Open AccessFunding Open Access

Please read the New UKRI Open Access Policy Briefing (pdf) and contact with your questions.

As stated in the section devoted to Read & Publish deals below, Strathclyde has agreements in place with a number of publishers that allow any manuscript with a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author accepted in any of their hybrid journals (lists of eligible titles under the various deals are provided below) to be published Gold Open Access at no cost for the author(s).

SPRD Newsletter on Open Access Publishing for Researchers  (Jan 2024)

1. Introduction: Funding Open Access

2. Mechanisms to obtain Gold Open Access funding from the library:

2.1 Block Grant Funding

2.2 Read & Publish Deals

  • ACS Read & Publish Deal
  • Brill Publishing
  • Cambridge Read & Publish Deal
  • Institute of Physics Deal
  • Karger
  • Sage Read and Publish Deal
  • Springer Compact
  • Wiley Read and Publish Deal
  • Oxford Read and Publish Deal
  • Royal Society Read and Publish Deal
  • RSC
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Elsevier Read and Publish Deal**
  • American Institute of Physics Read and Publish Deal
  • OPTICA Publishing Group
  • Geological Society of London Deal
  • World Scientific Publishing Deal
  • Other publishers
  • Other agreements

3. Institutional Open Access Fund (IOAF)

4. Open Access funding for long-form publications (books and book chapters)

5. FAQs

1. Introduction: Funding Open Access

Gold Open Access is where a paper is made fully open on the publisher's website, often for a fee or 'Article Processing Charge' (APC).

There are a number of Open Access funding opportunities available to authors affiliated with the University of Strathclyde. In most cases, Open Access funding eligibility will depend on whether a specific research output acknowledges funded projects from a number of research funding bodies. 

There is however an increasing number of opportunities for ‘unfunded manuscripts’ to be published Gold Open Access via the so-called offsetting agreements or Read & Publish deals with given publishers. This landscape is quickly evolving as a result of the issuing of the 2019 ‘Plan S’ by a number of European research funders, among them UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Wellcome Trust.

The first step for requesting funding for the payment of an Open Access publishing fee (or APC, Article Processing Charge) is contacting the Open Access team ( Provide as much detail as possible regarding the manuscript. The most common time to do this is upon manuscript acceptance. However, depending on the publisher this could be prior to submission.

When Gold OA funding eligibility has been confirmed by the Library, advice will be provided for progressing the publication process in order to deal with the copyright transfer (usually by filling in an online form) and the necessary financial transaction.

Please note - no fees will generally be covered by the Library unless the Open Access team is first contacted about funding eligibility prior to requesting Gold Open Access from the publisher.

Authors are strongly encouraged to create a Pure record for the publication as soon as possible in the publishing cycle. Ideally including in a full-text version of the accepted manuscript. This allows the Library to easily check the corresponding authorship, the co-author network, and any funding acknowledgements that may be included in the paper.

2.1 Block Grant Funding

Two annual block grants for Open Access payments have been received by Strathclyde in the past few years from specific research funders. These are: 

  • the Research Councils UK/UK Research and Innovation (RCUK/UKRI)
  • the Charities Open Access Fund (COAF) led by the Wellcome Trust

*The Charities OA Fund has now been disbanded (see FAQs). However, Strathclyde is still receiving some funding from some individual research funders that used to be part of COAF, namely the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

These block grants are aimed at covering the Open Access publishing fees for accepted manuscripts that carry an acknowledgement of any project funded by these research funding bodies.

However, having a UKRI- or former COAF-funded manuscript accepted does not automatically imply that the APC will be covered from the block grant. This is due to the volume of manuscripts funded by these funders, and previous attempts to fund Open Access for them all led to an overspend: the UKRI block grant allocated to Strathclyde for the period Aprirl 1 2018 to March 31 2019 ran out as of mid-November 2019.

In order to contain the expenditure and allow the UKRI block grant to last for the whole expected term of application, a 'no-hybrid policy' is largely being applied. This means that as a rule only those manuscripts accepted in fully Open Access journals are being granted Open Access funding from the library via the UKRI award.

