Frequently Asked Questions

What is Open Access?

Open Access is free unrestricted online access to publicly funded scholarly research as soon as possible after the point of publication.

Why is Open Access Important?

•Maximises the dissemination and visibility of research worldwide


•Makes work accessible to other researchers


•Available to everyone, not just subscribers and those who pay for content


•Increased visibility and citations


•Increases effectiveness and efficiency of the research process, by providing easy access to research previously undertaken.


•Most research is publicly funded and therefore should be available to the public without cost


•Increased visibility and citations


•Increased innovation and economic growth driven by access to the latest research


•Increased opportunities for collaboration and the wider sharing and use of research information


•To comply with funders funding policies - such as RCUK and COAF


•To meet the requirements for eligibility of submission in the post-REF2014


What is the University of Strathclyde's policy on Open Access?

The University of Strathclyde expects that all research active staff will upload their research outputs to Pure at the point of acceptance and meet the requirements for the next REF as indicated by the UKRI Policy on OA. Manuscripts will then be deposited in Strathprints, the University's Institutional Repository, as soon as possible in compliance with publishers' copyright restrictions.

What is an Institutional Repository?

An institutional repository is an online service for collecting, preserving, and disseminating (in digital form) the intellectual output of an institution.

At the University of Strathclyde the institutional repository is Strathprints.

Institutional repositories:

  • Provide open access to institutional research output by enabling researchers to deposit their research;
  • Help to create global visibility for institutional research;
  • Collect content in a single location;
  • Store and preserve other institutional digital assets, including unpublished or otherwise easily lost ("grey") literature such as working papers or technical reports.

Most institutional repositories also adhere to a number of technical protocols to ensure they are highly visible to search agents, such as Google Scholar.

Depositing your research in Strathclyde's institutional repository is achieved via Pure, the University’s Current Research Information System.

How is REF eligibility affected by Open Access?

In order to be REF-eligible, all peer-reviewed journal articles and conference items accepted for publication after 1st April 2016 must have their accepted author manuscripts deposited in an Open Access repository. Outputs must be deposited as soon as possible and not later than 3 months after their date of acceptance. Publisher embargoes should be no more than 12 months for Panel A and B (STEM) and no more than 24 months for Panel C and D (HaSS); if your publishing destination stipulates an embargo in excess of the stated maxima, contact for further advice.

Which version of my manuscript is required?

The version of your paper that should be deposited in Pure is the 'accepted author manuscript' (AAM). This can also be known as the 'post-print'. An AAM is a copy of the manuscript with peer review comments implemented and at the point it was accepted by the editor but prior to any copyediting. It is essential that any reviewer comments have been implemented as the intellectual content must be equal to that contained in the final published version.

Where a publisher does not operate peer-review, the AAM is considered to be the final version of the manuscript submitted to the publisher for publication.

Why is recording the date of acceptance necessary?

In order to comply with HEFCE policies on Open Access it is essential that manuscripts are uploaded to Pure within 3 months of acceptance for publication. As such, the date of acceptance must be recorded in Pure in order that the timeline can be confirmed.

How are embargo periods managed?

If a publisher requires an embargo be applied to the accepted manuscript this can be facilitated through Pure. It is not necessary to stipulate this upon upload, repository staff will check publisher requirements prior to validating any item in Pure.

The journal I am publishing with disallows Open Access publishing, what should I do?

If you are considering publishing, or have had an article accepted for publication, in a journal that has no open access policy or actively prevents it please get in touch with the open access team who can advise further on compliance and available options.

Pure gives me the option to select the degree of public access to my uploaded manuscript and the licence that is applied, what should I choose?

Repository staff will check publisher policies (most often via SHERPA/RoMEO) for all items uploaded to Pure and apply the correct access restrictions and licencing where required. As such, a licence does not require to be selected and manuscripts can be uploaded as 'open'.

Is it necessary to pay for Open Access in order to ensure REF-eligibility?

