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Effective Research Publishing: Open Research & Open Access: Policies

Mae’r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

Open Research Policy Information - What do I need to do?

What do I need to do to comply with the University and HEFCW open access policy?
  • All Swansea University researchers are expected to ensure that their published outputs align with the University Research Policy Framework and the requirements for submission to REF 2021. Many external funders also have open access requirements that exceed the REF policy which will apply to any research acknowledging funding.
  • When you have an article or conference paper accepted for publication make sure you deposit the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in the Research Information System (RIS) straight away. It must be the peer reviewed version with the text as it will appear in the journal but without the publisher formatting (unless you have paid an article processing charge to the publisher). You must deposit your author accepted manuscript within 3 months of the date of acceptance to be eligible for REF.
  • You will need to check that your publisher allows you to release the document and whether they require an embargo period. Use the Sherpa Romeo tool to see a summary of the publisher copyright and self-archiving policy for your chosen title.

Find out more about RIS & Cronfa in our Institutional Repository Guide or on the 'Publishing' tab of this guide.

What is covered by the requirements for the next Research Excellence Framework?

The REF 2021 publication period closed on 31 December 2020 but researchers should continue to comply with the requirements of the REF 2021 OA policy. 

Research England will launch a consultation on the future REF OA policy following the outcome of the UKRI OA review. The Research England Open Research page includes the following statement:

"The UK HE funding bodies recognise that due notice will be needed prior to implementation of the OA policy for the REF-after-REF 2021, which will be consulted on after UKRI's OA policy is announced. The OA policy for the REF-after-REF 2021 will not come into effect on 1 January 2021 (that is, at the beginning of the publication period for the REF-after-REF 2021 exercise)". 

The REF 2021 OA policy should be followed until further notice.

REF Open Access requirements apply to papers accepted from 1 April 2016

The policy covers journal articles and conference papers which are in a publication with an ISSN. No other type of material is required but HEFCW  / HEFCE are keen to see universities make as much as possible open access and universities will get credit for going beyond the requirements.

You must deposit your author accepted manuscript (AAM) within 3 months of the date of acceptance to be eligible for REF. The AAM is the manuscript as it will appear in the journal but without the publisher formatting (unless you have paid an article processing charge to the publisher). 
There are some exceptions to the REF Open Access requirements.  Exceptions include:

  • You were not employed by a UK HEI at the time of publication submission
  • You were employed at a different UK HEI which failed to comply with the criteria
  • It would be unlawful to deposit
  • It would present a security risk to deposit
  • The publication concerned requires an embargo period that exceeds the stated maximum, and it was the most appropriate publication for the output
  • Open Access rights could not be granted for third party content
  • The publication concerned actively disallows open access deposit, and it was the most appropriate publication for the output

Contact us if you require support or visit our FAQ tab on this guide.  
The REF2021 at Swansea University site is also available behind a Collaborate login.

Policy on Open Access

Updated policy link
Frequently Asked Questions

An electronic copy of the final, published form of your paper (either the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or Version of Record (VoR) must be available on Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible. 

Immediate Open Access
For articles accepted for final publication on or after 1 January 2022 CRUK require that your paper is made openly available in Europe PMC immediately on publication. (i.e. a 6-month embargo will not be permitted).

If you have paid an article processing charge (APC) for the Europe PMC deposit then you must use a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY 4.0).

Statement on the fair assessment of research and use of bibliometrics

Swansea University has affirmed its commitment to the fair assessment of research through the signing of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment  (DORA) and adopting the principles outlined in the Leiden Manifesto

Statement on DORA by Helen Griffiths, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation

With the adoption of these principles, as an institution, we commit to: 

  • Be explicit about the criteria used to reach hiring, tenure, and career progression decisions, clearly highlighting, especially for early-stage investigators, that the scientific content of a paper is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it was published. 
  • For the purposes of research assessment, consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice. 

We recognise that the adoption of these principles is a statement of intent and that there will be a gradual aligning of the policy and embedding the practice across our academic and professional services at Swansea. As issues are highlighted and areas in contradiction with these principles come to light, we will review the policies in light of the principles, ensuring Swansea has a robust, transparent and fair approach to the use of metrics for research evaluation and communicate such changes and developments at regular intervals. 

The Library Research Support Team is working with partners across the university to develop a route for researchers and professional service staff to report policies, procedures and behaviours that they felt were out of line with the principles included in the DORA and the Leiden manifesto. If you have any such concerns, questions or requests for training then please get in touch so that we can prioritise these requests. The implementation of these principles at Swansea is supported by Ellie Downes ( within the Library Research Support Team.

Read the NIHR Open Access Policy 

This policy applies to all peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews not commissioned by publishers and conference papers, submitted for publication on or after 1 June 2022 arising from:

Principle 1 Articles must be immediately, freely and openly accessible to all

The most up to date Version of Record or the Author Accepted Manuscript of in-scope articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date, without any embargo period. 