Open Access journals are titles with mandatory APC payments and no subscription charges for reading their papers. Some popular examples at Strathclyde are Scientific Reports, Nature Communications and all titles published by fully Open Access publishers such as PLoS, MDPI, Frontiers or Copernicus. An increasing number of Elsevier and Wiley journals are also Open Access. See a full list of Open Access titles funded by the library in the past few years.

In order to find out if your manuscript qualifies for Gold Open Access funding from these block grants, contact us as soon as possible in the publishing cycle.

Please note that authors should not directly order Gold Open Access on any online form before checking with the library.

Where the library is expected to cover the Open Access publishing fee, publishers always check with the library for validation of these author requests. Because of the funding eligibility policy described above, a number of these ‘external’ requests are being turned down, and there’s a risk that the invoice will eventually be sent to the author.

 2.2 Read & Publish Deals

The Open Access landscape is gradually evolving from case-specific Open Access funding workflows for individually funded papers to blanket agreements with publishers that cover both the subscription fees (the "Read" side) and the Open Access publishing costs (or part thereof). Such Read & Publish agreements may also cover unfunded accepted manuscripts.

These agreements allow any accepted manuscript where Strathclyde holds the corresponding authorship to be published Gold Open Access at no cost to the authors (i.e. with no APC payment), regardless of whether the manuscripts carry an acknowledgement to a specific funded project.

These are the lists of eligible titles under the main R&P deals. Because these deals sometimes include discounts for fully Open Access titles with mandatory APC fees, it’s always wise to contact the Library for a confirmation of the eligibility of your title of choice.:


List of eligible titles

Springer Nature

Eligible Springer titles

Eligible Nature Research titles

*Please note that fully Open Access titles published by SN are not covered by this agreement. This includes Springer Open, BioMed Central, Scientific Reports, Nature Comms and the Palgrave titles not included in the lists above


Wiley eligible titles (spreadsheet) under the Wiley R&P deal


Sage eligible titles (spreadsheet)


CUP eligible titles (spreadsheet)


OUP eligible titles

Taylor & Francis

Taylor and Francis eligible titles


Karger eligible titles (spreadsheet)

Institute of Physics

IOP eligible titles

American Institute of Physics

AIP eligible titles

American Physical Society

APS Journals


Elsevier eligible titles

National Academy of Sciences (USA)


American Chemical Society

ACS eligible titles

Royal Society of Chemistry

RSC eligible titles

Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

JMIR eligible titles

Brill Publishing

Brill eligible titles

OPTICA Publishing Group

Optica eligible titles (pdf)

Geological Society of London

Geographical Society of London eligible titles (Word doc)

World Scientific Publishing

World Scientific Publishing

Royal Society

Royal Society eligible titles


Any accepted manuscript with a Strathclyde corresponding author, in a list of over 2000 Springer titles, may apply for Gold Open Access at no cost to the authors by just ticking a box on the online copyright transfer form the author will receive after the manuscript is accepted.

The list of eligible titles changes every year and some prominent Springer titles are not included in the deal. It's worth checking with the Library for a confirmation of eligibility while a manuscript is under review or even before submission. Ticking the Gold Open Access box on this online form will typically trigger an automated notification to the library for approval.

Eligible Springer titles

Eligible Nature Research titles

*Please note that fully Open Access titles published by SN are not covered by this agreement. This includes Springer Open, BioMed Central, Scientific Reports, Nature Comms and the Palgrave titles not included in the lists above

In order for such a Gold OA request to be approved, we will need a record for the publication to be available in Pure with the date of manuscript acceptance and the full-text accepted manuscript in order that we are able to see the co-author network and any possible funding acknowledgements. While this latter aspect is not critical for Open Access funding eligibility purposes, it is still important for our internal reporting.

The list of papers published Gold Open Access via the Springer Compact has significantly increased since the Library started applying the no-hybrid policy described above.

Furthermore, the distribution of the published papers across departments under this scheme sees a far less pronounced divide across disciplines than the funding awarded from the block grants described above, which tends to focus on departments running a large number of EPSRC-funded projects.

During 2019, we began trialling a new blanket agreement with the American Chemical Society to provide Gold Open Access to any accepted manuscript with a Strathclyde corresponding author. These are usually authors within Pure and Applied Chemistry and Chemical and Process Engineering, and at times Physics and SIPBS.

