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Open Access - Fees & Deposits


The Open Access Team in the Library can help you to make your research open access. 

Not only will this increase the visibility of your work, and your citations, new HEFCE policy for post-2014 REF submissions requires that publications are deposited in an open access repository within 3 months of acceptance in order to be eligible for submission for the next REF. 

It needn’t be difficult:  the Team’s goal is to make open access as straightforward as possible for researchers. 

UCL has a new open access fund that can be used to pay open access fees on behalf of all UCL authors, and a growing number of publisher memberships to simplify the payment process.  RCUK and Wellcome authors may already be aware that there are specific funds available for their articles.

Library Open Access Website

Please contact the friendly Open Access Team with any and all open access queries.

To be eligible for REF submission, journal articles and conference proceedings must have been deposited in an open access repository at acceptance, and made open access within a specified time. UCL’s policy is that all outputs should be deposited in our institutional repository, UCL Discovery.

REF Policy: Key Points

  • The final peer-reviewed manuscript of all articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in an open access institutional or subject repository within 3 months of acceptance.
  • The policy covers papers accepted for publication after 1 April 2016.
  • UCL’s policy is that outputs of all types should be deposited. This applies immediately.
  • Publishers often impose a delay before repositories can make manuscripts openly available. The maximum permitted embargo is 12 months (for Panels A and B) or 24 months (Panels C and D).
  • Articles still under embargo are eligible for REF submission, provided they meet the requirements of the policy.


Non-compliant outputs will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in the REF.

Full details are available on the UCL Library Services website

Gold open access: Immediate open access on the publisher site, in exchange for a fee (Article Processing Charge).

Gold open access is often available for journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters. Many journals and proceedings published under a traditional subscription model offer Gold. A fee is paid to make the content available to everyone – not just subscribers – on the publisher website. In the case of articles, this is known as an Article Processing Charge.

Publishers normally allow authors to deposit the publisher copy in repositories (for example, UCL Discovery and PubMed Central).

If a journal is fully open access (eg. BioMed Central, PLOS and Frontiers titles), Gold publication fees are payable for all articles.

Funds to cover Gold open access fees are available to all UCL authors.

Green open access: Depositing research in an institutional or subject repository (for example, UCL Discovery or PubMed Central).

The version deposited is normally the final author manuscript.

Green open access means making research freely available in an institutional and/or subject repository. Subscription journals that offer Gold open access normally also have a Green option that allows authors to deposit their final author manuscript. The publisher often specifies an embargo period before it can be released on open access.

Gold or Green:  How do I choose?
Where authors have a choice of open access routes, this is an academic decision.

You might like to consider:

  • whether you would prefer immediate open access on the publisher site
  • the length of any embargo on deposit
  • if you prefer the publisher PDF, rather than your final manuscript, to be made available in UCL Discovery

Arranging OA Payment

Funds to cover Gold open access fees are available to all UCL authors. UCL’s Open Access Team arranges open access payments.

If UCL has a prepayment scheme with the publisher, the Open Access Team authorises payment from prepaid funds. If UCL does not have a prepaymant scheme, the Open Access Team will pay by invoice.

As of October 2013, UCL has prepayment schemes with BMC, BMJ, Elsevier (RCUK-only), Frontiers, Humanities Directory and Social Sciences Directory, IEEE, PLOS, RSC, SpringerOpen, T&F, Ubiquity and Wiley, with more to come.
These schemes provide discounts on open access fees, and make payment very quick and straightforward. UCL also has discount arrangements with the Royal Society and Sage.

If UCL does not have a prepayment scheme, the Open Access Team can still pay, by invoice. All you need to do is send them details of the publisher, article title and journal. They can complete publishers’ open access forms for you. If you already have the invoice, just forward it straight to the OA Team. As long as the publisher's licence is acceptable (and funds are available at the time) they will arrange payment. If payment has to be made swiftly to avoid publication delays, you can pay on a credit card and ask the OA Team for reimbursement. Otherwise, it is normally easier for authors if the OA Team pay directly.

If your article is RCUK- or Wellcome Trust-funded, they will ask you for the grant details, so that they can include your paper in their funder report. they  will need:

  • grant number(s) and holder(s), where relevant
  • % of the article funded by the grant(s), where both RCUK and Welcome Funding apply


Depositing your paper
UCL Open Access Team will help you to depositing your paper in UCL Discovery and other repositories.

Further details of arranging payment and depositing

GEE Open Access Contacts:

Open Access Team

or by email or phone to

Catherine Sharp, E-Journals Librarian, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 7380 (internal: 37380)

Download the Open Access Guide

Page last modified on 25 jun 14 11:43