  • If an open access fee, such as an article processing charge (APC), has been funded by the NIHR, a condition of the funding is that the publisher takes responsibility for making the Version of Record (and any corrected versions thereafter) freely available on the publishing journal platform and to have an agreement with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the Version of Record in PMC and allow that content to be shared with Europe PMC at the time of publication.

Principle 2 There should be no barriers to the re-use and dissemination of NIHR funded articles

All in-scope articles must be published under the Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), or Open Government Licence (OGL) ensure maximum impact. This will permit all users of NIHR-funded articles to disseminate and build upon the material for any purpose without further permission or fees being required.

  • NIHR may permit, on a case-by-case basis, the use of a more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives licence (CC BY-ND) for the open access version of a research article.
  • These conditions should not prevent researchers from also depositing a copy in their institutional or another subject-based repository.

Principle 3 - Articles must be freely discoverable 

  • In scope research articles must include a data sharing statement
  • Appropriate funder acknowledgement

Principle 4 - NIHR will pay reasonable fees to enable immediate open access

  • When an open access payment is applicable, for example an APC, 'NIHR will pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication in line with the criteria of this policy. Where relevant and appropriate, additional funding will be made available to active contracts that budgeted based on the previous open access policy scope'.
  • Guidance on open access funding eligibility and process will be published by March 2022. Any queries with regards to the NIHR open access policy should be directed to


Visit the Publisher OA Deals page to utilise an institutional JISC open access transitional 'read and publish' agreement at no cost to the corresponding author.
UKRI is providing an Open Access Block Grant to support implementation of this policy. Visit the Financial Support page for details of how to apply at acceptance if you cannot benefit from a publisher deal. However, we cannot use the UKRI OA block grant for publishing in a 'hybrid' subscription journal that is not a transformative journal. Check the journal status using the Journal Checker Tool.


The UKRI Open Access Policy applies from the following dates:

a. In-scope research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.

b. In-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

The policy applies to the following types of publication, when they are required to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils.

  • Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform.
  • Monographs, book chapters and edited collections.
  • Preprints are not in-scope of the UKRI Open Access Policy. However, to facilitate open research practices, UKRI encourages the use of preprints across the research disciplines that we support. UKRI also reserves the right to ensure the use of preprints in the context of emergencies. Also see the MRC policy on preprints and the BBSRC policy on preprints.

Compliant open access routes for research articles

Route 1 [Gold OA]: Publish the research article open access in a journal or publishing platform which makes the Version of Record immediately open access via its website.

a. The Version of Record must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI. An exception for CC-BY-ND no derivatives will be possible upon application and approval. Complete the UKRI No derivatives licence exception form (10 day UKRI service level response).

Route 2 [Green self-archiving OA]: Publish the research article in a hybrid subscription journal and deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record, where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of final publication.

a. The deposited version must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a Creative Commons CC-BY attribution licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI. 

  • (An Open Government Licence (OGL) or on a case-by case basis, the use of a more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence).

b. A publisher-requested delay or ‘embargo period’ between publication of the Version of Record and open access of the deposited version is not permitted.

c. The research article must be made open access in a repository that meets the minimum technical standards that facilitate access, discovery and reuse, as defined at Annex 2.

For the article to be published under Route 2, submissions must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any text  accompanying the submission:

‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence (where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘CC BY-ND public copyright licence’ may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’

  • Authors can publish their research article in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via either open access route.
  • UKRI requires in-scope research articles to include a Data Access Statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
  • For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central.

Compliant open access routes for long-form publications

This section sets out the UKRI Open Access Policy requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections, as defined at paragraph 3b.

For in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections:

a. the final Version of Record or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication.

b. the open access version has a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Licence or other licence permitted by UKRI (see ‘licensing requirements’) and allows the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution.

c. the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content (see ‘licensing requirements’) d. where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version.

See section 17 of the published policy to explore when exemptions may apply.


Published outputs arising from Wellcome funding must be open and accessible to all.
Journal articles submitted from January 2021:

  • Must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date.
  • Must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), unless the funder has agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence.

Monographs and book chapters:
All original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grantholders as part of their grant-funded research, must be:

  • Made freely available through NCBI Bookshelf PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC as soon as possible and no later than within 6 months of the official final publication date
  • Where a fee has been paid to the publisher to make the work open access, be published under a Creative Commons licence. The preference is for a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), however, researchers may choose to publish their work under any of the Creative Commons licences including non-commercial and non-derivative licences (CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND). Funding is available to cover publishers' open access monograph and book chapter processing charges from Wellcome.

Wellcome open access policy.
Plan S Implementation Funder