Similar to the mechanics of the Springer Compact, the Library receives an automated notification upon manuscript acceptance, following which we contact the Strathclyde author to ensure the paper is available in Pure.

As the number of annual articles able to be published under this agreement is capped, we encourage Strathclyde authors with an ACS manuscript in the pipeline to contact the library in order to confirm the Gold Open Access funding for the paper even if the manuscript has yet to be accepted.

Strathclyde has now joined a national-level agreement with this publisher.

Under this deal, any accepted manuscript with a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author in a hybrid journal published by Wiley will be eligible for Gold Open Access at no cost to the researchers.

This is a very relevant agreement given the high number of papers published in Wiley titles by Strathclyde authors on a yearly basis. However, it's not unlimited. There is a cap on the total number of eligible articles on a national basis that will need to be kept in mind.

Please check with the Library at if you have a manuscript in the pipeline in a Wiley title so we can confirm:

  • (i) its potential eligibility for 'free' Gold Open Access under this deal, and
  • (ii) the procedure for making the Gold Open Access request

*As of June 30th, 2021, changes to the terms of the Wiley deal mean that only manuscripts published in hybrid titles that acknowledge UKRI, Wellcome Trust. British Heart Foundation (BHF), and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funding will remain eligible under this R&P deal. This is to guarantee that all funded research by these research funders would be published OA in 2021. 

As of 2021, Strathclyde has entered an additional Read & Publish deal with Cambridge.

Similar to the other ones, this agreement involves the possibility of any manuscript with a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author accepted in any hybrid CUP eligible titles (spreadsheet) to be published Gold Open Access at no cost for the authors.

Contact us at for confirmation of eligibility as your manuscript nears acceptance.

Authors of eligible accepted manuscripts will just need to request Gold OA in the copyright transfer form for their papers and the library will receive an automated request. In order to approve it we will need to have a Pure record available with the full-text accepted manuscript.

As per the agreement that Strathclyde has signed with the Insitute of Physics (IOP), any accepted manuscript in a hybrid title published by IOP that carries a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author will also qualify for Gold Open Access at no cost for the authors.

Please get in contact for more details as your IOP manuscript nears acceptance or right upon manuscript acceptance, as none of these R&P deals may be retrospectively applied.

This agreement allows open access publishing in the Karger hybrid and open access titles where papers have a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author. 

The R&P deal Strathclyde has signed with Sage is similar to the Wiley one in terms of its relevance given the number of annual publications in Sage titles by Strathclyde authors.

We are still to receive full details about the way this agreement will be rolled out. However, same as the other ones, it will involve 'free' Gold Open Access for accepted manuscripts in hybrid titles by Sage with a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author.

This agreement is however a bit different from all the other ones in that the distribution of Sage publications across Strathclyde departments and schools shows a strong prevalence of papers in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This means this specific deal should be of particular interest to HaSS researchers at Strathclyde.

As of January 2021, Strathclyde has signed a Read & Publish deal with Oxford University Press that will allow any accepted manuscript in the list of eligible titles under the Oxford Read & Publish Deal to be published Gold Open Access as long as it has a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author.

Please see the Oxford Step by step user guide for authors (pdf) that the publisher has made available.

You may also reach out to the Open Access Team at for any query.

As of Spring 2021, Strathclyde has signed a new Read & Publish deal with Taylor & Francis that will allow any manuscript with a Strathclyde submitting corresponding author accepted in any of the list of Taylor & Francis Eligible Titles to be published Gold Open Access.
The publisher has committed to retrospectively switch to Gold Open Access any such papers they may have published in Q1 2021. Authors may get a notification asking them to update their publishing agreement to Gold Open Access. The licence to select in such an updated publishing agreement should be a Creative Commons Attribution (aka CC BY).

Elsevier and JISC have established an agreement that continues reading access for UK researchers and enables open access publishing.

When publishing in eligible Elsevier journals, authors will be able to choose to publish open access at no additional cost to the author. This agreement is effective until the end of December 2024.

