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University open access policies

B‌elow, you can find details of policies that apply to Open Research at the University, including the institutional open access policy, policy for managing centrally administered open access funds, eligibility criteria for accessing central open access funds and publisher Transformative Agreements and the Open Research Exeter (ORE) policy. Click each heading to find out more. Policies relating to Research Data Management and open data can be found on this page.

Institutional open access policy

The University of Exeter’s new Open Access Policy (April 2022) replaces the open access elements of the Open Access Research and Research Data Management Policy. The research data management part still applies, until such time as a new University Research Data Management Policy is published. The University now supports all open access routes equally (green, gold and diamond) rather than green being the preferred route. The policy does not bring any significant change for researchers as it still follows the current REF 2021 open access policy requirements. 

T‌he new Open Access Policy in summary:

  • peer-reviewed journal articles (including reviews and conference papers) that are accepted for publication in a journal, conference proceedings (with an ISSN) or publishing platform must be uploaded via Symplectic to ORE upon, or at the very latest within three months of, acceptance for publication
  • outputs published open access with a Creative Commons licence should still be uploaded to ORE
  • authors of other output types such as monographs or book chapters are encouraged to pursue open access publication, where possible and practical
  • researchers must comply with their funder open access policy (if applicable)
  • funds are available to publish in open access venues (subject to availability); contact the Open Research team upon submission to apply
  • researchers are encouraged to make use of Transformative Agreements that the Library has signed with publishers, which enable open access publishing without publishing fees as it has already been paid for
  • where funds are available to pay for open access from the funder of research e.g. European Research Council, Horizon 2020, researchers are encouraged to recoup these costs

Policy for managing central open access funds

The University of Exeter policy for managing central open access funds

Funds will be prioritised to support:

  • OA publishing fees where these are essential to publication e.g. fully open access journals
  • Transformative Agreements with publishers

For more details, view the Central open access funds policy and FAQ.

Eligibility criteria: open access funds and publisher agreements

Revised eligibility criteria for accessing the University's central open access funds and publisher Transformative Agreements have been approved by the Research and Impact Executive Committee (REIC) and will apply to requests received from 1st May 2023. From this date, researchers that can access these are as follows:

  • currently employed members of staff
  • students of the University (PGR, PGT and UG) during their course and for 2 (STEM) or 3 (HASS) years afterwards, when publishing research that was conducted at the University 
  • staff that left / retired from the University between 1st August 2020 and the next REF
  • clinicians (with University of Exeter Associate status)
  • funded through the Council for At Risk Academics (and with University of Exeter Associate status)

Affiliation will be verified at the point of approving an open access request, which is usually at submission to a full open access journal and upon acceptance to a "hybrid" one.

Existing criteria for accessing the central funds are maintained (see central open access funds policy above). When publishing through Transformative Agreements, it must always be the corresponding author that meets the affiliation criteria, as defined in the publisher licence for the agreement. When using Exeter's central funds or publisher agreements, a University of Exeter affiliation must be included on the paper.

ORE policy

This document is the policy for Open Research Exeter (ORE), the institutional repository of the University of Exeter: ORE policy.

University of Exeter Rights Retention Policy

The University of Exeter Rights Retention policy applies to:

  • authors and co-authors who are Staff or Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) at the University of Exeter
  • journal articles or conference proceedings with an ISSN that are authored or co-authored whilst affiliated with University of Exeter
  • first submitted for publication from 1st January 2024
Under the policy:
  • The University waives ownership of copyright of and acknowledges that members of staff own the copyright to, scholarly works they create, such as academic journal articles, text books, conference papers and related presentations/aide memoires for personal use, see the University Intellectual Property (IP) policy.
  • In exchange for waiving ownership of copyright, authors grant the University a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free licence to make manuscripts of their scholarly articles publicly available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence or a similar licence terms 
  • Authors apply a CC-BY licence to the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) upon submission, giving precedence over any subsequent publisher's licensing agreement.
How to comply:
  • Include the following wording in all article submissions, in the manuscript and any covering letter: “For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission"
  • An alternative statement with the same intended outcome can be used if required by specific funders.  
  • Inform your co-authors about the University's Rights Retention policy and agree on a licence before submission.
  • Whilst CC-BY is strongly encouraged, the University recognizes the need for different licences based on funder requirements, such as CC BY NC/ND or the Open Government Licence for research subject to Crown copyright.
  • After acceptance, upload the accepted manuscript (containing the Rights Retention wording above) via Symplectic to ORE. If you are also publishing open access on the publisher website, you may wait and upload the final published PDF, as soon as possible after publication.
Contacting publishers:
The Library contacted publishers on 1st May 2024 to inform them of the Institutional Rights Retention policy, applying a CC BY licence to the accepted manuscript version of all articles with a University of Exeter author. You should still include the Rights Retention statement above in all article submissions but - for articles first submitted after 1st May 2024 to a journal published by a publisher that we contacted - even if the Rights Retention statement was not included, your accepted manuscript version will be made immediately open access in ORE with a CC BY licence under the Institutional Rights Retention policy. Please get in touch if you would like to check whether we contacted a particular publisher, or if you would like us to send notification to a publisher that has not already been contacted.
Opt Out:
The University recognizes that complex situations may arise where compliance with the policy is challenging. In such cases, staff members can voluntarily opt out of the requirement for immediate open access or the assignment of a CC BY licence in respect of a specific submission. Contact the Open Research team at submission if you need to opt out, then indicate the opt out status for your article when you upload in Symplectic at acceptance. Opt outs must be confirmed at the latest when you upload via Symplectic to ORE; if we have not been notified of your wish to opt out, the article may be made immediately open access in ORE under the CC BY licence, which is irrevocable.
Register online to attend an information session about the Rights Retention Policy.
Read more about Rights Retention.