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Effective Research Publishing: Open Research & Open Access: Policies

One Stop Shop for Open Research Practices

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.

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.

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