This agreement supports corresponding authors affiliated with a JISC participating institution, regardless of the department in which they work. Authors are able to:

  • publish their peer-reviewed research open access, at no charge
  • publish eligible articles in a wide variety of participating Elsevier journals across disciplines
  • the author must be the submitting corresponding author affiliated with the eligible institution
  • articles must have an acceptance date between 1.1.2022 and 31.12.2024

This provides immediate open access for all research articles published by Strathclyde corresponding authors, with no additional cost to the author.

The agreement allows you to publish open access in the AIP’s hybrid subscription titles. The agreement also provides access to AIP Publishing’s peer-reviewed, hybrid journals.

AIP Publishing’s open access journals (AIP Advances, APL Bioengineering, APL Materials, APL Photonics, Structural Dynamics, and Matter and Radiation at Extremes) are not included in the agreement as they are already open access publications.

This provides immediate open access for research articles published in certain OPTICA journals by Strathclyde corresponding authors at no cost to researchers with the publication fees now being covered by the University. Please consult the Optica eligible titles (pdf) under this deal. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Open Access Team at  for any additional query.

There is currently a list of Geographical Society of London eligible titles (Word doc) covered by the R&P deal Strathclyde has with this society publisher. This provides immediate open access for research articles accepted in these titles. From 2023 the journal Geoenergy will be added to this list.

The deal also covers publishing in GSL Special Publications, Memoirs and Engineering Geology Special Publications. 

This agreement offers unlimited read access and uncapped open access publishing for corresponding authors for The Royal Society’s full journals package (Package S) of 8 hybrid and 2 open access journals, in full compliance with the policies of UKRI & Wellcome.

Eligible Royal Society Titles

Authors may select Gold OA for their manuscripts in these journals at no cost for the author(s) upon acceptance. 

Strathclyde has subscribed to the WSPC Read and Publish Pilot. Corresponding authors may publish primary research and review articles with no further Article Publication Charges (APCs) to the authors for hybrid journals which offers Open Access option and at 20% discount for full Open Access Journals. Participating UK institutions will also have “read access”(but not post-cancellation access) to all unsubscribed content from 2001 to 2023. To publish without having to pay an additional APC, the article's corresponding author must be from a participating UK HEI and the article must have been accepted on or after 1 January 2023.


Other publishers

Multiple publishers are currently negotiating similar blanket agreements with the appropriate university library consortia (Jisc Collections for the UK and/or SHEDL for Scotland). These include among others the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Microbiology Society and Portand Press. We will keep this section up to date as soon as any new agreement is added to the list of the existing ones.

Other agreements

In addition to the Read & Publish deals described above, Strathclyde also has agreements with publishers for obtaining discounts on the price of Open Access publishing fees paid from the library. These other agreements are described elsewhere.

3. Institutional Open Access Fund (IOAF)

As of October 2019, a new institutional Open Access Fund (IOAF) has been added to the available funding for the library to cover Open Access publishing fees. This small fund has been contributed by the University to complement the block grants provided by specific research funders. The IOAF will mainly aim to provide an alternative funding route for high-quality papers that would otherwise not be eligible for Open Access funding, i.e. those that don’t come under any of the funding categories described above. Additionally, this IOAF would also aim to specially serve disciplines with a lower number of (eligible) funded projects, i.e. those departments and schools on the right-hand side of the bar graph above.

Three main aspects will be taken into account when assessing the eligibility for funding under the IOAF for a specific accepted manuscript:

  1. The paper should be aligned with the REF submission profile for the department or school
  2. No other source of funding for the Open Access publishing fee should be available
  3. The manuscript should ideally have been accepted in a fully Open Access journal
  4. The funding will be preferentially allocated where possible to PGR’s first publications

The IOAF Guidance (Word doc) detailing the policy for managing the IOAF is available. Please pass on any comments to 

Please contact the Open Access mailbox for advice on the possible eligibility of a paper, even if it has not yet been submitted (some publishers will require a Gold OA confirmation upon manuscript submission). For this guidance to be provided quickly, it is recommended that a record for the publication is available in Pure by the time a specific query reaches us.

4. Open Access funding for long-form publications (books and book chapters)

General guidance: in order to make compliance as simple as possible for their UKRI-funded long-form publications, authors are strongly encouraged to select publishing venues whose fees fall below the funding caps outlined below. A SHERPA books platform is currently being developed that will allow authors and institutions to check the charges levied by specific publishers.

