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Research Operations Office


Published on Tue, 21/04/2015 - 12:23

This message was sent from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research to all University of Cambridge research staff and research students on 24 June.

Dear Colleagues,

Open Access publication options: Advice and support for University of Cambridge authors

The Open Access agenda has developed rapidly during the last year. In the UK, there are new mandates from RCUK (all of the UK research councils), Wellcome Trust and others. There is also preparation under way for consultation and a new policy at HEFCE that could affect returns for the REF exercise anticipated in 2020. Outside the UK, there are open access initiatives in development at US and European funders. It seems likely that most of our research outputs will be subject to open access requirements of one kind or another. The main exception at present is industry-funded research.

The University supports open access, respects the academic freedom to choose where to publish, and recommends green open access (but will support gold open access where funds are provided to pay the associated fees). You can read our policy at

The pace of change has been greatest among UK funders and not all publishers are ready. Some of the funder mandates are not fully thought through. The result can be confusing, but the funders expect action on the part of authors regardless. The University is monitoring the situation and developing support for authors through a Project Board,

If you have a paper accepted for publication after 1 April 2013 please visit and enter the details of the paper and the journal in which it will be published. 

Staff will review the options available and suggest the appropriate action. If your publisher has suggested you apply for funding of Article Processing Charges (APCs) from either the Wellcome block grant or the RCUK block grant, then is the place to request such funding. You can also get help there with 'green' deposit of Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM). If the policy trailed by HEFCE comes into force, all publications may need to be made open access. So we encourage you to begin 'green' deposit of Author Accepted Manuscripts immediately.

It is anticipated that as publisher policies become clearer, it will be possible to automate much more of the process and you should expect the website and accompanying service to develop over time. The Open Access team is also working with Symplectic (the University’s database of publications for our REF submission) to ensure we do not ask you for information twice. For the moment, the open access options and decisions call for considerable interpretation and that will be provided by the Open Access team. By recording your publication acceptances, the University will have a clearer understanding of open access concerns, barriers and levels of policy compliance so please visit any time you have a paper or conference proceeding accepted for publication, or email the team at

Best wishes,

Lynn Gladden

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research