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Open Access

Am I covered by the Middlesex University Open Access Policy?

All academic staff, all research staff and all students whose research outputs derive from their employment by the University, from research grants or otherwise from the use of University resources and facilities are covered by the policy.

What do I have to do?

As outlined in the Middlesex University Open Access Policy, all researchers should create a record in the Middlesex University Research Repository for each of their research outputs. This information will be used to populate Middlesex University staff profiles. See How can I add my work? for instructions. 

As well as creating records describing your outputs, you are expected to provide a route for readers to access those outputs. Where legally permitted, you can upload the outputs themselves, or else provide a link. Again, where legally permitted, you are expected to upload full text versions of journal articles and peer reviewed conference papers, upon acceptance for publication: this will maximise the visibility of your research. You may upload outputs other than journal articles and conference papers, if legally permitted.

See Which version can I make Open Access? for more information about versions.

If you are RCUK funded or have been funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, then you should also refer to your funder’s guidelines and you may find our guides to complying with the RCUK Policy and the Horizon 2020 Open Access requirement helpful. You may find that you need to create records in more than one repository, in order to meet both your funder and your university’s policies.

What counts as a research output?

Journal articles and conference papers that are accepted for publication are undoubtedly research outputs which should have records in the Middlesex University Research Repository. Papers which are only submitted are not eligible for deposit, but there are many other types of output such as books, book chapters, patents, images, exhibitions, performances, film, etc.  If your output is one that could be put forward in a Research Excellence Framework submission (see our guide on HEFCE policy on Open Access Research) then it should be recorded in the Middlesex University Research Repository, and associated and supporting materials can also be uploaded. If you are not sure, please contact us.

For more information see the content policy of the Middlesex University Research Repository.

How do I know what is legally permitted and what is an embargo period?

You or the lead author of your paper will have signed an agreement with your publisher, typically either a copyright agreement, or a licence to publish. This agreement will explain who owns the copyright and what may be done with the paper. If you do not have access to the agreement that was signed for your paper, then the publisher’s latest policy is the next best place to look.

These agreements and policies often refer to embargo periods, during which time your output will not be open access and will only be available to those who subscribe. This enables publishers to recoup their costs and run their business. However, during an embargo period, if you have provided the full text of an article to the repository, along with your e-mail address, then researchers can “request a copy” from you and you can send it to them in only a couple of clicks. This is not “Open Access”, but is often permitted by publishers. Middlesex University’s Research Repository helps you to meet embargo requirements:  you can simply state the length of the embargo period when you upload your output, and the software will make it Open Access at the end of the period.

If you are RCUK funded, you may need to be aware of the maximum length of an embargo period that they accept. Please refer to your funder’s guidelines and our Guide to Complying with the RCUK Policy for more information.

The Sherpa RoMEO tool is particularly helpful at summarising publisher policies and linking to the right place on a publisher’s website where you can read more. You are recommended to refer to publishers’ websites for detailed & up to date information. Sherpa JULIET provides information about funders’ policies which you may also find useful, and Sherpa FACT  is designed to help those who are RCUK or Wellcome Trust funded.

What is a pre-print or a post-print?

See Which version can I make Open Access? for information about journal article versions.

The final agreed version of a journal article is the one most often permitted for deposit . Repository staff in the Library can help you to identify the most recent and legally permitted version.

How far back in time should I go?

You should create records and deposit full text for all outputs that you wish to have included in the University’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions, and you should do this within 90 days of acceptance for publication (as per the current HEFCE policy for the next REF).

If you have received funding for your research, then you may find that your funders have had Open Access or other policies in place for some years (e.g. Medical Research Council since 2006), which they would like you to follow.

You may create records for all outputs that you wish to, dating back as far as you wish to go: the records in the repository will be used to populate your Middlesex University staff profiles.

What are the benefits of adding my work to the Research Repository?

  • It provides a central source for Middlesex University research and raises the profile of both individual academic staff and the University as a whole.
  • An open access repository of research output widens availability and results in research being more visible and accessible. This in turn increases the impact of research and results in increased citations.
  • As a central repository within the University it promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and awareness of work done in other departments and Schools.
  • Research funding agencies worldwide are making open access deposit of research outputs a condition of funding. Sherpa JULIET provides a service summarising funders' policies.
  • It ensures consistent standards and copyright compliance of published material.
  • Research outputs are more likely to be retrieved with a higher ranking by search engines if they have high quality bibliographic details.