FAQs

The HEFCE Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all journal articles and published conference proceedings to be:

  • Deposited in a repository
  • Made discoverable through the internet
  • Accessible as full-text records

There are time limits for each of these requirements. The University of Salford has adopted an Open Access Policy that has been designed so that if you follow the University’s policy you will also meet the requirements of the HEFCE Open Access Policy.

Any research output that has not been made open access in line with the HEFCE Open Access Policy will not be eligible for submission to the next REF.

The University of Salford Open Access Policy has been designed to ensure that, if you follow it, you will also meet the requirements of the HEFCE Open Access Policy.

You can read the full policy here.

Practically, under this policy, as an author you need to:

  • Make sure that you journal or conference paper includes a statement acknowledging any funders of the research, and a statement on how to access the underlying data (if appropriate)
  • Deposit your author’s accepted manuscript into USIR as soon as possible after it has been accepted for publication
  • Once your paper is published, inform the Library Open Access Team of the publication date so that we can make it available on open access in line with your publisher’s terms and conditions

You will need to make sure that your paper properly acknowledges the funders of the research, and include a statement on how readers can access the underlying data the paper is based on.

RCUK requires, in most cases, that the paper is made immediately open access free of charge for readers. To achieve this it will often be necessary to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher. The Library administers funds to pay these charges on your behalf which you can apply for once your paper has been accepted. More information about the funding available for APCs, and the application form to apply through, are available on our funding page.

If your preferred journal doesn’t offer the option of making papers open access, please contact the Library Open Access Team for advice.

The ERC open access policy, adopted in 2012 requires “all research papers and monographs that are supported in whole, or in part, by ERC funding to be made publicly available as soon as possible, and no later than six months after the official publication date of the original article.”

There are also requirements around which repositories should be used to archive the research output, and around the release of primary data.

ERC-funded projects may have additional stipulations around open access in individual award contracts. The Library Open Access Team can advise on how to comply with the open access requirements for ERC-funded projects.

Each of these charities has their own open access policy, but they all work together to fund payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) so that research outputs can be made freely available as soon as possible. The Library Open Access Team can advise you on how to apply for this funding.

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 HEFCE policies. However, we do recommend that you make your research output open access if you can, and HEFCE intends to recognise institutions that go beyond the minimum requirements of their policy in the next REF.

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.

USIR is the University of Salford Institutional Repository. It is the official store of all of the University’s research outputs, as well as providing a way in which outputs can be made open access i.e. freely available online for people to download and view.

You can either transfer information about your output directly from a publisher’s official record using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or create a new record and input all of the information yourself.

Either way, you will need to add some extra information that is specific to University of Salford (e.g. usernames of all authors) to make sure the record is complete. We have two guides to depositing (using a DOI and without a DOI) which you can find on the About USIR web page. Depositing without a DOI should take no longer than 15 minutes, and with a DOI can be considerably faster.

If you have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your research output you can use this to import much of the information about your output directly into USIR from publishers’ records. This will also mean that the record in USIR matches the official published version.

You can normally find a DOI on the publisher’s webpage for the research output close to other identifying information (e.g. issue and page numbers or publication dates).

Although it is possible to deposit to USIR from anywhere, depending on the speed of external internet connections, you may find that USIR deposits run fastest from on campus.

You should deposit the version final version that you submit to the journal / conference before it is formally accepted – this is also known as the author’s accepted manuscript, AAM, post-print or accepted version.

The University of Salford and HEFCE policies both specify the author's accepted manuscript. This is because many publishers have specific restrictions preventing authors from making the version of scholarly record open access which do not apply to the author's accepted manuscript.

The author's accepted manuscript is recognised under copyright law as the property of the author unless this copyright is transferred to someone else. The published version (version of scholarly record) is a mixture of the author's copyright (in the words and data) and the publisher’s copyright (in the typesetting and formatting).

It is very important that the correct version is deposited. You should contact your co-author and ask for a copy of the author’s accepted manuscript so that you can deposit it in USIR.

Yes. USIR is the official record of the research output of the University of Salford and it is important that all of your publications are deposited. If you are considering submitting the output to the REF, the University will need to be able to authenticate from its own systems when the output met the key requirements (i.e. deposited, discoverable, accessible) of the HEFCE Policy. We will only be to do this for a stored in version in USIR.

Yes. USIR is the official record of the research output of the University of Salford and it is important that all of your publications are deposited. If you are considering submitting the output to the REF, the University will need to be able to authenticate from its own systems when the output met the key requirements (i.e. deposited, discoverable, accessible) of the HEFCE Policy. We will only be to do this for a stored in version in USIR.

Yes. USIR is the official record of the research output of the University of Salford and it is important that all of your publications are deposited.

Once you deposit your research output into USIR, we will only make it open access through USIR if the publisher’s terms and conditions allow us to. If you believe that there are other reasons to keep your research output from becoming open access, please contact the Library Open Access Team to discuss this.

USIR supports a wide range of file formats and research output types. These can be seen once you start the deposit process.

You are not required under the University of Salford Open Access Policy to add older research outputs to USIR, although we recommend that you do. USIR is the official record of the research output of the University of Salford, and depositing your research outputs will make sure that your work is included in this.

If you have recently joined the University and want to add your previous publications to USIR, we may be able to undertake some of this work on your behalf – please contact the Library Open Access Team for more information.

The University considers the choice of where to publish research to be a decision for the staff and postgraduate research students involved in the research. Some journals or published proceedings do not offer any open access options that would comply with the normal requirements of the University of Salford or HEFCE Open Access Policies (e.g. they have embargo periods longer than 12 months of publication for articles in health, science and engineering or 24 months in the arts, humanities and social sciences). Both policies allow for exceptions where the most appropriate journal has been chosen.

