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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 are the Open Access requirements for REF 2021?

HEFCE has mandated that eligibility for the submission of journal articles and conference proceedings in REF2021 making them dependent on 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. The Open Access requirements are described in full in the REF Guidance on submissions (REF 2019/01) pages 54-59.

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 REF2021 mandate.

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 Open Access 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 UKRI 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 UKRI, 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 Europe PubMed Central as well as Bangor University’s institutional repository.

Who owns the copyright of my research?

As stated in the University's IP Policy, you are the first owner of copyright in your scholarly work unless it has been commissioned by the University or a funding contract claims ownership. When submitting an article for publication in a journal, you will be required to sign a copyright agreement form, please check the details of the copyright agreement carefully. For more information see: and

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 UKRI and Wellcome Trust require publications to be made open access.

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

The SherpaFACT database has been developed to check if Publisher’s are UKRI/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 UKRI or Wellcome Trust and another funding source?

Any research funded or partially funded by UKRI 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 UKRI block grant for payment of APCs?

The article must:

  1. Be the result of UKRI funded or UKRI 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 UKRI 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 UKRI Block grant?

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

Can a student apply to the UKRI Block grant?

Yes if they are funded by the UKRI

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. Examples of publisher schemes where we can offer financial support include: SAGE, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Frontiers. Contact for more information.

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 UKRI and Wellcome Trust’s policies on Open Access.

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