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Effective Research Publishing: Open Research & Open Access: FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Mae’r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

FAQs: RIS for Research & Teaching staff

All university staff producing publications are able to use the Research Information System (RIS) and the repository, Cronfa. You do not need to be on a research contract in order to populate our repository as we want to capture the rich diversity of outputs produced by the Colleges.

All types of publication can be uploaded and will be made open access according to the publisher's terms and conditions. This includes articles and conference papers, books and book chapters, and outputs from conferences, workshops and meetings held at, or organised by Swansea University.

Contact us for more information.

You can still submit your publications to the REF and you should upload the manuscript to RIS where possible. These outputs can be selected for the REF even if a file has not been uploaded. The Library Research Support team will assign an applicable exception flag to the output record if you were previously employed by a non-UK HEI institution.

Please contact Library Research Support if you require assistance.

It is important that all papers that fall under the REF policy are added to RIS so that they are eligible for submission regardless of where an author is based at the time of the next REF. Please add the output to RIS.

New members of staff should upload the final accepted manuscript (AAM) of all journal articles and conference papers accepted for publication after 1 April 2016. If you have previously uploaded your output to another institution's repository you can provide the URL details to the Library Research Support team. We can set an exception flag to demonstrate that the output is compliant in another repository.

FAQs: Open Access Policies

All Swansea University staff are expected to ensure that their published outputs align with the University Open Access policy and the requirements for submission to the next REF cycle. Many external funders also have open access requirements that exceed the REF policy which will apply to any research acknowledging funding.

We have extensive information and links to policy documents on this guide. This includes information on selecting an acceptable Creative Commons license to meet particular funder requirements.

Conference contributions with an ISSN are within scope of the policy if the date of acceptance for the output is after 1 April 2016. 

In general if a conference proceeding is published with both an ISSN and an ISBN or in journals with an ISBN it is within scope, for example Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

The distinction between ISSNs and ISBNs is intended to separate two types of conferences:

  • (a - in-scope) conferences that publish online-only, journal-like series of proceedings (typically in the sciences)
  • (b - out of scope) conferences that publish books or book-like outputs (typically in the humanities).
  • Check the self-archiving policy for the conference publication.
  • The REF policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings but does not include abstracts and posters.
  • It is advised that you deposit the accepted manuscript for all conference proceedings in RIS. 

Many funders require some form of open access - look out for policies when applying for grants. The details of their requirements may differ from the REF open access policy. If you don't comply with your funder's policy, your existing grant may be partially withheld, and you may not be eligible for future funding. 

Sherpa Juliet contains details of many, including quite a few medical charities

FAQs: Manuscripts and Repositories

The publisher policy will specify which version you can upload to the Research Information System (RIS) for the repository. This could be:

Author's accepted manuscript version (AAM): normally the final peer-reviewed article that has been accepted for publication but has not been formatted with the publisher’s copyediting, typesetting or final layout. Self-archiving embargo periods may apply.
The author's accepted manuscript document is required to comply with the REF and the institutional open access policy. 

Published version of record (VoR) incorporating the layout and typographical arrangement of the publisher. You are not usually able to upload the publisher created PDF version unless:

  • you have permission from the publisher. 
  • it is published under one of the Swansea University open access publisher deals
  • you have paid a fee to the journal for gold open access.

Contact the corresponding author or your co-authors so that you can upload a copy in good time.

​Non-UK authors may need an explanation about the UK HEFCE/HEFCW requirement that UK authors are required to deposit the final accepted manuscript (AAM) in their institutional repository. The AAM, which is the version of the article that was peer reviewed but without the publisher's typesetting, will be made open access after a delay period specified by the publisher policy.

If you cannot obtain your final manuscript then we can apply a REF exception to your paper. You need to be aware that many research funders now require immediate open access with a Creative Commons CC-BY attribution licence applied to the accepted manuscript (AAM). You should tell the publisher of the funder requirement at the point of submission.

Contact the Library Research Support team.

  • The accepted manuscript needs to be uploaded to RIS, even if the paper will also be made available through a subject repository like arXiv, bioRxiv, SSRN or Europe PubMed Central. The University Open Access Policy requires deposit in RIS & Cronfa.
  • Swansea University needs to demonstrate that the accepted manuscript was uploaded within 3 months of first online publication, and subject repositories do not record the required metadata information. Institutions may submit pre-prints as eligible outputs to REF 2021 where a pre-print version is the same as the author-accepted manuscript.
  • If your funder requires open access in Europe PubMed Central, and your paper is not Gold open access, you will need to upload your manuscript both to Europe PubMed Central* and to RIS.
    *Your College REF Officer will help you with this.
  • Social networking sites like ResearchGate and do not ensure long-term access to deposited publications. These sites are not open access repositories.

