This is the "FAQs" page of the "Open Access at Northumbria University" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Open Access at Northumbria University  

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2015 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

FAQs Print Page


If your question is not listed or you would like more information, please contact the Scholarly Publications Team by emailing or by calling 0191 243 7705.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is free and unrestricted online access to publications: to read, download and re-use, subject to proper attribution. OA removes the pay wall barrier to all those who do not have access to institutional or personal journal subscriptions, making the access free to the user.

What is Green Open Access?

To achieve green Open Access, the author uploads their accepted manuscript to the web and makes this file available for download. This enables the author to publish in a traditional journal while making their research more open by providing an additional, free route for users to discover and read the article.

This is possible if the author deposits their accepted (peer reviewed) manuscript rather than the final, published version of the article. Institutional research repositories such as Northumbria Research Link facilitate green Open Access by giving researchers at the University a place to upload their research. Temporary embargoes may apply, where the publisher asks for access to be restricted for a fixed time after the date of publication. It is possible to apply these restrictions in NRL.

How do I deposit in NRL?
This helpguide shows how to deposit your output and more information is available on the Information for Researchers webpages.
What is Gold Open Access?

This is a way of making the version of record, the article as it appears on a journal’s webpage, freely available from the point of publication. Some journals make all of their content freely available, while others offer a hybrid publication model, making some articles freely available to any user and others only available to subscribers. As there are no subscription or access fees, the cost of publication may be met by the publisher, particularly in the case of journals published by Universities or learned societies, or by the author. This fee, which varies across journals, is known as an article processing charge (APC) and is usually paid by the author’s institution or research funder.

How do I access funds for Open Access?

Full guidance on eligibility for the University Open Access Fund and how to access it are available on the procedure pages of this guide.

What is the Research Councils UK view on Open Access publishing?

The findings of all RCUK funded research published in peer reviewed journal articles or conference proceedings must be made available in an Open Access format. RCUK provides the University with an annual block grant for the payment of any costs associated with Open Access publication (please note that these costs can no longer be included in research grant applications).

RCUK has expressed a strong preference for gold Open Access publication. Publications should be made available immediately and with unrestricted access through the journal’s website. A Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence must be used.

Where gold Open Access cannot be achieved, RCUK suggest articles should be published in a subscription journal, but the author must deposit their accepted manuscript to a repository. Temporary restrictions to access are permitted, with an upper limit of 6 months in science, technology and mathematics and 12 months in the humanities, arts and social sciences. A CC-BY-NC licence, which permits all non-commercial re-use of the article, should be applied.

If neither option, including the appropriate licences, is available, the author should submit their article to a journal that offers a compliant route to Open Access publication. It is important for authors to check the Open Access options of a journal prior to submission for publication.


Is Open Access important for any future Research Excellence Framework (REF)?

To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts for all journal articles and any conference proceedings published with an ISSN must be deposited in an institutional repository within three months of acceptance for publication. This becomes policy from the 1st April 2016, though to ensure good practice and to maximise compliance, the University will be applying the policy from 1st April 2015.

If the author chooses to publish in a fully Open Access journal, the accepted manuscript must still be deposited in NRL within three months of acceptance. Once the article is published, the manuscript may then be replaced with the published version of the article.


Once deposited, the manuscript must be accessible to the public within 12 months of publication for REF panels A and B and within 24 months of publication for panels C and D.  Where the publisher requires access to be restricted beyond these timescales, the author may be able to request an exemption from HEFCE, but in most cases should consider submitting their article to another journal.


What are the views of other funding bodies?

The policies of other funders toward Open Access are likely to be met by virtue of the author complying with the HEFCE policy, stated above. However, other funders may offer additional funding for Open Access, have other policies toward the duration of restricted access or require deposit in another repository in addition to NRL.

Wellcome Trust

Peer reviewed journal articles supported in whole or part by the Wellcome Trust must be deposited in Europe PubMed Central as soon as possible, with a maximum limit of six months after the date of publication. Researchers receiving funding may choose to take the gold or the green route to Open Access, so long as they ensure the research is immediately accessible by the public upon publication. Therefore, if the publisher of a journal requires access to a file deposited in a repository to be restricted by 6 months, the author must seek a gold publication option with that publisher through payment of an APC or, if this option is not available, seek publication elsewhere.

Grantholders will be provided with additional funding to meet the cost of Open Access where necessary. The Wellcome Trust requires use of a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY) wherever an Open Access fee is paid, and encourages use where Open Access is achieved by another route.

More information is available at:

European Commission

The EC have launched a pilot to fund OA publications for completed FP7 projects. If you are still publishing articles from an FP7 project completed in the last two years, the post-grant Open Access Pilot will cover article processing charges for up to three articles per project.  Visit this site to find out more:

Leverhulme Trust

Open Access is currently not required by the Leverhulme Trust, but if the author chooses to pursue this the cost of the APC is a permissible expense as part of their grant.

More information is available at:

Creative Commons

Research funders often stipulate the use of particular licences when research is published in an Open Access format. Creative Commons licences are operative only when applied to material where copyright exists and work alongside traditional copyright. A Creative Commons licence makes it clear to the public how they may read, use and share your research.


CC-BY, the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, is the most permissive of the licences available, allowing commercial re-use of the work. Even with this licence, you must be credited as the author of the work using the usual scholarly conventions of citation and attribution.


Can page charges be paid by the University Open Access fund?

The fund may only be used to make payments required to enable Open Access to published research. The fund cannot be used to pay for any other fees associated with publication, such as charges for extra pages, colour illustrations or submission.

Can the University Open Access Fund be used to enable OA to books and book chapters?

The fund may be used to enable OA to any format of published research. The process of accessing the University Open Access fund is the same as for journal articles, beginning with speaking to your departmental research lead or Unit of Assessment lead, then sending their approval to the Scholarly Publications Team. The team can also help you to find out what your options for Open Access are with different publishers.

Is the University a member of any prepayment or discount schemes?

As stated in the Open Access policy, the University Library is committed to ensuring fair prices for article processing charges. We monitor the cost of hybrid gold Open Access, where publishers may be receiving payments for journals we subscribe to and for article processing charges for Open Access articles published by Northumbria University staff, and negotiate with publishers wherever possible. We make decisions about which membership schemes based on our research activity and the cost of participation, and also participate in national negotiations, for example, through Jisc Collections. Please speak to the Scholarly Publications Team if you feel there is a scheme that would be beneficial.

The University Library has membership to the following schemes, which reduce the cost of article processing charges for Northumbria University staff.

Taylor & Francis

Through a Jisc collections deal, authors at Northumbria can publish open access with a 75% discount on the article processing charge. The Scholarly Publications Team will process your article processing charge at the reduced rate.

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Gold for Gold initiative provides the University Library with vouchers for the payment of article processing charges, based on our subscriptions to journals published by Royal Society of Chemistry. Vouchers are allocated to us annually, with the option to purchase more at a discounted rate. If you have an article accepted in an RSC journal, please contact the Scholarly Publications Team to request a voucher.

Information is available here:


The Springer Compact agreement allows you to publish your article Open Access in over 1600 journals without any article processing charge. Articles are eligible for Open Access through the deal if the lead author is employed by a participating institution. If you are a member of staff at Northumbria and are the lead author of a paper published in an eligible journal, you will be given the option to participate in the scheme when you are notified that your article has been accepted for publication. Springer will then contact the Scholarly Publications Team to process the request.

A list of eligible journals is available here:


Through a deal with IEEE, authors at Northumbria can publish open access with a 25% discount on the article processing charge. The Scholarly Publications Team will process your article processing charge at the reduced rate.


Loading  Loading...