Please reach out to for any queries on or to request Open Access funding for your UKRI-funded book or book chapter. While the full guidance will not be made available by the UKRI until the end of Nov 2023, we will try to provide the most accurate information available at the time.

For a long time the Wellcome Trust has been the sole research funder offering Open Access funding for books and book chapters that acknowledge one of their funded projects. However, the new UKRI Open Access policy released in Aug 2021 includes a section devoted to long-form publications. The UKRI OA policy for book and book chapters applies to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 Jan 2024. Critically, this policy comes with Open Access funding opportunities for UKRI-funded authors of long-form publications.

On Nov 8th, 2023 the UKRI held a webinar to explain how the 2-stage Open Access funding application process they’ve designed for long-form publications will work (these are the slides that were presented in this UKRI sessionThis link opens a PDF document.). The 2-stage process means that the UKRI will only accept OA funding applications from institutions and not directly from authors, who should in turn ask their library for funding.

As shown in the slides The UKRI have established the following funding caps for the different types of long-form publications:

Books – maximum available funding £10,000 for Book Processing Charges or BPCs.
Book chapters – maximum available funding £1,000 for Chapter Processing Charges or CPCs.

Many publishers charge higher fees than these funding caps, but there is no guidance yet at the time of writing (Nov 17th, 2023) on how BPCs or CPCs above the funding cap will be handled. The most likely way forward is that the library will cover the maximum funding it’s allowed to allocate to a single long-form publication and the rest of the fee will need to be covered by authors from their own budgets. This remains to be confirmed though and this paragraph will be updated as soon as we have more information.

The UKRI have also established a 7-year threshold for the grants that will be eligible for OA funding. This means that if the acknowledged UKRI grant in the work is older than 7 years at the time of requesting the funding, this book or book chapter will not be eligible for Gold Open Access funding and will need to meet the UKRI Open Access policy via the Green OA route. This will be done by depositing a copy of the full-text accepted manuscript in Pure that will be placed under a 12-month embargo period and under a CC licence (preferably CC BY).

A number of exemptions are available that may allow an author to opt-out of the UKRI OA policy for long-form publications, please check Exemptions for longform publications in the slides from the Nov 8th UKRI webinarThis link opens a PDF document. to see if your output may qualify for one of these.

5. FAQs for funded research outputs

There are several ways to obtain Gold Open Access funding from the Library.

The most straightforward one is when a just accepted manuscript (i) carries an acknowledgement to a research project funded by the research funders that are subsidising Gold OA via block grants allocated to Strathclyde* and (ii) the manuscript has been accepted in a fully Open Access journal with mandatory Open Access publishing fees or APCs (Article Processing Charges).

On top of these requirements, in order for the Library to approve the Gold Open Access funding for a specific accepted manuscript, a Pure record must be available for the publication with the date of manuscript acceptance and the full-text accepted manuscript. This is so that we can check that the funding acknowledgement is correctly worded (i.e. with the full grant number) and if there is a data statement in the paper.

See additional FAQs below for 'unfunded manuscripts'.

* These are mainly (i) the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), formerly known as Research Councils UK (RCUK) and specifically the EPSRC, and (ii) the so-called Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), an association of biomedical charities led by the Wellcome Trust.

The best choice in this case is to submit your manuscript to one of the titles covered by the various R&P deals, see the read & publish deals above. If none of these were suitable for your submission, please get in contact with us to see if your manuscript could be funded under the IOAF.

Potentially, yes. Please see previous FAQ.

If the manuscript has been accepted in a journal issued by a publisher with whom Strathclyde has a so-called 'Read & Publish' agreement (pdf), this will allow the Library to grant Gold OA to an unfunded manuscript at no cost for the authors.

The main R&P agreements Strathclyde has at the moment are the Springer Compact with Springer Nature and the ACS R&P deal with the American Chemical Society.

In order for an accepted manuscript to be eligible for Gold OA under these R&P deals it will typically need the Strathclyde author to be the submitting corresponding author for the paper.

