UCL’s Open Access Team is part of UCL Library Services. We provide advice on open access issues to all UCL researchers. This includes answering enquires from academics and advising on the most appropriate open access options, taking into account the journal type, authorship and funding that contributed to the article.
Green open access and the REF Policy
Much of our work involves supporting academics in using UCL’s Research Publications Service (RPS), and helping them to comply with the REF open access policy. We answer RPS- and REF-related enquires, provide individual and group training sessions, and compile regular compliance and engagement reports for departments. We also check every new article or conference proceeding record in RPS to ensure that acceptance, online publication and print publication dates are recorded correctly. Where an accepted manuscript is available on the journal’s website, or the journal’s copyright policy allows us to use the published PDF, we upload a file to RPS on the author’s behalf. If the article is published as Gold open access with a licence that allows re-use, it falls under an exception in the REF open access policy, so we add the exception to the article record and make the published PDF openly available in UCL Discovery.
In most cases, in order to comply with the REF policy and benefit from open access, the author needs to upload the accepted manuscript version of their paper to RPS. When we receive a new manuscript through RPS, the Open Access Team checks the publisher’s policy and applies any required delay period before making the manuscript openly available in UCL Discovery. If the author has uploaded a version that cannot be made open access, we contact them to request the accepted manuscript.
Separately, we manage open access for research theses. At present, there are more than 9,000 theses openly available in UCL Discovery.
Gold open access
UCL encourages Green open access. However, in some cases funds are available for Gold open access: where papers are funded by one of the UK Research Councils or the COAF medical charities, or where the article is published in a fully open access journal (where open access charges are mandatory and all papers are made openly available). We check whether papers are eligible for funding, and arrange payment – either by an invoice or via one of our prepayment agreements. Where we have paid for open access, we ensure that the paper is made openly available with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence when it’s published. We also report regularly to RCUK and COAF.