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Essential information about Open Access


Open Research staff are currently working remotely - for any queries about Open Access contact: in the first instance.


Plan S : new Open Access initiative from UK and European funders

In September 2018, a new initiative was announced to realise full and immediate open access. A coalition of European funders including UKRI has developed “Plan S” which aims to mandate open access from January 2021, according to a set of 10 principles

Plan S will NOT affect REF2021 - Although UKRI is a signatory to Plan S, Research England has stated that OA policy for REF 2021 will not change. 

We recommend researchers in St Andrews await outcomes of the full implementation of Plan S, while noting the information currently available:

The guidance suggests that three routes to achieve OA will be compliant: 

  • Publish in fully Open Access journals listed in the DOAJ or on Open Access platforms 

  • Deposit in Open Access repositories listed in OpenDOAR 

  • Publish in subscription journals with 'transformative' agreements in place or that permit accepted manuscripts to be deposited immediately 

The guidelines cover questions of cost, licensing and timing, with expectations for all stakeholders including researchers, research organisations and research funders. There are also a range of technical requirements listed for journals, publishers and repositories. 
In addition, cOAlition S members intend to subscribe to the principles on research assessment set out in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and there will be an expectation for institutions to commit to similar principles. Note : the University is now signed up to DORA

Please contact us if you have any questions on any of the above.


Institutional and REF Open Access requirements

The four UK Funding Councils (including SFC, and led by Research England) have introduced an Open Access Policy for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). In order to be eligible for REF2021, the policy requires articles and conference proceedings to be deposited in an institutional repository when they are accepted for publication. St Andrews has embedded the policy as an institutional requirement.

See: more about REF2021 OA Policy. The policy is contained in paragraphs 105-114 of the final guidance on submissions with detailed guidance in paragraphs 223-255.

Make sure your work can meet institutional and REF requirements by entering the details of your publications into Pure and at the same time uploading your Author Accepted Manuscript in Pure for all articles and proceedings.

The Open Access team will continue to advise on other funders’ policies and to pay eligible Open Access costs for RCUK* and Wellcome Trust-funded papers.

*Please note as of 1 Nov 2017, UKRI funds are only available to cover APC costs in fully Open Access journals. See details on our OA funding page.


What do I need to do?

Make sure your work can meet institutional and REF requirements by uploading your Author Accepted Manuscript* in Pure as soon as possible along with the date of acceptance. *This is your full text version of the manuscript after peer review and including any final changes, but before publisher typesetting or copy-editing by the publisher. Please do not upload final publisher versions, or typeset proofs.

Log in to Pure and upload your paper as soon as it is accepted, with the date of acceptance – the Open Access team will take care of the rest.

Crucial actions for researchers:

  • Acknowledged funders in publications, including grant number(s)
  • Deposit your author accepted manuscript in Pure at the point of acceptance, along with the date of acceptance – the Library will then be able to see all the details, complete the record, and can give appropriate advice
  • Link publications with the relevant grant in Pure
  • Send any queries with details of your accepted manuscript to

See our Pure help pages for guidance on how to deposit.

Open Access costs

We can advise on funding available to pay Open Access fees where necessary. In many cases you can comply with Open Access requirements without paying a fee, by uploading your Author Accepted Manuscript in Pure.

What is my funder’s policy?

Most funders require Open Access. These policies are a condition of grant, and it is important that all St Andrews authors know how to comply.

See our funder policy pages for additional information.

Help and support

We offer support and information on many different aspects of Open Access. We can

  • support researchers to achieve Open Access and comply with funders’ policies
  • provide guidance on licensing, versions and individual publisher deals
  • offer advice on funding available to pay Open Access fees, and when you need to select a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence
  • information and reports on usage statistics for open access content in St Andrews Research Repository
  • and we are keen to work with Schools to develop efficient mechanisms for deposit in Pure.

If you would like us to visit your School or Department, please email:

Additional support is available for Research Data Management from

The Open Research blog is a useful resource for the latest policy announcements and updates and features a variety of posts on all things open at St Andrews and beyond - St Andrews Open Research