A few months ago, Strathclyde started operating its own small Institutional Open Access Fund (IOAF) that aimed to cover Open Access publishing fees, especially in cases where no other possible source of funding is available (which tends to be the case for unfunded manuscripts).

Besides this unavailability of other possible Open Access funding sources, the main criteria for granting Open Access funding from the library to specific manuscripts under this IOAF is that the paper needs to be aligned with the REF submission profile for the Department or School.

The way the evidence for this relevance is expected to be provided is via a specific message from the appropriate Director of Research confirming their agreement with funding this specific publication.

As per the requirements for Gold OA funding stated in FAQ no 1 above, a manuscript needs to have been accepted in a fully Open Access journal (i.e. with mandatory OA publishing charges) in order to become automatically eligible for funding from the library.

If the journal in which your manuscript has been accepted is a 'hybrid journal' where the APC is optional, it may well be the case that your Gold Open Access request is turned down even if the manuscript carries an eligible funded project acknowledgement. This is the so-called 'no hybrid policy' that the majority of research-intensive University libraries are applying across Scotland.

The reason why this policy is so widely applied is that there are far too many EPSRC-funded papers being published at Strathclyde, and the limited amount of Open Access funding provided by research funders like the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)/RCUK is unfortunately not enough to cover the payment of Open Access publishing fees for all of them.

In previous UKRI/RCUK block grant management exercises, we started by funding all eligible papers (i.e. those that carry an acknowledgement to an RCUK-funded project). We discovered that by mid-November we had already spent the full RCUK block grant (which is supposed to last from April 1st to March 31st the following year).

This meant that the Library had to effectively go into the red in order to cover the eligible mandatory fees in the period from mid-November 2018 until the end of March 2019. As a consequence, it was decided that the Open Access funding eligibility would be restricted when the new block grant arrived on April 1st, 2019.

The no-hybrid policy applies solely to the RCUK/UKRI block grant. If your accepted manuscript is funded by the Wellcome Trust or any other biomedical charity in the COAF, the Gold Open Access will be granted regardless of the journal title.

The REF Open Access policy requirements are met by depositing the full-text accepted manuscript with a specifically created Pure record as soon as possible upon acceptance and no longer than three months from that point in time. This is also required for Gold Open Access papers, which means that Gold Open Access should not be seen as the default route to comply with the funder mandates. Gold Open Access is aimed to increase the visibility and subsequently the number of citations for strong papers.

Publishers receive a significant amount of income every time an accepted manuscript is selected for Gold Open Access publication. It's therefore in their interest for as many to be selected for this publication model as possible.

When they state that Strathclyde has an agreement with them, they mean that they have an agreement to apply a discount to the Article Processing Charge the Library will pay for eligible papers.

The decision on which papers to fund lies ultimately with the Library. It is not recommended to directly select Gold Open Access for an accepted manuscript without previously checking the possible funding eligibility with the Library.

Publishers cannot take Gold Open Access funding requests directly from the authors. They will need to validate every direct request with the Library, which will turn down such requests unless the requirements described in item 1 above are met by the time the request is received.

Additional confusing messages regularly issued by specific publishers state that the funder favours Gold Open Access for the dissemination of the publications stemming from their funded projects. This is not for a publisher to judge but for the institution and its research library.

Please check with us at before directly selecting Gold Open Access for your accepted manuscript.

Mirror journals are the response that the publisher Elsevier has come up with in order to try and meet the requirements of Plan S. This is an initiative calling for full Open Access to all publicly-funded research outputs by 2021 led by a coalition of European research funders (Coalition S). This includes the Wellcome Trust and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Research funders are pressing for quick transitions during which journal titles become fully Open Access.

The way Elsevier are approaching this business model transition is by dividing titles like their International Journal of Pharmaceutics into two different titles with the same editorial boards.

Before this move, the Int J Pharm was a so-called hybrid journal. This was a 'closed' journal in which individual papers could be made Gold Open Access by paying an APC. After the division, there are effectively two different titles:

  • the 'original' Int J Pharm, which is now a fully closed journal with no Gold Open Access option available, and
  • the 'new' fully Open Access title called 'Int J Pharm X', where Gold Open Access is mandatory (and subsequently, also the payment of Open Access publishing fees).

