Open access publication FAQ

In the next REF exercise (expected circa 2020), all submitted academic publications must meet open access (OA) criteria. The UofG library is monitoring and ensuring compliance with these rules by archiving all eligible papers in the university's OA Enlighten archive -- see here for details of how to submit your publication. Since there are several issues specific to publication practices in some physics areas, we will collect here a set of the frequently asked questions about OA requirements in Physics & Astronomy. 

When do I need to submit my publication to Enlighten?

HEFCE's rules for REF 2020 state that the publication must be available in an OA repository within three months of acceptance by a peer-reviewed journal. If your publication has been accepted by a journal under OA rules, you are automatically compliant, but we still very strongly encourage you to submit your article to the library OA team -- it is easier to ensure overall compliance with the REF rules if we don't need to monitor case-by-case procedural exceptions. If your paper is not automatically published OA, a timely Enlighten submission is essential to ensure that your paper is eligible for submission in the REF.

What if I forget to submit my paper to Enlighten?

In the worst case, where there is no OA version available on the timescales required by REF rules, you will not be able to submit that paper to REF. Since you may not know the impact a paper will have within the first few months of submission, it's advisable to register everything with Enlighten, just to be certain. If your publication is already OA without Enlighten, you are above board with respect to REF and technically the library notification timescale is not limited to three months, but it's best to get it registered as soon as possible to reduce administrative noise and to be certain of your paper's REFable status. We receive regular updates of School publications, with compliance warnings about "missing" papers until the library is notified... ensuring that the library are notified means that you'll avoid follow-up questions from within the School!

What version of my paper should I submit?

The library require the accepted version of the paper as submitted to the journal by you ("Author Final Version"). This will be without "publisher marks" -- the library are strict about this criterion. If for some reason you do not have access to this copy (see below re. large collaborations), an exemption can be applied, and if necessary the library can pay a journal OA fee.

Does arXiv submission count as open access?

Not reliably. The REF will require that physics manuscripts be peer-reviewed, so simply being on the arXiv is not sufficient. Further, if the paper has been accepted by a non-OA journal, the cited arXiv version must include all corrections from peer review. It is simpler to either supply Enlighten with the author final version accepted by the journal, and in the case of publication in a journal without default OA to inform the library OA team who can arrange payment of a "gold OA" fee.

Who will pay the OA fee?

The library has a budget for OA fees, and will pay for your article to be published OA, as well as making it available in the open Enlighten repository.

My paper has an OA embargo, what shall I do?

Several REF exemptions are available for papers in this situation. When submitting your paper to the library OA team, please inform them about the embargo conditions.

I work in a large collaboration and was not part of the journal submission process -- what should I do?

We know of several groups with this issue. For very large collaborations with a high rate of publications, such as experienced by the particle physics experimental (PPE) group, we have arranged with the library/Enlighten team to send periodic automatically extracted lists of publication DOI identifiers, which will then be integrated into Enlighten with the appropriate characteristics. The PPE situation is simplified in that nearly all publications are already gold OA. Collaborations with lower paper rates and/or non-OA publication practices should contact the OA team as usual when publication is accepted (or as soon as possible afterwards)

Should I include conference proceedings?

Not usually in Physics & Astronomy. The library notify P&A of any unnotified and apparently non-compliant publications, and this includes conference proceedings because in some subjects these are a primary mechanism for research dissemination. Notifying the library OA team that you do not wish/require a proceedings publication to be OA because you do not intend it for REF submission is sufficient, or alternatively the library can pay an OA fee on your behalf to ensure compliance even of proceedings and similar "minor" research outputs.