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Effective Research Publishing: Open Research & Open Access: Swansea University Research Publications Policy

Mae’r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Research Publications Policy

Research Publications Policy

Purpose

Swansea University is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. It supports the principle that the results of publicly funded research should be freely accessible to the public. Academics at Swansea University have traditionally assigned or given away their scholarly works (in addition to the University’s rights) to publishers by transferring copyright at the point of publication. This means that many journal articles and scholarly works are under complete or partial control by academic publishers.

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.

Swansea University adopts the following research publication policy:

1. Each staff member grants to Swansea University a non‐exclusive, irrevocable, sub‐licensable, worldwide license to make accepted manuscripts of their scholarly articles and book chapters publicly available. This license is granted on condition that, if Swansea University does make the said research article or book chapter available in its institutional research repository, it will usually do so under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) licence, (the Swansea University Open Access Licence).

2. The licence applies to scholarly outputs authored, or co‐authored, while a person is a staff member or UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) funded research postgraduate student at Swansea University, including any third-party content where rights in that content have been secured. The licence does not apply to any articles submitted before the adoption of this policy (01/07/2023), or any articles for which the staff member, or UKRI funded post-graduate, entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy.

The policy does not apply to:

  • Monographs*
  • Scholarly editions
  • Textbooks
  • Collections of essays
  • Datasets
  • Other outputs that are not scholarly articles

* Except UKRI funded monographs, edited collections and book chapters published from 1 January 2024. This policy will be updated as and when changes occur to all relevant funder policies.

Even though the policy does not apply to the output types above the university strongly encourages publication of such outputs with a suitable Creative Commons licence where possible.  It is our intention to align UKRI funded monographs to this policy from 01/01/2024.

3. Where this policy applies to an article that is co‐authored, the staff member will use all reasonable endeavours to obtain a licence to Swansea University from all the co‐authors on the same terms as the licence granted under this policy by the staff member. Swansea University automatically sub‐licenses the rights granted to it under this policy to all co‐authors and their host institutions, on condition that if the said co‐authors and/or host institutions make a co‐authored scholarly article publicly available, they will do so on the terms of a CC-BY licence. Consequently, the staff member need not seek permission from co‐authors employed by institutions that have adopted this policy or other policies that give institutions and/or authors the same rights.

Authors who engage in UKRI, or unfunded, collaborative research with partners external to the university should inform such partners that any in-scope output types will be published under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) licence unless an opt-out has been granted.

4. Opting out of the Research Publications policy

The Swansea University policy applies from 01/07/2023. However, in exceptional circumstances it is permissible for research staff to opt out of the requirement for immediate open access upon publication, or the assignment of a CC-BY licence.

This action may cause the research output to be non-compliant with funder policies.

Circumstances where opt-out may be appropriate include:

  1. A journal will not publish the output with a rights retention statement. The author does not have permission to share the accepted manuscript with a CC-BY licence immediately on publication and a publisher embargo will be applied.

  1. An author does not have permission to share the accepted manuscript with a CC-BY licence immediately on publication because:
    • Co-authors do not respond or agree to CC-BY
    • The article contains a substantial amount of 3rd party materials (such as images, photographs, diagrams, or maps) which cannot be licensed with a CC-BY. Redaction of the 3rd party content is not appropriate
    • The corresponding author has applied to the funder for formal permission to select an alternative CC-BY-ND (NoDerivatives) licensing exception
    • The corresponding author has selected an alternative CC-BY-ND (No-Derivatives) licence
    • Co-authors used a different licence for example CC-BY-NC-ND (Non-Commercial No-Derivatives) or Crown Copyright Open Government Licence (OGL) for public sector information
    • The output contains sensitive information restricted from public view. Permanent restriction applies

Opt-out of the policy when the scholarly article is accepted for publication by completing the online form.

By completing the opt-out form, the author understands that a waiver will be permitted and a delay in the public release of the manuscript for a period of up to twelve months from the date of first publication (embargo) will be allowed.

5. The Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Culture will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning application, and recommending changes. The University shall use all reasonable endeavours to inform publishers of the existence and contents of this policy. The policy will be reviewed periodically.