If your preferred journal or conference does allow open access publication within the normal timescales, please contact the Library Open Access Team to discuss options.

No, but if your preferred journal or conference does not offer an option to make your research open access in line with the normal requirements it will be necessary to explore whether the situation can be classed as an exception. Please contact the Library Open Access Team for further advice.

Some publications are fully open access and will require an Article Processing Charge (APC) to be paid for all research outputs that are published. Other publications, often referred to as hybrid journals, offer a choice of whether to pay an APC or not. The main considerations are how soon you want your research output to become open access, and what the cost of the APC will be.

If you are publishing an output from funded research, the funders may require you to publish it open access.

OOpen access publishing is already a requirement for RCUK-funded research so much of the UK’s leading research is already open access. Some people suggest that open access publishing is less prestigious than ‘traditional’ publishing, while others argue that this is generally because open access journals are newer and therefore have had less time to establish their reputation. Some studies have also found links between open access publishing and increased citations (more detailed information is available at http://sparceurope.org/oaca/) which could contribute to a stronger academic reputation.

As with all decisions about journal choice, it is best to take into account a range of factors, including journal metrics where these are available and the opinions of your colleagues in the field. The University’s Publication Guide can help you with these choices.

Alongside the many genuine and reputable open access titles, a few titles exist which do not apply rigorous academic quality standards (e.g. through effective peer review) and which will publish most or all of the submissions they received regardless of quality. Publishing in one of these titles, even if your submission is of high quality itself, may detract from your academic reputation.

Although there is no single method for identifying these journals, the following approaches may give an indication:

  • Talk to colleagues in your field (such as your supervisor if you are a postgraduate research student) and see whether they know the journal
  • Read some of the previous articles in the journal, and see whether they are of a reasonable quality
  • Check whether the journal has an ISSN at http://www.issn.org/ (having an ISSN is not a guarantee of quality, but not having one / using a false one should raise concerns)
  • Check whether the journal is listed on databases such as Scopus, Web of Science or the Directory of Open Access Journals – although several reputable journals, especially in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, are not included in these databases

Be particularly cautious if the journal approaches you and suggests that you submit, or if you are given assurances that your paper is highly likely to be accepted – most reputable journals are competitive to be accepted into.

If an author decides to publish open access they are responsible for ensuring that they have the money to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC).

Many research funders will cover the costs of APCs, although some specifically preclude the payment of APCs from research grants.

Although RCUK does not allow APCs to be paid from research grants, it has allocated a block grant to the University to allow payment of APCs for RCUK-funded research outputs. The University has also made funding available to pay APCs - find out more on our Funding web page.

The University has some funding available to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) on behalf of staff and postgraduate research students. You can apply for this when your research output is accepted for publication - find out more on our Funding web page.

No. We will only ever make your research output open access after we have checked the publisher’s terms and conditions to make sure that this is allowed. If you believe that your research output is being published under different terms and conditions from the ones the publisher normally applies, please get in touch with the Library Open Access Team for further advice.

CC BY is an abbreviation for a Creative Commons Attribution License. This is a licence that you can apply to your own work to allow other people to share and adapt that work for any purpose, so long as the originator is properly acknowledged.

RCUK requires that research outputs from RCUK-funded research projects are published under a CC By License.

Gold open access is where a research output is made immediately available online by the publisher’s without any charge to readers (including subscription charges). This generally involves the payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) by or on behalf of the author(s).

Green open access is where a research output is made freely available online by or on behalf of the author through self-archiving (e.g. depositing the output into an open access repository). Although no payment is made, this generally involves a delay as most publishers apply an embargo period before authors are allowed to make their self-archived copies open access.

The University of Salford Open Access Policy states that the University believes "that providing unrestricted online access, wherever possible, to our publications will maximise visibility and accessibility and help realise their potential to make significant academic, economic, social and cultural impacts."

The HEFCE Open Access Policy states "[HEFCE believes] that research arising from our funding should be as widely and freely accessible as the available channels for dissemination allow. Open access to research enables the prompt and widespread dissemination of research findings. It benefits the efficiency of the research process and allows publicly funded research to drive economic growth. It delivers social benefits through increased public understanding of research."

RCUK introduces its Open Access Policy by stating "Free and open access to the outputs of publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits as well as aiding the development of new research. The Government, in line with its overarching commitment to transparency and open data, is committed to ensuring that published research findings should be freely accessible. As bodies charged with investing public money in research, the Research Councils take very seriously their responsibilities in making the outputs from this research publicly available – not just to other researchers, but also to potential users in business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general tax-paying public."

Open access research outputs are available to people who would not traditionally have had direct access to academic research. This means that your research can reach:

  • practitioners who can put it into practice in the field
  • public, private and charitable organisations who may be interested in collaborating with you or commissioning other work
  • other researchers who do not have the benefit of subscriptions to the journal or conference proceeding your output is published in
  • media organisations and the general public, allowing your discoveries to reach a wider audience On average, research outputs that are available to download from USIR have been downloaded more than 1000 times each. Several studies have also found links between open access publishing and increased citations (more detailed information is available at http://sparceurope.org/oaca/
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Yes, at the moment SEEK (Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge - the University’s database of research expertise) and USIR do not work together and so it is necessary to record your research output in USIR even if you have recorded it in SEEK.

We are working towards having integrated systems to avoid this duplication in future.

Sorry, no there isn’t. At the moment SEEK (Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge - the University’s database of research expertise) and USIR do not work together and so it is necessary to record your research output in USIR even if you have recorded it in SEEK.

We are working towards having integrated systems to avoid this duplication in future.