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Research Publications and Open Access Policy: A Practical Guide


Open Research Test



The University's Research Publications and Open Access Policy, effective from 1st March 2023, applies to all scholarly research articles (including conference proceedings) by University of York research staff that are submitted for publication from this date onward.

The policy aims to:

  • Enable researchers to reuse and share their scholarship as widely as possible.
  • Support authors to publish their work in a publication venue of their choosing.
  • Help researchers to comply with the open access requirements of research funders such as UKRI and the Wellcome Trust.


How does the policy help me?

The policy aims to allow researchers to exercise greater sharing and reuse rights over their own research, whilst ensuring that they retain full freedom to publish in the journals of their choice.

The policy asserts the author's rights to the "accepted manuscript" of any work that they have created and that has been accepted by a journal. This means that, for all articles, the accepted manuscript can be uploaded to the University Research Repository and made openly available when the journal publishes their final version. As a result, there is now one simple Open Access process for researchers at the University to follow, for the majority of their published articles (see "What do I need to do?").

By following the University's Open Access policy, researchers also ensure that they are acting in accordance with their funders' open access requirements, and that their outputs are likely to be eligible for the next REF exercise.

In addition, open access publishing has recognised benefits and enables a wide range of audiences to engage with our researchers' excellent scholarly work. There is evidence to suggest that open access publications are accessed and cited more often than those which are not made open access, increasing researcher impact. Open research practice creates new opportunities for outputs and methods to be reused, reproduced and credited.

How does the policy work?


The policy is based on the principle of Rights Retention.

Traditional, subscription-based publication models require authors to grant publishers an exclusive right to publish their work, or to transfer copyright to the publishers. Authors retain limited rights about when, where and with whom their output can be shared. 

This policy recognises that researchers own the initial copyright to the manuscripts that they create as part of their research and that it is not necessary for an author to sign over their copyright or grant an exclusive licence to a publisher in order for their work to be published or disseminated.

Under this policy, the author will retain the rights to make their accepted manuscript openly available. This is achieved by granting the University a non-exclusive licence to make manuscripts of scholarly articles and conference papers publicly available (under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence) without embargo via the York Research Repository (Pure). This will help facilitate authors to publish their work in a venue of their choice whilst continuing to comply with funder open access requirements.

What do I need to do?



                      Rights retention process for researchers


Rights Retention Statement

Authors are encouraged to include the following Rights Retention Statement when submitting an article to a publisher. The statement can be included in the funding acknowledgement section of a manuscript and any cover letter/note on submission.

“For the purpose of open access a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is applied to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.”

Opt-out and Exceptions

In certain instances (e.g. where sensitive or 3rd-party data is included in the research article) it may not be appropriate to make your accepted manuscript openly available. Please submit the article details via this form, to let us know that you are opting-out of the policy for the output in question.

Additional Considerations

You may also want the final published version of your article to be openly available. You can make this possible either by submitting to a fully open journal, submitting to a journal covered by a transformation agreement with the University or, for certain subscription journals, via payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC). In each case, you should still submit your accepted manuscript to the repository. 


You can also contact the team by email to:

  • ask a question
  • request training for your department, research group, staff and/or postgraduate researchers
  • provide feedback on the policy