Workflow with Creative Commons Banner

To see if you can benefit from one of the Swansea University 'Read & Publish' publisher agreements for 'gold' Open Access visit our webpage. You are required to use a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 CC-BY licence.

If you are opting out of the policy you must complete an online form and state the reason. An alternative Creative Commons CC-BY-ND licence may be acceptable if funder approved

Timeframe

This agreement is effective from 1 June 2023 and does not apply to articles submitted, or accepted, for publication prior to that date.  Every in-scope accepted manuscript from Swansea University is licensed with a CC-BY. 

Implementation: Policy implemented July 1st, 2023. 

'With effect from 1 July 2023, Swansea University researchers grant the University a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, sub-licensable licence to make their peer-reviewed research and scholarly articles and book chapters publicly available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, (the Swansea OA Licence). 

Making articles available in our institutional repository from the date of first online publication is our goal. This approach enables compliance with funder open access policies.

Opting out of the Research Publications Policy

The Swansea University policy applies from 01/07/2023. However, in exceptional circumstances it is permissible for research staff to opt out of the requirement for immediate open access upon publication, or the assignment of a CC-BY licence.

This action may cause the research output to be non-compliant with funder policies.

Circumstances where opt-out may be appropriate include:

  1. A journal will not publish the output with a rights retention statement. The author does not have permission to share the accepted manuscript with a CC-BY licence immediately on publication and a publisher embargo will be applied.
  2. An author does not have permission to share the accepted manuscript with a CC-BY licence immediately on publication because:
    • Co-authors do not respond or agree to CC-BY
    • The article contains a substantial amount of 3rd party materials (such as images, photographs, diagrams, or maps) which cannot be licensed with a CC-BY. Redaction of the 3rd party content is not appropriate
    • The corresponding author has applied to the funder for formal permission to select an alternative CC-BY-ND (NoDerivatives) licensing exception
    • The corresponding author has selected an alternative CC-BY-ND (No-Derivatives) licence
    • Co-authors used a different licence for example CC-BY-NC-ND (Non-Commercial No-Derivatives) or Crown Copyright Open Government Licence (OGL) for public sector information
    • The output contains sensitive information restricted from public view. Permanent restriction applies

Opt-out of the policy when the scholarly article is accepted for publication by completing the online form.

Go to the Opt-Out Form

1. What does the Swansea University (SU) Research Publications Policy do? 

The research publication policy automatically enables staff and student researchers to retain copyright (and re-use rights) in their own work. It allows full and immediate open access for all funded and unfunded peer reviewed research articles, published in either a journal, conference proceeding or publishing platform. The policy also extends to book chapters.  

  • Using the Research Publications Policy automatically permits the University to disseminate scholarly Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) with a Creative Commons CC BY Licence in Cronfa, without embargo. This applies from the date of first online publication. Under the policy, each author grants the university a non-exclusive, irrevocable, sub-licensable, worldwide licence. This policy limits publishers' control and prevents publishers requiring exclusive transfer or ownership of rights to the AAM.

2. Why do we need to act? 

Funders and researchers are seeking to make research open access immediately on first publication and funders are embedding these requirements in contracts covering awards.  

This policy helps you to assert your copyright and aligns with our ambition for Open Research. Immediate open access increases the reach and impact of our research. 

The benefits of rights retention for authors: 

  • Authors retain rights over their work and are empowered to share their research outputs more widely. 

  • Authors can create new research by reproducing and building upon parts of their existing research. For example, figures or graphs from the accepted manuscript version.

  • Authors can use their published work in teaching activities. 

3. How does rights retention work? 

  • Every in-scope accepted manuscript from Swansea University is licensed with a CC-BY. Authors are encouraged to include a rights retention statement (RRS) at the point of submission, but it is not  necessary. Including a statement will help the publisher to identify that you have a legally binding prior licence, and they must not present a conflicting licence workflow.
  • Authors should include a rights retention and funder statement in the ‘acknowledgment’ section of the peer-reviewed scholarly article, or book chapter. 
  • It is important to acknowledge Swansea University as a source of funding where external research funding is not applicable in the acknowledgment. Example: This work was funded by Swansea University [+ funder name], [+ insert grant number].
  • Authors retain the freedom to publish in a venue of choice. 
  • Authors should continue to upload the accepted manuscript document into the Research Information System (RIS) and follow the standard deposit workflow at the point of acceptance. The Library Research Support team will check the document and the record.

