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SAULCAT - St Andrews University Library Catalogue

University of St Andrews Open Access Policy

The University of St Andrews is strongly committed to ensuring the widest possible access to its research. The value and utility of research outputs increases the more widely available they are to be read and used by others. Research outputs are defined as published or publicly presented results of research work completed at the University. These outputs would typically be those submitted for research assessment, and include published reviews, original journal articles, books, book chapters, patents, works of art and published conference papers. Research outputs will normally have been subject to recognised peer review.

The University encourages its researchers to provide Open Access to published research outputs so that they are online and freely available, meeting the requirements of the growing number of research funders in the UK and internationally who now encourage or mandate Open Access.

Such access needs to be made consistent with copyright and licensing conditions that may be inherent in the research itself and in publishing agreements, and it should be subject to proper attribution.

The University believes that the UK should adopt an approach to Open Access that supports and is credible to researchers, is sustainable and makes the best use of resources. Our academics, researchers, staff and students must be free to publish in the venue of their choice.

Preferred Method of Open Access for Publication

Journal Publication

Open Access publication in journals is now mandated by a number of research funders – notably RCUK and the Wellcome Trust. Our preference in respect of publishing in journals is for Open Access by means of the Green route.  Open Access divides into ‘Gold’ (in the form of Open Access journals) and ‘Green’ (in the form of Open Access repositories).[1] Green Open Access enables authors - where the journal permits - to publish their article in the journal in the traditional way, and to self-archive a version[2] of the article within an institutional or other repository for free public use, usually after an embargo period set by the publisher.

Thus the Green approach provides most of the benefits of Open Access in a cost-effective way. It builds on our existing research information management system (known as PURE)[3] and the digital repository of full-text institutional research publications.[4] These services are also able to import information about papers authored by St Andrews researchers from subject and other repositories and to contribute St Andrews publications to larger aggregations of research publications and search engines.

We also support ‘Gold’ Open Access which usually involves paying Article Processing Charges to publishers of Open Access journals. This route may be required in particular circumstances, such as when an author wishes to publish in a journal which is only available in Open Access form, or when immediate Open Access is required and therefore an embargo period is not acceptable to the funder or author. The Library administers Open Access publication funds which are available to academic authors in certain cases where Article Processing Charges require to be paid.[5]

To achieve Green Open Access compliance, researchers should record their publications in PURE at the time of acceptance, and deposit a postprint (accepted manuscript) in the University’s repository via PURE. They should also ensure that research data associated with the published work is openly available where possible, and research data access is compliant with the research funder guidelines.


We encourage academic authors to consider Open Access publication of monographs where possible. At present, only the Wellcome Trust mandates Open Access for monographs and book chapters. Other funders have not yet included them in their policies.

Responsibility for Policy

The Open Access Policy is overseen and approved by the University Research Forum. Administration of Open Access compliance, Article Processing Charges and local repository services is undertaken by the University Library. Strategic management of the activities is provided by an Open Access Steering Group, consisting of academic staff and representatives of the Library, the Research Policy Office and the Principal’s Office.


Open Access support and further information is available from the Library webpages and from the Open Access Supportteam.


Open Access Steering Group, September 2013.

[1] For fuller definitions, see The SPARC Open Access Newsletter Open Access Overview by Peter Suber:

[2] This will be a refereed postprint (accepted manuscript). It may or may not have been copy-edited by the publisher.

[4]  St Andrews Research Repository. See

[5] At present, these funds mainly cover RCUK- and Wellcome-funded articles, but their scope should increase to include other funders over time. The Library can advise on this.