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Policies and documents

Open Access Policy

This policy applies to all York St John University staff and research students who produce research outputs.

Position and Scope

York St John University (YSJU) supports the principles of open access (OA) and where possible will follow the ‘green’ OA route.

This policy applies to all YSJU staff and research students who produce research outputs.

YSJU requires staff to deposit all research outputs (including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, physical artefacts, exhibitions and performances) into the University Institutional Repository, RaY, in the form of bibliographic metadata and post prints/author accepted manuscripts of research outputs, subject to publisher copyright permissions.


All YSJU staff are required to:

Before acceptance

  • Select green OA routes to publication, where it is appropriate.
  • Check with Library and Learning Services on the availability of Read and Publish or Offsetting arrangements. This is only required if green OA routes are not being used.
  • Apply for APC funding from their relevant School or ensure any research project funding will cover costs of APC payments. APCs should only be considered if green OA routes or Read and Publish arrangements are not available or appropriate.

After acceptance

  • Add bibliographic metadata of all research outputs to RaY.
  • Deposit peer-reviewed, corrected and accepted versions of research outputs (post-print/author accepted manuscripts) into RaY. Any publisher embargo periods will be recognised, and outputs will only be available to view and download once the embargo period is over.
  • Deposit of research outputs is the responsibility of the author or in the case of multiple authors, the lead author. If the lead author is not from YSJU and the output is placed in a repository hosted elsewhere, a copy of the output must still be placed into RaY.
  • If YSJU staff receive research funding, they must ensure that they comply with all funding requirements including any OA requirements or publishing requirements.

The University is responsible for ensuring systems are in place to support this OA policy including:

  • Providing an institutional repository system - RaY.
  • Providing help and advice relating to OA, funding, copyright and publisher self-archiving policies.
  • Providing guidance and support on how to use and deposit research outputs into RaY.

REF 2021

The UK Higher Education research funding bodies believe that research outputs should be as widely accessible as possible. A REF OA policy has been introduced for REF 2021:

  • The policy applies to all journal articles and conference papers in publications with an ISSN.
  • Journal articles or conference papers which were accepted for publication from 1st April 2016 and published on or before 31st December 2020 must be made open access to be eligible in REF 2021.
  • The output must be deposited in an institutional repository, a repository service shared between multiple institutions, or a subject repository within three months of acceptance.
  • Both ‘gold’ and ‘green’ OA routes are acceptable.
  • Embargo periods for ‘green’ OA must not exceed 12 months for REF main panel A (medicine, health and life sciences) and main panel B ( physical sciences, engineering and mathematics) or 24 months for REF main panel C (social sciences) and main panel D (arts and humanities).
  • Where YSJU can demonstrate that it has taken steps towards enabling open access for research outputs outside the scope of the REF OA policy credit will be given.

The REF 2021 OA policy is included in the REF 2021 Guidance on Submissions (paragraphs 105-114 and 223-255).


Open access (OA) – unrestricted, online access to peer reviewed and published scholarly research outputs.

‘Green’ OA – where a version of a research output is made available free of charge to readers, often through an online repository and usually with an embargo period.

‘Gold’ OA – where published research outputs are made available immediately and free of charge to readers with opportunities to reuse the research according to any licence applied to the work. In return the author or their institution are usually (but not always) required to pay an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher.

APC – Article Processing Charge is the fee paid to a publisher to make an article freely available online.

Links to other university policies

Open Access Policy

Our policy on Open Access and the responsibilities of staff and research students who produce research outputs.

Research ethics and integrity policies

University policies on research integrity, ethics, intellectual property and misconduct procedures.

Data Protection Policy

How we gather and handle data and how to report a data breach

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