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Open Access Policy

Open Access HEFCE Policy April 2016

The Higher Education Council for England, HEFEC has changed it’s guidelines regarding authors working for UK institutions who are part of the REF evaluation system. From April this year every UK scholar who wishes to participate in HEFEC funding will have to follow this latest directive. This new policy has important consequences for Journal Publishers and all Journals who publish British scholars (whether or not they have their HQ in the UK).

The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an Internet connection.

We (HEFVE) ask that access be provided to the version of the article that contains all academically necessary changes arising from peer review and the academic editorial process. Accepted manuscripts do not typically contain the subsequent non-academic alterations arising from copyediting and typesetting, nor do they typically show the journal page numbers and other publication livery present in the published version of record, but for many people wishing to access research findings they do represent an academically sound version of the output.

The policy allows repositories to respect embargo periods set by publications. (ie. Us: Pluto Journals) Where a publication specifies an embargo period, authors can comply with the policy by making a ‘closed’ deposit. Closed deposits must be discoverable to anyone with an Internet connection before the full text becomes available for read and download (which will occur after the embargo period has elapsed). If still under embargo at the submission date of the next REF, closed deposits will be admissible to the REF.

The policy has an exception in place to deal with those individuals who were not employed by a UK HEI at the point that their work was submitted for publication. What constitutes employment?

The individual must have a contract of employment with a UK HEI with intensity of 0.2 FTE or greater. Individuals not under contract, or with a contract of intensity less than 0.2FTE, will be covered by the relevant exception in the policy.

In principle Editors ought to check this. The Editor will need to send the Author a form to comply with our policy and embargo dates. We will supply you with a simple form. We would like to have an embargo of 12 months after publication in the journal so that digital access is only available through JSTOR subscriptions or Pay Per View.

There are two complementary mechanisms for achieving open access to research. The first mechanism is for authors to publish in open-access journals that do not receive income through reader subscriptions. The second is for authors to deposit their refereed journal article in an open electronic archive.

This latter applies to all our Journals:

These two mechanisms are often called the ‘gold’ and ‘green’ routes to open access:

Pluto Journals will be using the Green Route

* Green – This means depositing the final peer-reviewed research output in an electronic archive called a repository. Repositories can be run by the researcher’s institution, but shared or subject repositories are also commonly used. Access to the research output can be granted either immediately or after an agreed embargo period.

UK Journals supported by a UK University should discuss this with their University authorities.

UK PJ journals without the support of a University will need to partner with a body that is running a depository

Non UK Journals will have a much smaller number of UK authors, but they too will need to find a way to satisfy this requirement. To discuss with PJ

An Embargo Period

Part (6.3 below). We all need to agree an embargo period. Pluto Journals recommendation is as follows: We keep the deposit “closed” until publication of the journal and we set an embargo time limit. The journal and articles will be discoverable, via means of subscriptions or paid downloads. Authors may want a shorter embargo time. With JSTOR we have a moving wall of 3 years before access into their archive (this means that anyone who takes out a subscriptions can access all past issues with this 3 year time limit). Pluto Journals would like to keep availability inline with JSTOR’s moving wall.

6.3. From what start point is the embargo period active, and how can this be calculated?

Embargo periods are normally calculated from the date of first publication, including online publication, but publishers may set their own policy. If the paper is not published by the time it is deposited, the embargo end date must be entered into the repository record at a later point. Institutions may choose to ask for ‘closed’ deposits from authors, and when they know the output has been published (perhaps assisted by a publications index), they may set the embargo period based on information found in SHERPA/RoMEO. Over time, publications metadata will evolve to include embargo information, allowing for this step to be

completely automated. Publishers are committed to implementing the NISO-approved <license_ref> tag to provide the publication date, the embargo end date and any licence metadata for research outputs via CrossRef. At the discretion of publishers, this may cover green open-access; in those cases, repositories will be able to ingest these metadata from CrossRef automatically, meaning deposits can be made accessible at the end of the embargo period without any additional manual work.


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