UCL Library Services


Open access: frequently asked questions

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Here we cover the questions most commonly asked about open access at UCL.

If you can't find the answer you need, contact the Open Access Team.

About open access

What is open access?
What is UCL's open access policy?
Does my funder have an open access policy?

REF open access policy

What is the policy?
What if I don't comply?
What does the policy cover?
Should I upload papers accepted before April 2016? 
Why do I need to upload all my papers? 
When should I upload?
Should I upload within 3 months of acceptance, or publication?
Can I wait to upload until I get an email asking me to claim my paper in RPS?
Which version should I upload?
The corresponding author on my paper is based elsewhere. Do I need to ask them for the final accepted manuscript so that I can upload it?
Changes were made to my paper during copy-editing. Can I upload the corrected version?
Whose responsibility is it to upload? Do papers with co-authors at different institutions have to be uploaded to more than one repository?
Do all UCL co-authors have to upload the same paper?
Can someone else upload my paper for me?
I am a new member of staff. Do I need to upload my old papers to RPS?
I won't be at UCL when the next REF happens. Do I still have to upload my papers?
Do Post-Doctoral Research Assistants need to upload their publications?
Do researchers with honorary staff status need to upload their publications?
Do I risk breaching my publisher's copyright conditions if I upload to RPS?
What if my publisher doesn't allow me to make my paper open access?
Does the REF policy affect where I can publish my papers?
Won't the REF policy involve significant costs to my department?
If my paper is (or will be) published open access, should I still upload to RPS?
My paper is (or will be) available in a subject repository like Europe PubMed Central or arXiv – is this enough to comply with the REF policy? What about ResearchGate and Academia.edu?
The publisher's website says that my paper is "free", or shows an open padlock. Do I still have to upload it?
Do letters, editorials, replies and corrections need to be uploaded?
My working paper has been online for some time. Do I still need to upload the accepted manuscript, after it's accepted for publication?
RPS is asking for my acceptance date and publication date. Which dates should I enter?
RPS is treating my conference presentation as a proceedings paper. Do conference abstracts and posters have to be uploaded?
Why do I need to upload other outputs, like book chapters, that aren't covered by the REF policy?
Can papers under embargo at the time of the REF submission still be submitted?
Which version of publications will be assessed by panels in the next REF?

Exceptions to the REF policy

The journal's embargo is too long, or the journal does not allow open access
Open access rights cannot be granted for third-party content
I cannot obtain my peer-reviewed manuscript
I was not at a UK university when the paper was submitted
Gold open access is being arranged for the paper
It would be unlawful to deposit the paper / depositing the paper would present a security risk
Other reason not covered by the exceptions above

UCL Discovery and RPS

What is UCL Discovery?
What is RPS?
What types of research can be made available in UCL Discovery?
How do I upload my publications?
Why am I seeing alerts to deposit in RPS?
My "manuscript" is a collection of files, eg. figures and sidebars. Do I have to create a single PDF?
Can I convert my final published PDF back into a Word document and upload it?
Can I withdraw material after it's been deposited? Or make changes?
Are deposited papers re-formatted?
I have uploaded my publication; when will it appear in UCL Discovery?
Does my publisher allow open access in UCL Discovery?
I have uploaded my accepted manuscript. Which version of my paper will be made open access after the publisher's embargo period?
If I create a basic record for my publication so that I can upload the file on acceptance, will this lead to duplicate records in RPS?
What permissions apply to publications in UCL Discovery?
How do I cite research found in UCL Discovery?
What tools are available from UCL Discovery to make my publications more visible and measure impact?

Open access funds

Can UCL pay my Gold open access costs?
Can UCL pay to make older papers open access?
When is the best time to contact you about open access?
What are UCL’s publisher membership schemes?
Do I need a code to use the publisher membership schemes? Where are they kept?
You don't have a membership scheme with my publisher. Can you still pay my Gold open access fee?
Is my publisher’s Gold open access option acceptable?
How can I be sure that an open access publisher is genuine/ethical/not a 'predatory publisher'?
Can UCL pay publication fees, including page and colour charges?
How do I arrange payment?
Can I pay on a credit card and claim the funds back?
How long does payment take?
What should I do if I receive an invoice reminder?
If you have paid for Gold open access, do I need to check that my paper is made open access after payment?