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Open Access: Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the Open Access Team

About open access

1. Why should open access matter to me?

Open access increases citations and visibility, and raises the profile of your research. Many research funders mandate open access, as does UCL (copyright permissions allowing.) HEFCE is likely to require it for future REF submissions.

2. Are there different types of open access?

Subscription journals often give authors a choice of Gold or Green open access.

Gold open access means immediate open access to everyone, not just subscribers, on the publisher's website. A fee is payable, and UCL's Open Access Team can usually deposit the publisher PDF in UCL Discovery. If you are submitting to a fully open access journal, a charge normally applies automatically.

Green open access means that you deposit your final manuscript (not the publisher PDF) in a repository, usually after an embargo period of several months. UCL Discovery is UCL's institutional repository.

3. What is UCL's open access policy?

UCL's Publications Policy requires all research to be deposited in UCL Discovery, copyright permissions allowing.

Where publishers offer both Gold (paid) and Green (deposit) open access (see Q2), UCL authors are free to choose: this is an academic decision.

4. Does my funder have an open access policy?

Many research funders have open access policies. They include the Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC), the Wellcome Trust, ARUK, BHF, CRUK, DH / NIHR, EC, ERC and NIH. There is more information here, but contact the Open Access Team for specific advice on your article/publisher/funder, including which type(s) of open access will allow you to comply.

The RCUK policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles (including non-commissioned review articles) and proceedings papers. The Wellcome policy applies only to peer-reviewed research articles. Contact the Open Access Team if you need advice on making other papers open access.

5. Does my funder have any other requirements?

In general, funders' policies state that all papers must include details of the funding that supported the research.

RCUK authors must state how underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed. If there are compelling reasons not to make them open access, this should be included in the statement. See RCUK Open Access Policy, section 3.3.

Open access funds

6. Can UCL pay my open access costs?

UCL's open access fund covers open access charges for all UCL authors (subject to funds being available at the time.) UCL also has separate funds for RCUK- and Wellcome-funded research articles.

7. Can UCL pay colour, page and other publication charges?

UCL's open access funds generally only cover open access payments. The one exception is RCUK-funded articles, which RCUK authors can no longer pay from their grants. UCL's RCUK funds will pay these charges.

8. How do I arrange payment?

  1. UCL has memberships with BMC, BMJ, Elsevier (RCUK-only), Frontiers, Humanities Directory and Social Sciences Directory, IEEE, Royal Society, RSC, Sage, SpringerOpen, T&F, Ubiquity and Wiley. Payment is quick and easy. See the details of these schemes on our memberships page, or ask the Open Access Team how to use them. In general, this is how they work:

    1. The publisher will ask us to authorise payment. Before doing so, we will check that you are a UCL member of staff or research postgraduate. The publisher then debits UCL's prepaid funds. You will need to sign the publisher's licence.
    2. Because we have to report to funders, we need to know whether any external funding contributed to the article. If it is RCUK- or Wellcome-funded, we will ask you for the
      • grant details, including number(s) and holder(s) where relevant
      • proportion of the article funded by the grant(s) (in your estimation)
  2. If your publisher is not listed above, funds are still available to pay for immediate open access on the publisher's website. Here's what to do:

    1. Contact the Open Access Team with details of the publisher, article title and journal. As long as the publisher's licence is acceptable, we will ask them to send us an invoice. If the publisher has sent you an open access form and you would like us to complete it for you, just send us the link or attachment. You will need to sign the publisher's licence.
    2. Because we have to report to funders, we need to know whether any external funding contributed to the article. If it is RCUK- or Wellcome-funded, we will ask you for the
      • grant details, including number(s) and holder(s) where relevant
      • proportion of the article funded by the grant(s) (in your estimation)

    If you already have an invoice from the publisher, you can e-mail it to us, along with any funding details, or use our claim form.

9. I know that you can complete my publisher's open access form for me, but I would prefer to do it myself. What information should I give?

Give the publisher our billing address and e-mail address (below), and VAT number (GB 524 3711 68). Leave any purchase order section blank. Send us the details of the publisher, article title and journal. We are the:

Open Access Funding Team
UCL Library Services
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT
open-access@ucl.ac.uk

10. Is UCL exempt from VAT on open access charges?

If we are paying by invoice (see Q8), we will give the publisher UCL's VAT number: GB 524 3711 68. If you are asking the publisher for an invoice, please do the same.

In general, we only expect to see VAT on invoices from the UK. We will check the invoice when we receive it, and arrange a replacement if necessary.

11. Can I pay on a credit card and claim the funds back?

If payment has to be made swiftly to avoid publication delays, you can pay on a credit card and ask us to reimburse you. Otherwise, it is normally easier if we pay directly, by invoice.

12. How long does payment take?

If UCL has a membership scheme (see Q8), payment is immediate.

If we are paying by invoice, UCL Accounts Payable should transfer the funds by the invoice due date (normally 30 days after the invoice date.)

13. What should I do if I receive an invoice reminder?

Please don't worry: just forward it to us, and we'll investigate. If the invoice was sent to us (see Q8 or Q9), any reminder should be sent to us directly.

Open access status and deposit

14. If I have chosen Gold (paid) open access (see Q2), do I need to check that my article is made open access after payment?

There's no need. The Open Access Team will check that the article is made open access on the publisher's site. We will also deposit the publisher PDF in UCL Discovery, and make sure that it is deposited in any repositories your funder requires.

15. If I have chosen Green (deposit) open access (see Q2), how do I deposit?

First, contact the Open Access Team to make sure that the Green route will enable you to comply with your funder's policy.

If your article is RCUK-funded, you can either e-mail us your final manuscript, along with the funding details (see below), or use our RCUK Green form.
Because we have to report to the RCUK, please include in your e-mail:

  • grant details, including number(s) and holder(s) where relevant
  • proportion of the article funded by the grant(s) (in your estimation)

If your article is not RCUK-funded, you can deposit other articles using RPS.

If your funder also requires you to deposit in a subject repository, contact us for advice on how.


Last modified 19 February 2014

 

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