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  1. Open Access to Research
Research

Open Access to Research

Open Access is the means by which we can make the outputs from our research freely and widely available. City supports open access to the research produced by its staff. Read more about City's Open Access Policy.

Central funding is available to support the cost of Article Processing Charges for publication in open access journals for publications arising from Research Council-funded research. For other publications, staff should seek advice from their School on sources of funding. See below for further information.

There are two main routes to Open Access:

  • Green: the public can access a version of a publication via a repository (such as City Research Online) without payment
  • Gold: the public can access the version of record of a publication without payment via the publisher's own platform. In order to make the publication freely available, the publisher charges the author an article processing charge.

Staff are required to make available a final version of all research outputs published from 1 January 2013 on City Research Online. When a journal operating the 'Gold' route is considered to be the best option for publication for an article, staff can request that City covers the article processing charge.

Article Processing Charges

All requests that the institution cover an article processing charge should be made in the same way. Staff should complete the request form (this can be accessed via the link in the box on the right hand side of this page) and submit it to their School for approval. Once it has been approved, it should be passed to City's Research Office for recording and processing. For articles arising from work funded by a grant from one of the Research Councils, funding is available centrally (see below). For articles arising from other research, the author or the School will need to identify a source of funding and provide a budget code and authorised signature on the request form.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) block grant for Open Access costs

RCUK has allocated City a five-year Open Access block grant from 1 April 2013 to cover the payment of article processing charges for articles arising from RCUK grant-funded research. The funding is available to meet costs associated with peer-reviewed articles which acknowledge Research Council funding, that are submitted for publication from 1 April 2013 and which are published in journals or conference proceedings.

Papers must be made Open Access immediately at the time of online publication, using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence when the block grant is used to pay the APCs. (CC BY is the standard licence used by open access journals, and supports the maximum dissemination and re-use of published papers, whilst protecting the moral rights of authors.) Where a journal does not offer an immediate Open Access option, RCUK will accept a delay between online publication and a paper becoming Open Access of no more than 6 months in STEM disciplines and 12 months in arts, humanities and social sciences.

In Year 1, 45% of research papers should be published via the 'Gold' or 'Green' routes and 53% in Year 2. The intention is to increase funding in following years until all published peer-reviewed papers derived from Research Council funding are Open Access (with at least 75% through the 'Gold' route).

The introduction of the block grant means that applications to the Research Councils with a start date after 1 April 2013 can no longer include requests for items covered by the block grant, such as publication charges for peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. (Publication costs for outputs such as monographs, books, critical editions, volumes and catalogues which are not covered by the block grant may be requested but need to be fully justified.) Where earlier awards include funding for open access publication, this should be used prior to seeking funding from the RCUK block grant.

Further reading

Research Councils UK: Policy on Open Access and Supporting Guidance.

Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications.  Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (Finch Report)

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.