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Warwick Open Access (OA) Policy

This information sets out the University’s framework for ensuring that scholarly outputs authored by University researchers, staff and students are made Open Access (OA), where applicable.

Definitions of terms in bold type are given in Annex B1.

University of Warwick’s position on Open Access

As a leading research institution the University of Warwick places high value on the research carried out under its aegis, whether this is produced alone or in collaboration with others.

The University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible to contribute to society as well as to academic advancement. This is in line with the University’s research strategy2, core values3 and in response to the increased expectations from HEFCE/Research England, funding bodies and the more general public that scholarly research outputs from publically funded research are made as freely available as possible.

To this end the University favours, now and for the foreseeable future, open access by means of the Green route, except in those cases where the Gold route may be required by the funder of the research and provision for any requisite charges has been made.

The University recognises that the different types of scholarly output resulting from this research are key assets and should be recorded and managed by the University in a way that brings most benefit, for the University, its researchers and for the global community. The University will provide the mechanisms and infrastructure to help researchers to make their scholarly outputs open access and take advantage of the benefits of this for their research impact and profile. These mechanisms will also support researchers to comply with the requirements of their funder’s open access policies. However, researchers must bear some of the responsibility for complying with these policies, as well as with publishers’ and funders’ policies. The responsibilities of the University and of Researchers are listed below.

Responsibilities of the University

The University will:

  • Support the academic freedom of researchers to submit their work to the publication of their choice and support researchers to consider how best to make their work visible and accessible, including how best to enable the use of their work.
  • Undertake advocacy and collaboration with publishers and other bodies, making efforts to influence the policies and practices of these groups, where possible, in support of this policy and the Warwick research community
  • To provide a central OA service, currently WRAP, that helps authors to comply with relevant OA requirements, advise on how individual journals meet the contractual requirements of the various research funders, where appropriate and actively works to continue to reduce the administrative burden of OA policies on academics
  • To assist researchers in depositing their publications into the institutional repository in a timely fashion and in accordance with funders’ requirements and respecting the copyright terms and conditions. This is done via the WRAP deposit form. The University will also update and curate the records of the papers in the repository, and manage any embargo periods, as appropriate
  • To record the compliance of papers with funder policies, including the REF 2021 Open Access policy and apply exceptions to the policy where necessary for papers that are submitted through WRAP. The University will take responsibility for ensuring compliance if the paper is submitted through WRAP within the timeframe requirements imposed by the funders’ policies
  • To ensure the long term preservation of publications in the repository and maintain the repository accordingly
  • To advocate for OA to the academic community and communicate with them about OA requirements and the services offered by the University to help researchers comply
  • To manage any block grants awarded to the University4 in an effective and responsible manner. As noted above the University recommends green OA as the most cost-effective way to achieve greater public access to scholarly outputs in the short-term and supports this through WRAP. Publication via the Gold open access route is supported through funds provided by the block grants to the University5
  • To optimise publishing options available to researchers by investigating offsetting deals and signing up to these if they are deemed to be cost effective and in the researchers’ and University’s interest.
  • To review the effectiveness of this policy, including, internally through reporting on compliance with funder mandates.

Responsibilities of researchers

Academics, researchers and graduate student researchers are required to:

