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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 and research postgraduates are expected to ensure that their published outputs align with the University Research Publications 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.

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. 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. Funder Open Access conditions are part of the funding contract with the University and you are obliged to adhere to the relevant criteria.

FAQs: Manuscripts and Repositories

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. The 2023 Research Publications Policy enables self-archiving of the AAM with a Creative Commons CC BY licence and a zero embargo period.

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 agreements
  • 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 within three months of acceptance. If you cannot obtain your final manuscript then we can apply a REF exception to your paper.

​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 is the version of the article that was peer reviewed but is without the publisher's typesetting, volume number etc. 

You need to be aware that many research funders and the Swansea University Research Publications Policy require immediate open access with a Creative Commons CC-BY attribution licence applied to the accepted manuscript (AAM). 

Contact the Library Research Support team.

  • Pre-Print Servers
    Preprint manuscripts are the Author's Original Manuscript (AOM) before journal peer-review. There are many online subject pre-print repositories which contain early versions of research articles. Some academic disciplines commonly use preprint repositories, e.g ArXiv, SocArXiv etc.
    There is an extensive list on our Finding Open Access Content tab.

  • 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. 
  • 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 faculty 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

The Rights Retention Project 2023: in response to sector changes Swansea University has launched a Research Publications Policy to replace the 2015 Open Access mandate. 

This research publications policy enables researchers to retain re-use rights in their own work and requires full and immediate open access for all:

  • Funded and unfunded peer reviewed research articles, published in either a journal, conference proceeding or publishing platform
  • Book chapters

Authors who are not citing specific grant funding are required to retain their author rights.

Self-archiving in a repository

Researchers can publish in any hybrid (subscription + open access) or subscription journal as long as a deposit of the author accepted manuscript (AAM) is made in a repository with a Creative Commons CC-BY licence and released in a repository at first online publication without an embargo.

  • Authors are encouraged to identify the rights retention '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 Swansea University  [+funder name] [+grant number] For the purpose of Open Access the author has applied a CC BY licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.” 
  • Open access compliance can also be achieved by using a ‘gold’ Open Access route. The version of record (VOR) document should be made available without embargo and with a Creative Commons CC BY licence if we have paid the publisher for this service.

Find further information on our webpage.

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. The metadata description record will appear in Cronfa immediately but the full-text file may be subject to the embargo period. 

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

If you have selected a gold open access publication option you can release the version of record (VOR) document at 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: 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’ (UKRI) policy on open access:
The UKRI 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. 

If you would like to make a chapter from your book available you are welcome to put it in RIS/Cronfa. From July 2023 the university Research Publication Policy includes book chapters. 

Author's are strongly encouraged to upload outputs outside the scope of the REF policy to increase citations and to provide greater research visibility. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

This guide to Open Science is designed to accompany you at every step of your research while doing your PhD, and beyond. From developing your academic approach to the dissemination of your research results, it provides a set of tools and best practices that can be directly implemented and is aimed at researchers from all disciplines.

Source: UK guide to Open Science for PhD students, based on the original French version produced by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research:

The Swansea University version includes url links to the institutional publisher open access agreements and contact details for open access and e-thesis deposit support. This version of the guide is adapted from the UCL 2022 UK translation available via

Read Open Science: a practical guide for PhD students.

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.

Other Publishing Questions

Standard inclusion in the acknowledgement section:
This work was supported by Swansea University [+Funder 1], [+grant number], [+Funder 2] [grant number] etc.

Data Availability Statement [even where no data are available].

UKRI - Acknowledging your funding

Your research publications must acknowledge funding received from research councils.

Acknowledgement of funding should be a sentence with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets (if you have one). For example:

‘This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxxx]’.

Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by a semicolon, with “and” before the final funder. For example:

‘This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant number XXXX]’.

If your research has supported the development of patents or exploitable intellectual property your research organisation must make sure that your funder is fully acknowledged.

You may also need to acknowledge specific grants. Check the terms and conditions of your grant.

Consider the journal that is the most appropriate publication for the work. 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 and in a small number of cases it might be advisable to change.

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

You can browse Journal Citation Reports

  • The Library supports Open Access publication with a variety of 'Read & Publish' agreements at no direct cost to the researcher. Find out what is available to a corresponding author from our website.
  • At Swansea we also have a block grant available if you are UKRI funded which you can apply for via our UKRI webpage. We also have limited Faculty budgets available if you cannot use a publisher agreement.
  • Please note that for all research where you choose to use the green self-archiving route (deposit of the final accepted manuscript in a repository) 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 Attribution licence is acceptable. A CC-BY-NC-ND licence is not compliant with institution or funder open access policies.

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.

Discover how the DOAJ Open Access Journals Toolkit can provide guidance for new and established open access journals in the scholarly publishing landscape.