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Open access publishing

What is open access?

Open access publishing means making your paper available to everyone in the world to download for free.

Open access publishing models

There are two main open access models:

1. Self-archiving ("green", University of Cambridge preferred)

  • Deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts in an OA repository
  • Publishers often set embargo (fixed period of time before the article can be made freely available e.g. 18 months)

2. Pay to publish ("gold")

  • Free access to final published versions of articles, immediately on publication
  • Publisher requires payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC)

Why do I have to make my paper open access?

From 1st April 2016 a new HEFCE policy applies: peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings must be made available through an institutional repository, when they are accepted for publication, to be eligible for the next REF. Papers will be audited and sanctions will apply.

How do I make my paper open access?

Upload your accepted manuscript to the University repository, Apollo, via Symplectic. The Open Access team (based at Cambridge University Library) will advise you how to make your paper open access, so that you comply with the relevant publisher journal and funder open access requirements.

They will arrange payment of APCs for RCUK and COAF (including the Wellcome Trust) funded papers from a block grant provided by the RCUK as part of their Open Access Policy.

They will also deposit your paper in the University's institutional repository (or one that your funder specifies) and will give you a DOI for it.

Can I use the Royal Society of Chemistry's Gold for Gold scheme?

This is an is an annual allocation of vouchers made to the University by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). They cover the APC to make papers published in RSC journals open access via the gold route (currently worth around £1,600). 

This scheme was formerly administered by the Librarian at the Department of Chemistry but now the vouchers are allocated by the Open Access team to authors that have no funds for APCs. They will advise you when you upload your accepted manuscript if you are eligible to receive a voucher and will help you apply. 

This scheme is coming to an end in 2017 but the RSC will still accept 2016 vouchers (valid for use with any article published in 2016) until March 2017.

Where can I find out more about open access publishing in Cambridge?

The University's Open Access website provides further guidance on making your papers open access.

The Scholarly Communication website provides information about open access including individual research funders' open access policies and fees.

Members of staff from the University's Office of Scholarly Communication gave a presentation on 'Sharing your research' (covering both open access and open data) on 19th April 2016.

See also the Chemistry Library Blog posts on open access and Chemistry Library Twitter account for the latest news on open access in Cambridge and beyond