No. The UKRI policy stipulates that they do not expect authors or institutions to have to pay fees to meet their requirements for the REF. The vast majority of publishers offer a green route to open access where a research output can be freely made available in an institutional repository (often after an embargo period). If a publisher disallows green open access and a fee is required for which funding is not available then an exception may be applied if it was the most appropriate publishing destination for the particular research output.

Am I required to upload book chapters and other research outputs that are not subject to the HEFCE policy?

The HEFCE policy stipulates that all journal and conference items be deposited in an institutional repository, however this is a "minimum requirement". Whilst long-form publications are excluded from the minimum requirements, HEFCE has indicated that institutions should be proactive in attempting to make these outputs openly accessible too and those that are capable of demonstrating such proactivity will be rewarded under the “environment” component of the next REF.

Not all publishers allow full text deposit of long-form publications’ chapters; repository staff will always confirm a publisher's policy before depositing any manuscript in accordance with their stipulations.

I am one of a number of authors on this paper and I had no access to the accepted author manuscript, what should I do?

It is expected that every effort is made to secure an accepted author manuscript and deposit it within the required timeframe, however it is understood circumstances may at times make this difficult, in particular when a paper has a large number of authors and the Strathclyde member of staff is not the corresponding author. If this is the case, please contact the open access team who will look into alternate arrangements to secure compliance.

Can I make changes to the Pure record for my research output once it has been validated?

In order to ensure the accuracy of details held in Pure, publication information (such as volume/issue number, pages numbers, and so forth) may be updated when known. However, it is important not to remove or alter the visibility of deposited manuscripts once a record has been validated. Once a file has been deposited it is date-stamped and any changes to it may affect REF-eligibility.

I do not intend for this research output to be submitted to REF, must I still deposit it?

It is a requirement that all peer-review journal and conference items affected by the UKRI policies on Open Access are deposited in Pure, whether or not it is anticipated they will be submitted to REF.

How do I request funding for Gold Open Access?

Please create a record in Pure for your output and contact as early as possible in the publication process. A member of the team will be in touch if further information is required and to advise on the publisher's payment and publication process.

My paper will be published Gold OA, is there still a requirement to upload the AAM to Pure?

Yes. It is necessary that an AAM is deposited while we await Gold publication to ensure compliance and in order that funder acknowledgements may be checked.

What are hybrid journals?

Hybrid journals are subscription journals that offer authors the option of publishing Open Access articles. These journals combine closed access articles (access by subscription only) with Open Access articles.

This model requires the payment of a publishing fee (article processing charge (APC)  to the publisher in order for their work to be made open access.

What is a DOI?

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are unique alphanumeric combinations assigned to an electronic article.

A DOI will never change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article or dataset.

DOIs can be made into links by adding before the DOI number.

The link will then take you to the abstract of the article, with options to access the full-text.

DOIs can be located using the DOI look-up site at:

What is an ORCID?

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.

ORCID provides two core functions:

  1. A registry to obtain a unique identifier and manage a record of activities
  2. APIs that support system-to-system communication and authentication. ORCID makes its code available under an open source license, and will post an annual public data file under a CC0 waiver for free download.

These identifiers, and the relationships among them, can be linked to the researcher's output to enhance the scientific discovery process and to improve the efficiency of research funding and collaboration within the research community. 

For more information: Orcid

If my research outputs are available in an external repository/personal/departmental website, do I still need to deposit these in PURE?

Yes, all research outputs should be deposited in PURE.

PURE will be used for our submission to the next REF, we can only report on research outputs that are in PURE.

Once you have deposited your research output in PURE, you can use the link from Strathprints for personal websites/departmental websites and subject/external repositories - this will ensure that if there is a change, that once the change is made in PURE this will be done automatically for any other links.

Social networking sites like and ResearchGate are not repositories and do not provide the same sorts of services, such as preservation and making sure your article is abdiding by publisher's polices and findable by Google Scholar and other scholarly search engines.

Who can I contact for help/further advice?


 Open Access

Pablo de Castro
Open Access Advocacy Librarian

 Telephone Ext:  4666

 PURE  Email:

Christine Gallacher
Pure Systems Administrator

 Telephone Ext:  4503
Research Data Management Email:
   Telephone Ext:  4581


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