'Int Pharm X' is a mirror journal.

Elsevier is creating mirror journals for many of their titles, see the full list of mirror journals on Elsevier.

The publisher asks corresponding authors to specify upon manuscript submission whether they want to target the original (now fully closed) title, in which case no Gold Open Access option will be available. Or, whether they'd wish instead to have their manuscript published in the 'mirror journal', in which case the Open Access payment will be mandatory.

Another reminder about this is sent to the corresponding author upon manuscript acceptance. Unfortunately, such messages from the publisher are often going unnoticed. Failing to make a choice will result in the accepted manuscript being allocated to the original, now fully closed journal.

If we receive a Gold Open Access request for a paper in this situation, we will not be able to process it, as there is no option to select Gold Open Access for a manuscript accepted in the now fully closed original title. The option is simply not there in the online Rights & Access form.

We have tried previously to have an accepted manuscript switched from the 'closed' journal to the 'mirror' journal, but by the time we were contacted, it was unfortunately no longer possible, meaning the paper was finally not published Gold Open Access.

The recommendation is then to contact us for any query about this as soon as possible in the publishing cycle. Ideally, right after manuscript acceptance in order that we are able to provide advice. Otherwise, it may be too late.

The term 'suitable title' may not be the most appropriate one to describe this kind of advice, but the answer is yes.

Authors are typically targeting the highest-JIF titles without often taking into consideration any other factors. However, the (expected) number of citations may not be the sole aspect to be taken into account, especially where the research may be socially impactful.

From the Library, we can provide an indication of which titles we will be able to cover the Open Access publishing fees for (or, in the case of R&P agreements like the Springer Compact, see item 2.1 above, titles where a paper can be published Gold Open Access at no cost for the authors).

The area of alternative metrics (aka next-generation metrics) is an increasingly important one for research funders like the Wellcome Trust, UKRI, or the EU, and listening to the library's recommendation could make sense regardless of what the final decision looks like.

Wellcome is committed to making sure that when we assess research outputs during funding decisions we will consider the intrinsic merit of the work, not the title of the journal or publisher. All Wellcome-funded organisations must publicly commit to this principle

(Updated Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy 2021).

As part of the movement towards responsible metrics, research funders are trying to move away from the Journal Impact Factor as the sole criteria for evaluating research quality.

A number of alternative, article-level indicators are gradually being introduced aiming to also measure societal impact for research results (see Next-generation metrics: Responsible metrics and evaluation for open science”.

The most widespread of these indicators is the Altmetric score, which many publishers (and also platforms such as Strathprints) are already embedding in their article webpages.

An Altmetric score provides an estimation of the general impact of a research publication on social media. This includes the impact on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Plus, more importantly, the mentions of papers in news outlets, policy papers, or patents among others.

A look at the highest Altmetric scores for Strathclyde papers offers a hint at research topics with a very large societal impact, such as gravitational waves, the human papillomavirus vaccine, or pollution by microplastics.

In most cases, the Open Access funding eligibility will require a Strathclyde corresponding authorship.

However, there may be exceptions depending on the route that is followed to fund a paper (i.e. via the research funders’ block grants, the Read & Publish agreements, or the Institutional Open Access Fund).

Because several factors will be relevant for potential funding eligibility, the best option is to contact the Open Access support service at to check the situation for a specific manuscript.

In order for us to provide advice on a specific paper, it is preferred that a Pure record is available with the full-text accepted manuscript uploaded by the time the funding eligibility query reaches us. This is because key factors, like the co-author network or where a specific funded project is led from, will be easier to ascertain in view of such a full-text file.

As per the research funders' requirements, we cannot process an APC payment if the full grant number for the funded project is not referenced in the manuscript acknowledgements.

Publishers will, however, normally allow the author(s) to update this manuscript section at the proof stage in order that the funders’ requirements are met prior to the online publication of the paper.

Yes. The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) partnership of six health research charities created on 1st October 2014 to enable Open Access (OA) to the published outputs of the research they support ended on the 30th of September 2020. These charities were:

  • the Wellcome Trust
  • Arthritis Research UK
  • Bloodwise
  • the British Heart Foundation (BHF)
  • Cancer Research UK (CRUK)
  • Parkinson’s UK

Following the discontinuation of the COAF block grant, individual research funders formerly grouped under the COAF banner have provided Charity Open Access Fund support for Open Access costs in this table (pdf) their specific instructions for their funded authors to follow.