Example Rights Retention Statement 

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. 

Language translations are available from the University of Edinburgh webpage, 'Translation of Rights Retention Statements'. Use if submitting an article to a foreign language journal. 

4. What about working with collaborating authors?  

It is the responsibility of SU authors in collaboration with co-authors to discuss the requirements of rights retention well before any research outputs are created, and ideally at the beginning of any proposed collaborations. We urge researchers not to wait until the point of submission to discuss rights retention.  

  • This stipulation is a current UKRI funder requirement and now extends to all Swansea University funded research papers. 

5. Opting out of the Research Publications policy   

The Swansea University policy applies from July 2023. However, in exceptional circumstances it is permissible for research staff to opt out of the requirement for immediate open access upon publication, or the assignment of a CC BY licence.  You may opt-out of the policy when the scholarly article is accepted for publication.  

You must complete the online form.

This action may cause the research output to be non-compliant with funder policies.   

6. Routes to Open Access (OA) 

  • Open access using ‘green’ self-archiving in a repository is permitted. The author accepted manuscript (AAM) can be made available at first online publication without embargo and with a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0 licence. 
  • Open access compliance can be achieved by using a ‘gold’ Open Access route (OA). The version of record (VOR) document should be made available without embargo and with a Creative Commons CC BY licence. There is a financial cost associated with this option. To see if you can benefit from one of the Swansea University 'Read & Publish' publisher agreements for 'gold' Open Access visit our webpage. 

7. Creative Commons Licensing 

 

  • Creative Commons offer a standardised way to grant copyright permissions to a creative work.  About the licenses: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/  
  • The Swansea University preferred default licensing requirement is for a Creative Commons Attribution International (CC BY 4.0) licence. This licence lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, if they credit the author for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. 
  • If authors use a Creative Commons CC-BY licence, they are the owner of the licence.  Authors should only grant ‘limited’ or ‘non-exclusive’ licenses to publishers and retain all rights to their accepted manuscript. This means that authors have the right to reuse figures, tables, data and text without permission or payment. 
  • A Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives (CC BY ND 4.0) licence exception is available if permitted by UKRI (apply via https://www.ukri.org/publications/no-derivatives-licence-exception/). This licence lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form, and credit must be provided to the author. If using CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND licence the author is not the controller of the licence and there are implications such as limits on exploitation or right to re-use imposed by the publisher.
  • Go to ‘Opting Out’ for information applicable to using another licence or applying a permanent restriction. 

8. How do the funders feel? 

  • Funders expect academics to assert rights in the AAM version arising from submission.  
  • The larger funding bodies have notified publishers that rights retention is now a funder grant condition. This follows the pioneering work undertaken by cOAlition S which stipulates that the results from research funded by public or private grants given by research councils and funding bodies must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo. 
  • This policy will include monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 for all UKRI funded researchers.  

9. What is the legal position? 

  • We know that the rights retention approach is legal in UK copyright law through the mechanism of prior notice, whereby the non-exclusive retention of rights is not nulled by the subsequent assignment of copyright. Swansea University has notified major publishers in writing that from 1 July 2023 a rights retention policy is in place.  

'With effect from 1 July 2023, Swansea University researchers grant the University a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, sub-licensable licence to make their peer-reviewed research and scholarly articles and book chapters publicly available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, (the Swansea OA Licence). Such a licence is granted by the copyright owner, being the University researcher concerned, and is binding on any successors in title to the researcher (all within the meaning of section 90(4) Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988). Accordingly, any and all rights of copyright granted to the publisher in respect of such works submitted for publication are granted subject always to the aforementioned licence. This non-exclusive licence applies to any research and scholarly publications authored or co-authored by the University researcher'. 

