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Open Access FAQs – University of Reading

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Open Access FAQs

Can I (an author) apply to the University' Open Access fund if I am not the PI or lead author?

Yes, as long as the publication shows that you are affiliated to the University.

Can I apply to the University' Open Access fund if there is no RCUK funding related to the article?

Yes, as long as there are no funds available elsewhere via grants or any other source, and as long as the publication is to be published in a pure Gold Open Access journal (i.e. the journal does not charge a subscription fee and is freely available online to all). In some cases we will pay the fee for journals which do charge subscription fees (hybrid journals), but only if the fee (Article Processing Charge) is below £800.

Will the University provide funds for page charges and colour charges?

For RCUK-funded articles, page charges may be paid. Please make it clear when you apply for open access funding whether you are requesting funds for page charges and how much they are likely to be (estimates are OK). No colour charges will be paid for RCUK-funded articles.

For articles which do not acknowledge RCUK funding, page charges and colour charges will not be paid.

Can I apply to the University's Open Access fund to cover APCs if the article involves authors from another institution?

It depends...

1. My paper results from work carried out whilst I was employed at the University of Reading. The paper is now ready for publication but I am employed by another institution. Will the University pay the OA costs?


2. If the publication is accepted whilst the PI is employed by the University of Reading but relates to a grant secured by the PI at another institution, will the University meet OA costs?

Yes, if the publication cites a University of Reading address. Contact to request funding for APCs.

3. The paper results from collaboration with researchers at other institutions. Can I claim for the OA charges?

If any of the authors acknowledge RCUK funding, it is expected that their institution should pay the costs. Where more than one author acknowledges RCUK funding, the institution of the corresponding author should pay the cost, or the PI if the corresponding author does not acknowledge RCUK Funding. If there is no relevant RCUK funding, and no other relevant grants, the institution of the corresponding author should pay the costs. Contact to discuss eligibility.

Can I delegate the process of applying to the Open Access Fund?

Yes, it can be delegated to a colleague (staff or student).

My journal of choice doesn't offer a Gold Open Access option, what do I do? 

  • It may be that your journal has not had this kind of request before. While many journals owned and managed by big publishing houses have adapted to Gold Open Access very quickly, others have been slower. It is worth contacting the journal to find out if they can offer a Gold Open Access option with a CC-BY licence.
  • You can still comply with University, HEFCE and RCUK policies by self-archiving (depositing) your author final version of your article in our institutional repository, CentAUR.

Which version of my journal article must I self-archive?

You must deposit the author final manuscript of your article into CentAUR as soon as it is accepted for publication in order to comply with the University Open Access Policy (PDF), and with the HEFCE policy for Open Access in the REF.

You can check publisher policies in advance using the SHERPA/ROMEO website which summarises publishers’ copyright and self-archiving policies. Versions prior to peer review are out of scope for CentAUR and not compliant with RCUK requirements. The terminology for versions varies between policies:


Alternative terminology 


Pre-refereed paper as submitted

Author pre-print, Submitted manuscript under review

Out of scope for CentAUR 

Final draft incorporating peer review corrections 

Postprint, Author post-print, Author accepted manuscript, Author final manuscript, Author's final draft. NOT yet copyedited or typeset by the publisher. NOT a publisher proof. 

Deposit in CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication

Final published version  

Publisher's PDF, Version of record  

Can be deposited in CentAUR in addition to the above version (if permitted by the publisher)

My journal of choice doesn’t permit me to self-archive my journal article within my funder's embargo period, or at all. What do I do? 

Sometimes publishers may not have had this request before, so attempt to negotiate terms with the publisher.

If your journal of choice neither allows paid Gold Open Access, nor deposit in an institutional repository (Green open access) with compliant embargo periods, and publication elsewhere is not appropriate for your work, you can proceed but your article, but: 

  • It will not count as compliant in the data reported back to RCUK 
  • It will be eligible for the REF as an exception but to achieve this you must deposit the author final manuscript in CentAUR. It will be embargoed or locked to comply with publisher policy.

Use the SHERPA/FACT web tool to check whether your journal is compliant with RCUK policy

My article has images in it that can't be made freely available, what do I do about Open Access?

Humanities in general, but especially Art History, rely on images. Reproducing images from museums and galleries often involves significant licensing fees, especially if online. If this is not possible, Green Open Access with images removed is an option, in which case the article can be deposited in CentAUR. If removal of the images significantly affects the sense and quality of the article, a redacted version should not be deposited.

My funder isn't listed in SHERPA/FACT. How can I find my funder's policy?

The SHERPA/JULIET database lists many more funders. Search this to find out whether your funder has a policy about making publications Open Access. Then search the SHERPA/ROMEO database to find your journal's self-archiving and Open Access policies; read the summary of these on the ROMEO site to see if they are offering options that are consistent with the funder policies.

Is funding available for making monographs Open Access?

Yes, there is limited funding available – please see Open Access funding for research monographs for more details.


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