Please contact the Library for more information for a specific manuscript.

Strathclyde authors are encouraged to deposit full-text copies of their pre-peer-reviewed manuscripts in a preprint server for a wider and quicker dissemination of their findings. Preprint servers like bioRxiv and ChemRxiv are seeing a growing number of Strathclyde researchers regularly deposting in them. 

Funders like the Wellcome Trust strongly encourage their funded authors to post preprints of their completed manuscripts and to publish them under a CC-BY licence. Furthermore, when there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, these preprints must be published:  

  • before peer review
  • on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript
  • under a CC-BY licence

Guided Open Access is a new pilot publishing model for Nature Physics submissions launched January 2021 by Springer Nature. Given the number of such manuscript that do eventually get cascaded to the sister journals Nature Comms and Comms Physics, the process involves the production of an Editorial Assessment Report (pdf) – a kind of early peer-review process – by the journal that will result in a recommensation to revise and resubmit to one of the sister journals.

The advantage of this Guided OA mechanism is two-fold: reviews are portable across journal titles and the aggregate APC fee will be significantly lower than the default £8,500 for Nature Physics. However, authors will be requested to pay for a £1,890 Editorial Assessment Charge, due after passing Guided Open Access suitability check. A Top-up Article Processing Charge is then payable on manuscript acceptance, whose fee will depend in the final title the manuscript gets accepted in. 

From the perspective of the library covering the APC fees for specific manuscripts, we’re happy to cover the full fee once a specific manuscript has been accepted for publication, but we cannot commit to paying for the £1,890 Editorial Assessment Charge at a time when there’s no guarantee yet that the paper will be published. Authors should hence take this £1,890 first payment themselves, that will be later reimbursed to them if/when the paper gets finally published. The library will then also take the Top-up Article Processing Charge on behalf of the authors. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you’re planning to submit under Guided Open Access so we can keep a close eye on the progress of the submission.

Research funders increasingly require all research papers, if applicable, to include a statement as to how underlying research materials, such as data, samples, software or, models, can be accessed.

However, the policy guideline is “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”, i.e. the policy does not mandate open research data. Where there may be compelling reasons to protect access to the data, such as commercial confidentiality or legitimate sensitivities around data derived from potentially identifiable human participants, these should be included in the statement.

Strathclyde has a policy of data deposit in Pure that allows Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to be minted for them in order that they may be used in manuscript data statements. The data deposit procedure is often carried out in parallel to the Gold Open Access funding process. Both areas can be part of a single conversation with the research support team within the library upon manuscript acceptance.

The RRS is a policy promoted by the cOAlition S group of research funders, which includes the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This cOAlition S previously issued (in Sep 2018) their Plan S for making Open Access the default option in scholarly communications.

Transformative (also known as Read & Publish) agreements with publishers of hybrid journals are the cornerstone of Plan S implementation, but not all publishers are offering these. The Rights Retention Strategy is a complementary policy that allows researchers funded by a cOAlition S Organisation to meet their research funders’ Open Access (OA) policy via the Green OA route, i.e. by depositing (for free) a copy of their accepted manuscript in Pure under no embargo period and under a CC-BY licence.

In order to follow the RRS*, action needs to be taken prior to manuscript submission: authors need to let publishers know that an Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) arising from their submission carries a CC-BY licence, in accordance with their grant conditions. In the case of the Wellcome Trust, who already included the RRS in their updated OA policy as of Jan 2021, they require their funded authors to include the following text in all manuscript submissions (with submission date after the 1 of January 2021):

This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

There is more information on the RRS on the cOAlition S website. Please check with the Open Access Team at if you think this could be applicable to your manuscript submission.

*The RRS is not a mandatory strategy for meeting the cOAlition S funders’ OA policies, but it only applies where no compliant Gold Open Access option is available (i.e. a fully Open Access title or a hybrid title covered by a transformative agreement). The Journal Checker Tool has been made available to check whether the RRS needs to be applied for a specific title.