  • Publishers cannot impose publication restrictions on an author under the terms of the Swansea OA Licence. We strongly recommend that researchers do not transfer intellectual property rights to publishers and use a rights retention statement as standard practice. 

  • A list of UK institutions who have adopted a rights retention policy is available on the Open Access Directory.

10. How do the publishers feel? 

  • Inclusion of a rights retention statement at submission should not influence a publisher’s decision to accept the paper. It is unlikely that a publisher will reject your submission because of this policy. 
  • If they do accept a manuscript for publication where the author has given prior licence to the university then this should take precedence over any subsequent copyright assignment in law. You can make your author accepted manuscript available in the repository immediately from first online publication with a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence. 
  • The discussion of fairness with the commercial publishers is ongoing. Universities already pay an enormous amount to publishers through Library agreements and will continue to purchase ‘read and publish’ deals to facilitate reading access and ‘gold’ open access.  It is not in a publisher’s interest to reject publication due to a rights retention policy. 
  • Equitable and inclusive access to research must be acknowledged by the ecosystem.  

If a publisher objects to this policy at the point off submission, the author may wish to note: 

1. When during the publication process was any objection received? 
2. What is the specific objection to? 

  • Inclusion of a rights retention statement? 
  • Inclusion of a rights retention statement and University/Funder policy? 

3. Circumstances 

  • Check funder status (immediate OA required?) 
  • Check prior notification of publisher (ask the OA team or check the publisher list)

11. Is support available for rights retention queries? 

Contact Libraryresearchsupport@swansea.ac.uk  

Additional Resources 

Publisher Open Access Agreements: libguides.swansea.ac.uk/Research-Publishing/PublisherDeals  

Rights Retention Videos and Tools: libguides.swansea.ac.uk/Research-Publishing

 

FAQ Version 1.1 September 2023 CR/RRS Project  

Project Sponsor

The main purpose of research being to serve the collective welfare of society, I fully endorse the principles of rights retention by the authors of research works and I am applying it to all my publications. Retaining rights with a permissive license like the CC BY 4.0 becomes crucial in fulfilling the mission of research.  

It enables authors to effectively communicate their findings to a diverse audience using a variety of platforms, from traditional specialised outlets to social media. By expanding the audience and the pool of potential beneficiaries, this approach guarantees heightened visibility of the work and empowers readers to engage with it fully, unburdened by concerns of copyright infringement. At the same time, authors retain complete control of their publications and receive proper recognition for their contributions. 

Biagio Lucini, July 2023
Director of the Swansea Academy of Advanced Computing, the Technical Director of the UKRI CDT in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing and a member of the Technical Directorate of the STFC DiRAC High-Performance Computing facility.

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Culture
Swansea University

Policy Documents

Pop-Up Information Sessions - we come to you

Pop-Up Research Publications Policy Sessions

Drop by to find out how to #RetainYourRights

bit.ly/su-rpp

We are running a series of casual information drop-ins in a variety of public spaces across campus.  We would love you to come and talk to us about the benefits of this policy to you as a research author.

Keir Hardie Foyer: tba February/March 2024

Callaghans Cafe: tba February/March

Cafe Glas: tba February/March

Fulton House Foyer: tba February/March

 

Pop-Up Research Publications Policy Session 

Drop by to find out how to #RetainYourRights

We are running a series of casual information drop-ins in a variety of public spaces across campus.  We would love you to come and talk to us about the benefits of this policy to you as a research author.

 
Computational Foundry Atrium

tba February/March 24

School of Management Atrium

tba February/March 24

Engineering North Foyer

tba February/March 24

 

Request Training

Advert for new policy

If you would like to request a training event for your group or as a 1-2-1 session, contact the team.

Your Open Access Options

Routes to Open Access (OA) 

  • Open access using ‘green’ self-archiving in a repository is permitted. The author accepted manuscript (AAM) can be made available at first online publication without embargo and with a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0 licence.
     
  • Open access compliance can be achieved by using a ‘gold’ Open Access route (OA). 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 out more about our active open access publisher agreements

Contact Us

 

Email the Library Research Support team if you would like further guidance:

LibraryResearchSupport@swansea.ac.uk