FAQs: Rights Retention and Copyright Licensing

Background: cOAlition S launched its Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) in 2021. This is a tool for authors to retain sufficient rights to their own article manuscripts to use as they wish.

The Rights Retention Project: In response to sector changes Swansea University is updating the Research Publication policy as well as overlapping areas in IP and Open Access policies. This presentation aims to explain the background and reasoning behind rights retention, its implementation, and the impact it has on researchers. This includes enabling researchers to retain control of their author rights and be compliant with institutional and funder requirements of Open Access.  

The Rights Retention Strategy project will result in a new Research Publication policy, expected to launch in summer 2023. The recording of a recent consultation session is available to watch here: 

Funded researchers can publish in any hybrid (subscription + open access mixed model) or subscription journal as long as a deposit of the author accepted manuscript (AAM) is made in a repository without an embargo.

  • You can select a journal which has a zero embargo policy or utilise the rights retention 'prior licence' strategy.
  • Plan S provide a journal checker tool or use Sherpa Romeo.
  • Authors are encouraged to identify the prior licence requirement for the AAM at the time of submission.  Add a text statement to indicate that any AAM from the submission is already licensed CC-BY. 
  • Example statement This work was funded by [funder name] [grant number] For the purpose of Open Access the author has applied a CC BY copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.” 

Find further information on the Rights and Licensing page or visit the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy.

Non – funded 

For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission 

Gwaith heb ei ariannu 

At ddiben mynediad agored, mae'r awdur wedi ychwanegu trwydded cydnabyddiaeth Creative Commons (CC BY) at unrhyw fersiwn o lawysgrif awdur a dderbyniwyd sy'n deillio o'r cyflwyniad hwn.  

Funded by UKRI 

This work was funded by UKRI grant [grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence  to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission 

Gwaith wedi'i ariannu gan UKRI 

Ariannwyd y gwaith hwn gan grant rhif [grant number] gan UKRI. At ddiben mynediad agored, mae'r awdur wedi ychwanegu trwydded cydnabyddiaeth Creative Commons (CC BY) at unrhyw fersiwn o lawysgrif awdur a dderbyniwyd sy'n deillio o'r cyflwyniad hwn. 

Other language translations are available from the University of Edinburgh webpage, 'Translation of Rights Retention Statements'. You can use these if you are submitting your article to a foreign language journal.

Uploading to RIS does not make your paper openly available unless you press the 'Publish to Cronfa' button.

A member of the Research Support team will usually double check the publisher terms and conditions using Sherpa Romeo and check that the applicable embargo period is applied to the journal output. The metadata description record will appear in Cronfa immediately but the full-text file is normally subject to the embargo period. 

  • If using a rights retention statement at the point of submission no embargo is required for the accepted manuscript to be released with a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licence at the appropriate time (first online publication).

Creative Commons (CCL) are pre-prepared licences that are intended to help copyright holders distribute their work; they define how the work can be used by others without the need to grant permission each time someone wants to use it.  There are various different types allowing for reuse, modification, commercial use etc. The Creative Commons web site has more information.

The licences contain four main elements:

  • Attribution (BY) - You must credit the licensor of the work.                
  • Non Commercial (NC) - You can only use the work for non-commercial purposes.                
  • No Derivatives (ND) - You may not create adaptations of the work.                
  • Share alike (SA) - You may create adaptations of the work, but these must be under the same licence as this work.                

These elements then combine to form six licences plus a final CC Zero or public domain licence which purports to waive all rights to the material it is applied to:           

  • Attribution-Only (CC-BY)             
  • Attribution-No-Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)               
  • Attribution-Non-Commercial No–Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)                
  • Attribution-Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC)                
  • Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA)                
  • Attribution-Share Alike (CC-BY-SA)                
  • Public Domain (CC-0)

FAQs: Restrictions to publishing open ( risks)

If your paper contains third-party content for which open access rights cannot be granted you have the option to upload the text on its own. However  the REF policy recognises that third party content may be essential to the publication and permits an access exception in these circumstances. 

Please contact the Library Research Support team if you require assistance.

We are able to claim an exception for REF if an open access deposit would put the author or the institution at risk. If you have any concerns about placing sensitive material in the repository, get in touch with us

Please contact the Library Research Support team if you require assistance.

If you are required by your funder to add a data statement to your paper you could include information in this format:

My paper contains data which are openly available

  • All research data supporting this publication are available within this publication.
  • Additional research data supporting this publication are available from [insert repository name] repository via [insert DOI].

My paper does not refer to underlying research data

  • All data underlying this study are cited in the references.

It is not possible to make my research data openly available

  • Due to ethical concerns, supporting data cannot be made openly available. Further information about the data and conditions for access are available from [insert repository name] repository via [insert DOI].

