gold route to open access is also known as the author pays model. Papers are made immediately available for download from the journal website, at no cost to the reader. Costs are either recouped by the publisher by other means, or they will request that an Article Processing Charge (APC) be paid by the author, or the author's institution, upon acceptance for publication.

What does this mean for you?

  • Provides immediate access to journals as soon as they are published
  • Meets the requirement of certain funders.

The University has an Open Access Support fund that can help you pay for an Article Processing Charge once your paper has been accepted.

If your research output is in a different format (e.g. a monograph, a chapter in an edited book, a performance or a patent) you are not required to make it open access under either the University of Salford or REF policies. However, we do recommend that you make your research output open access if you can, and the next REF intends to recognise institutions that go beyond the minimum requirements of their policy.

Even if you choose not to make your output open access, you should create a record for your output in USIR and deposit the output or related files. USIR is the official collection of the University of Salford’s research outputs, and it is important that the records reflect the diversity of research that is undertaken.