Open Access Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains most of our frequently asked questions.

If you don’t find your question answered here please contact The repository Manager



What is Bangor University’s position on Open Access?

Bangor University recognises the institution’s valuable contribution to world class research and considers sharing expertise essential to support and promote academics and nurture a knowledge society. See Bangor University’s Publications Policy.

What are the options for Open Access publishing?

There are 2 options regarding Open Access publishing:

  • Green Open Access – authors deposit an article in their Institutional Repository (IR) or via another Open Access repository or web site.
    • This may be an un-refereed preprint, but, typically, the author will publish in a journal via the traditional route and then self-archive the post-prints; 
    • There is usually no charge for depositing an article into an Institutional Repository (IR), but if you are depositing an article that was published in a non-Open Access journal originally, then the publisher may insist on certain conditions, such as an embargo period.
  • Gold Open Access – authors publish in an open access journal and the content is made immediately available via the publisher’s web site. 
    • Articles can be published in a fully Open Access journal or as an Open Access article in a traditional subscription journal (Hybrid journal);
    • Publishers often charge a processing fee (Article Processing Charge or APC) on accepted articles to cover expenses incurred through peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space.

In some cases the paid route may be the only option to comply with your funder’s requirements.

Does Bangor University have a preferred route to Open Access Publishing?

Authors may choose which route they prefer providing the respective funder’s requirements are met. However Bangor University’s Publications policy requires the deposit of copies of all published research outputs in the Institutional Repository, ensuring compliance with Funder’s and Publisher’s requirements.

What are the costs involved with Open Access?

There are no costs to the author for work published though Green Open Access. However, Gold and Hybrid Open Access publishing carry Article Processing Charges (APCs). APCs range from £800-£2,000 excluding VAT, though costs vary according to the journal or field of research. The RCUK estimate the average APC is around £1,727 excluding VAT. However, in some instances, the cost of publishing can be more.
Bangor University Library participates in a small number of membership schemes that entitle researchers at the University to discounted APCs. Please check with your librarian.

Does Bangor University contribute to APCs for researchers?

If your research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, you can apply to the trust for additional funding to pay your APCs.
If your research is funded by RCUK, you may be eligible to have the fees paid from the Block grant, which is open to all researchers, including PhD students, and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Some funders allow researchers to include publication costs in grant applications and some funders provide additional funds to cover APCs. You should contact your funder for further information.

Are articles in Open Access journals peer reviewed?

The majority of research submitted for Open Access publication is peer reviewed, though this may vary from journal to journal. Please check with your librarian or the journal provider if you are unsure.

What is meant by the terms ‘gratis’ and ‘libre’ open access?

This refers to the debate whether open access is enough or whether restrictions regarding the commercial and non-commercial re-use should be lowered.

  • Gratis Open Access – immediate, permanent online access, freely available on the web
  • Libre Open Access – immediate, permanent online access, freely available on the web PLUS rights regarding re-use, re-publication and re-mix rights.

It is generally easier for an article published via the gold route to become libre OA.
What is meant by pre-print and post-print and which version should I submit into Bangor University repository?

  • Pre-print / submitted – the article prior to peer review
  • Post-print / accepted / Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) – the author’s final draft including corrections recommended by peer reviewers. However, the AAM is still subject to proofreading and copy-editing
  • Published – the work once proofread, copy-edited, formatted and type-set for publication

Generally, it is the post-print version that should be deposited in Bangor University repository.

What does embargo period mean?

An embargo period is the length of time the Publisher restricts access to a research output. If your journal has an embargo period this will dictate when an item can be made accessible through the Digital Repository. Sherpa/ROMEO can help you identify the embargo periods of your chosen publisher.

What should I do if the journal I usually publish my work in does not provide an acceptable open access option?

Bangor University would prefer researchers to print their work in journals that comply with open access. Where this is not possible, please contact the library, as it may be possible to request an exemption for self-archiving. Please note that this process may take some time and delay submission/publication.

Should I deposit my work in the Bangor University Digital Repository rather than a subject repository?

Researchers are encouraged to submit their work to other subject-based repositories such as Archaeology Data Service and Europe PubMed Central as well as Bangor University’s institutional repository.

Who owns the copyright of my research?

A CC-BY license allows the author/author’s employer to retain copyright of their research. Work published under a CC-BY licence allows anyone to:

  • Copy, distribute or transmit the research
  • Adapt the research
  • Make commercial use of the research

Attributing the work to the author remains standard practice.

How do I know if my funder requires my publications to be made open access?

Check the terms of your grant or the website of your funding body. The RCUK and Wellcome Trust require publications to be made open access.

How do I know if a journal is considered compliant by RCUK or the Wellcome Trust?

The SherpaFACT database has been developed to check if Publisher’s are RCUK/Wellcome Trust complaint.

How can I be sure that an OA journal is genuine?

The majority of OA journals are genuine, though there are “predatory publishers” who charge authors to publish research in journals of questionable scholarly standards. A list of predatory publishers is available If you are unsure, please contact the Library and Archives Service for advice.

I am one of several authors from different institutions. Who funds the OA costs?

Generally, the lead or corresponding author/institution would fund OA costs.

What should I do if my research group is jointly funded by RCUK or Wellcome Trust and another funding source?

Any research funded or partially funded by RCUK and the Wellcome Trust should comply with OA policy.
Occasionally, joint funders have OA requirements or may provide additional funding sources to cover OA costs.

How do I access the RCUK block grant for payment of APCs?

The article must:

  1. Be the result of RCUK funded or RCUK partially funded research (including PhD study).
  2. Be a peer-reviewed research or review article being published in an academic journal or conference proceedings.
  3. Be the result of a project which has reached its end date, or a live grant which does not provide funds to cover publication costs.
  4. Include a statement acknowledging the funding that supported the research and, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, may be accessed.
  5. Be published using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.

For more information contact…

How is the RCUK block grant allocated?

Currently the block grant is allocated on a first come, first served basis. You will be notified when applying if there is money available in the fund to pay your APCs.

How do I request access to the RCUK Block grant?

Please fill in our form [doc] and send to Gwawr Griffiths Library & Archive Service

Can a student apply to the RCUK Block grant?

Yes if they are funded by the RCUK

Can I get a discount on APC charges?

The Library subscribes to a small number of Open Access memberships and pre-pay schemes that reduce the cost of APCs. For more information see OA Publisher member discounts.

Does Open Access just refer to journal articles and conference proceedings?

In theory open access can refer to any type of scholarly material. In practice the focus has been on journal articles and conference proceedings, although options for Open Access monographs and book chapters are gradually emerging. The focus on journal articles and conference proceedings has been driven by the RCUK and Wellcome Trust’s policies on Open Access.

What are the HEFCE requirements for post-REF2014 submission?

HEFCE has mandated that eligibility for the submission of journal articles and conference proceedings in the post-REF2014 will be dependent on them being made available in an open-access form. The authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on (or within 3 months of) acceptance for publication.
HEFCE are in the process of investigating the issues surrounding Open Access monographs and other long-from publications for future Research Assessment. HEFCE have made it clear that monographs are excluded from the post-REF2014 mandate.

  • The HEFCE policy can be found here.
  • The guide to the policy is here.