The site supports the University’s Policy on Research Data Management. It provides guidance for Swansea University researchers on expectations, obligations, advice and support for research data management

FAQs: PhDs, Books and Book Chapters

How do I make my PhD open access to comply with my funder or institutional OA requirements?

Full text PhD theses produced at Swansea University are provided in Cronfa, the institutional repository.

Please visit our E-Theses Library Guide for information on the Library mediated deposit service.

Compliance with the UK Research Councils’ (RCUK) policy on open access:
The UKRI (RCUK) document "Research Councils Training Grants Terms & Conditions"  Requirement TGC11.5 states that the institution must support RCUK funded Ph.D. students to publish the results of their research in the institution's repository as soon as possible after award. A full text version should be available within a maximum of 12 months following award.

Research Councils’ policies on research data require data generated or collected by research that supports published research findings (which could include e-theses) to be preserved and (where no commercial, ethical, or legal restrictions apply) made publicly available. Clarification on the EPSRC data access requirement can be found on their website. We can link your e-thesis record to your research data if you provide a URL

Publishing models for books are complex and at the moment there is no requirement to make books open access. 

If you would like to make a chapter from your book available you are welcome to put it in RIS/Cronfa if your publisher allows this. Author's are strongly encouraged to upload outputs outside the scope of the REF policy to increase citations and to provide greater research visibility. We usually ask Swansea University authors to provide their book chapter manuscripts for RIS.

  • You can explore a selection of topics related to open access books from the OAPEN OA Books Toolkit. The toolkit is a free-to-access, stakeholder-agnostic resource that aims to help authors better understand OA for books, increase trust in OA book publishing, provide reliable and easy-to-find answers to questions from authors, and to provide guidance on the process of publishing an OA book. The toolkit was created in collaboration with Springer Nature and The University of Glasgow and has been written by a global and diverse group of stakeholders from the academic community and scholarly communications organisations.
  • Further information is also available on our Library Guide: Publishing and Research Impact.
  • The Knowledge Exchange report Towards a Roadmap for Open Access Monographs outlines key findings and recommendations for developing OA monograph policy, author engagement and technical infrastructure.
  • UKCORR offer a list of publishers likely to permit self-archiving of book chapters in institutional repositories from the Quicklinks section on their website.
  • The Think, Check, Submit website offer a comprehensive checklist tool to help you discover if you are submitting your research to a trusted publisher. Their Books & Chapters tool also permits you to download the checklist results.

Other Publishing Questions

  • Single grant
    This work was supported by [Funder] [grant number xxxxx].
  • Multiple grants
    This work was supported by the [Funder 1] [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; [Funder 2] [grant number zzzz]; and [Funder 3] [grant number aaaa].
  • ERDF (European Regional Development Fund)
    Example - We acknowledge the support of the Supercomputing Wales project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via Welsh Government.
  • If your funder requires immediate open access and you are self-archiving the accepted manuscript in the repository you may want to use this statement when submitting your manuscript and in the acknowledgement on the published paper.
    Add a text statement to indicate that any AAM from the submission is already licensed CC-BY.

    This work was funded by [funder name] [grant number] For the purpose of Open Access the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.” 

In the majority of cases you should be able to use your usual journals. However, you should make sure you are aware of a publisher's policies before you choose a journal. In a small number of cases it might be advisable to change.

If the journal's embargo period is longer than 12 months (REF panels A and B) or 24 months (REF panels C and D), or the journal does not allow open access at all, your paper will still be eligible for the REF provided you consider the journal the most appropriate publication for the work.

Many funders now require immediate open access with zero embargo so ensure you can meet their requirements.

The Think, Check, Submit Tool helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research.

You can browse Journal Citation Reports

It is not usually necessary to pay. Most publishers allow the deposit of an accepted manuscript or postprint in an institutional repository, often with an embargo period. In some cases where you have funding you can pay the publisher to make your paper freely available straight away (gold open access).

  • At Swansea we have central money available if you are UKRI funded which you can apply for via our online APC application form. 
  • Please note that for UKRI funded research where you choose to use the green open access route (deposit of the final accepted manuscript in a repository, usually with an embargo) you must ensure that the licence places no restriction on non-commercial reuse, including non-commercial text-and data-mining. The licence should allow for the sharing of adaptations of the material. This means a CC-BY-NC licence, or equivalent is acceptable. A CC-BY-NC-ND licence is not compliant.
  • There are very limited Faculty budgets available to support REF eligible gold open access for unfunded research.

Further information on the Financial support tab.

You can find out about the Swansea University Digital Press on our website. If you think this is for you then you can fill out a journal proposal form online and the Digital Humanities team will contact you to discuss the details.