Open Access Policy

1. Positioning statement

York St John University (YSJU) supports the principle of Open Access (OA) and where possible will follow the ‘Green’ OA route.

The University requires all staff to deposit all research outputs into the University Institutional Repository in the form of bibliographic metadata and pre or post prints for journal articles, subject to the publisher’s copyright permissions. For further guidance on journal copyright visit: Sherpa/Romeo provides journal copyright information.

2. Scope

The policy covers all published books, chapters in books, monographs, peer reviewed research papers that are normally published in scholarly journals or conference proceedings authored or co-authored by staff within the university. When an author moves between institutions their output may be transferred to a new institutional repository.

3. Benefits of depositing outputs in a repository

The benefits of depositing in the university repository are:

  • Increased citation rates
  • Items will be harvested by search engines such as Google and other services such as OAIster
  • The repository acts as a window to the university’s research and makes research more easily available to the scholarly community

4. Definitions

  • ‘Open’ access means unrestricted, on-line access to peer reviewed and published scholarly research papers.’
  • ‘Green’ OA is where a version of a publication is made available free of charge to readers, often through an online repository and usually with an embargo period.
  • ‘Gold’ OA is where published articles are made available immediately and free of charge to readers. In return the author (or their institution) pays an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher.
  • ‘Hybrid’ OA is where a publisher allows authors to publish their paper in journals with subscriptions (and behind pay walls online) in the traditional way, or to pay an APC for it to be made available to readers free-of-charge, online, immediately.
  • ‘Pre Print’ is the author's version of the paper that has not been through peer review, nor had any changes made to it by the publisher (such as editing, formatting, etc.).
  • ‘Post Print’ is a version of the paper after peer-review, with revisions having been made. It has not had any value added by the publisher, such as editing or formatting.
  • ‘Creative Commons’ CC-BY License. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
  • ‘ISBN’ International Standard Book Number
  • ‘ISSN’ International Standard Serial Number

5. Deposit of research outputs

From 1st January 2015, YSJ staff are required to:

  • Deposit bibliographic metadata of research outputs into the YSJ repository.
  • Deposit a post print of journal research outputs; where embargo periods are mandated the output will be ‘dark archived’ (where access is limited) and released once the embargo period is over.
  • Deposit is the responsibility of the author or in the case of multiple authors, the lead author. If the lead author is not from YSJ and the output is placed in a repository hosted elsewhere, then a copy of the output must still be placed in the YSJ repository.
  • Where possible the Creative Commons CC-BY licence should be used. Where this is not possible an alternative Creative Commons licence should be considered.
  • Please contact ILS for advice or visit the Creative Commons website.
  • If a researcher moves to another institution a copy of their outputs will be retained in the YSJ repository unless it has to be removed to comply with journal publisher rules.

Guidance will be provided by ILS, including information on how to deposit material into the repository.

6. Funded publications

  • If your research is funded by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC, it must comply with the RCUK open access policy.
  • If your research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, it requires electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust funding, to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication. Wellcome Trust policy.
  • Where grant funding is used the author must acknowledge that source.
  • Where grant funding is provided you must comply with the publishing requirements of the funder.

7. Finance

Where the only route available is the Gold option, and grant funding is not available, researchers have an opportunity to apply for funding through the Directorate of Academic Development. To avoid the university paying for journal subscriptions and APCs to the same journal publisher, YSJU should avoid paying APCs to hybrid journals.

8. Research students

Research students are required to follow the YSJ Open Access policy but are not eligible to apply for YSJ APC funding.

9. Research Excellence Framework (REF)

HEFCE has Open Access requirements for certain types of research outputs if they are to be included in the next REF. The definition of an output within the scope of the HEFCE policy is:

  • Journal articles or the type of output such as a conference proceeding which has an ISSN. Conference proceedings with an ISBN or as part of a book series with an ISSN do not meet the definition. The policy does not apply to the material forming part of the case studies submitted to the Impact component of the REF.
  • The output is accepted for publication after 1 April 2016

The following applies to a research output within the definition of the policy:

  • Each output must be deposited into an institutional repository, a repository service shared between multiple institutions or a subject repository such as arXiv.
  • Each output must be deposited in the repository no later than three months from the point of acceptance (as given by the acceptance letter of email from the publisher to the author).
  • The output which is deposited should be the final peer-reviewed text. This may also be known as which may otherwise be known as the ‘accepted author manuscript’ or ‘final author version’ or ‘post-print’). ‘Provisionally’ accepted for publication, under the condition that the author makes revisions to the manuscript that result from peer review, are not considered as the final text.
  • Outputs that are published by a journal or conference that do not require peer review would still require the author’s final accepted version.
  • Outputs whose text is encoded only as a scanned image would not be acceptable.
  • Outputs should, if possible be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) license.
  • Outputs that are deposited under embargo should be made available on open access no later than one month after the end of the embargo period. Outputs deposited under embargo must fulfil all of the deposit and discovery requirements above

Embargo periods should not exceed the following maxima:

- 12 months for REF Main Panel A and REF Main Panel B

- 24 months for REF Main Panel C and REF Main Panel D


9.1 Enabling open access for outputs outside the definition:

Where YSJ can demonstrate that it has taken steps towards enabling open access for outputs outside the scope of this definition, credit will be given in the research environment component of the post-2014 REF.[1]

[1] HEFCE. Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework. 2014.

10. Links to other University policies

This policy mandates the open access deposit of research material in the University Institutional repository. It is complemented by the existing repository related policies, and will be subject to review on a regular basis.

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