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Research Office

Open Access

The Framework for Academic Publications (pdf; 76kb) was approved in March 2014. The framework sets out the roles and responsibilities of academic members of staff on the one hand, and various SOAS departments on the other, in relation to maximising the impact of the School’s research on scholarly debate, knowledge and understanding. It is anticipated that adherence to this framework should have significant benefits for staff in terms of the visibility of their research, and the extent to which is it cited.

In keeping with our mission and values, SOAS supports the principle of Open Access (OA). In this context Open Access means that research literature can be freely accessed by anyone in the world via the internet, and used without licensing restrictions for research teaching and other purposes.

  • Does my funder have an open access policy?

    Many sponsors of research have policies on open access. They include, Research Councils (including the AHRC, ESRC & NERC), Government (including Department for International Development) and the European Commission, including the ERC.

    SHERPA-JULIET summarises the policies of research funders. 

    Funders allow a mixed approach to OA and the decision about which route to follow- gold or green- remains at the discretion of authors and their employing research organisations. RCUK's Policy stipulates that acceptable embargo periods are 12 months in social science and humanities (AHRC/ ESRC) and 6 months in other disciplines (NERC). However, where funding is unavailable for APCs during the transition period longer embargo periods of 24 and 12 months respectively are acceptable.

  • How will SOAS support me to publish via the Green OA route?

    Library and Information Services maintains an Institutional Repository into which you must deposit a final version of your article once the embargo period for that particular journal has elapsed. SHERPA-RoMEO includes information on the embargo period that applies to a wide range of journals. 

    For advice on depositing your article in SOAS Research Online contact Helen Porter.

  • Why does open access matter to me?
    • Open access increases citation rates and the visibility of your research. It ensures that your research is accessible to anyone able to access the worldwide web.
    • Many research funders mandate open access and HEFCE is likely to require it for future REF submissions.
  • What options are available for publishing open access?

    Peer-reviewed subscription journals often give authors a choice of two open access publishing options, ‘Gold’ or ‘Green’.

    • Gold Open Access:  Journals provide open access at the point of publication to everyone, not only subscribers, on the publisher’s website. Journals charge the author/institution for publishing articles instead of charging the user-institution for accessing those articles. You can normally also deposit the publisher PDF in SOAS Research Online
    • Green Open Access: Authors deposit the final version of their article (not the publisher PDF) in SOAS Research Online.
  • Where can I obtain funds to pay Article Publishing Charges (APCs) to publish ‘Gold’ Open Access?

    If you are applying for a research grant, you should consult the Research Office for advice on whether these costs for APCs can be included in the budget.  It is not possible to include APCs in Research Council applications because Research Organisations (including SOAS) have been issued with a block grant to enable RCUK grant-funded researchers to meet the costs of APCs.

    You are eligible to make an application to receive funds from the SOAS block grant if any of the following statements apply to you;

    • You hold an RCUK-funded research grant that is active at the time you’re making the application
    • You held a RCUK-funded research grant that ended no more than 2 years prior to the application.
    • You are seeking to publish with and RCUK-funded PhD student who is registered at SOAS or who completed a PhD at SOAS not more than 2 years prior to the application.
    • You can submit an application using the online form (this will open in a new window)

    If you receive funding via this route you must ensure that the published article includes details of the funding that supported the research and, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials, such as underpinning data can be accessed.  

    Other conditions of the RCUK OA-Block Grant:  

    • Funding will only be provided for publication in journals that support the Creative Commons 'Attribution' licence - CC-BY
    • Papers must include details of the funding that supported the research and, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials, such as underpinning data can be accessed.