  • Inform the WRAP team with details of all of their scholarly outputs, including journal articles, conference papers, reports, books, book sections and chapters, patents and working and discussion papers. This information should include links to any relevant datasets and other research materials (where appropriate) and research funding grant details (where applicable).
  • To meet the requirements of open access:
    • For all journal articles and conference papers, deposit a digital copy of the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in the WRAP service as soon as possible after the date of acceptance and no later than 3 months after this date (in accordance with the requirements of the REF2021 open access policy)
    • For all other types of scholarly output, Researchers are encouraged to deposit full versions with WRAP as soon as possible after the date of acceptance. This includes, but is not limited to, monographs, books, book chapters, reports, working papers, post-publication corrections and updates, video and audio representations. Where deposited WRAP will make them open access, wherever possible, in accordance with publisher policies and/or other contractual requirements
    • Ensure that their journal choice is compliant with their funders’ requirements. Researchers are encouraged to contact the Library for advice or use the SHERPA/FACT service
    • Ensure, especially where they have received open access funding, that their papers are published with the correct licence according to their funders’ requirements
    • Engage with the information, guidance and training offered by the University on OA issues
    • Ensure that open access publication costs are budgeted for in grants, where permitted, and to safeguard this money within the projects budget for this purpose. Researchers are encouraged to contact the Library or their research funder for advice
    • In order to optimise personal and institutional impact from their publications authors should follow the guidelines for publications as described in the University’s Publication Protocol (Annex A)

Additionally, research students are required to submit an electronic copy of their thesis following examination to be made available in WRAP in accordance with the instructions laid out in the Guide to Examinations for Higher Degrees by Research.

These responsibilities apply regardless of whether or not the Warwick researcher is the corresponding author or a co-author, but if a scholarly output has more than one Warwick author, it need only be deposited once.

Annexe A

University of Warwick Publication protocol

The Publication Protocol aims to help you meet funder requirements and increase the benefits you gain from your work, for example through ensuring the accuracy of citations others make to your publications and other scholarly outputs.

It is important that you follow the affiliation and address formats described here in order that you, your funders and the University of Warwick are properly associated with your work.

Affiliation to the University of Warwick

As an employee of the University or affiliate with honorary status, or publicly-funded research student, when publishing journal articles and other works associated with research undertaken at the University, you should declare your institution to be the "University of Warwick". Please do not use any other variations. You may also wish to declare affiliation to one of the University of Warwick’s Schools, Departments or Research Centres but please ensure that the University of Warwick is named as your primary institutional affiliation.

Address details

When completing University of Warwick address details, always use the format:

University of Warwick



United Kingdom

Note that although your postal address at the University might actually include different details or an alternative post-code, it is this address which should be used in association with your publication. This helps others to identify your work correctly, for example, when compiling citation listings, and assists in automated data transfer processes.

Funding details

You should ensure that your funder’s name and grant number are supplied to the publisher of your work according to your funder’s expectations and that these details are correctly recorded in WRAP.

Underlying research materials

You should also include a statement on how any underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed. See Research Data Management.

Author’s Accepted Manuscript

Accepted author’s manuscript (AAM) also known as the author’s version, ‘clean’ version, post-print or author’s final manuscript. The version of an article after any peer-review changes have been made but before copy editing and formatting by the publisher.

Block Grant

An annual sum of money received by the University from a funder specifically to pay for OA costs. More details on block grants.

Charities Open Access Fund

The partnership between Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise, Parkinson’s UK and the Wellcome Trust to enable free and unrestricted access to the scholarly outputs of the research they support.

Gold Open Access

Open access at the time of publication. The final publisher’s version is Open Access via the journal’s website without any embargo period. Gold OA can be considered to be 'born Open Access'. Fully Open Access journals sometimes (but not always) charge a fee for publication.

Green Open Access

Making a version of work (usually an AAM) available in an Open Access repository, for example, an institutional repository. This is usually allowed within the standard copyright terms of a journal and is not associated with any additional cost. Publishers may apply an embargo period to manuscripts in a repository.

HEFCE / Research England

Research England is a new council within UK Research and Innovation, operating from April 2018 and formed of parts of the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Research England oversees developing and implementing the Research Excellence Framework in partnership with the UK Higher Education funding bodies.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Policy

See ‘REF 2021 Open Access Policy’.

Hybrid journals

A subscription journal where individual articles can be published Open Access on the payment of an article processing charge (APC). Some publishers recognise the extra cost burden on institutions with hybrid journals by offering ‘offset’ discounts.

Institutional Repository

An institutional repository (IR) is an online archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the scholarly output of an institution, particularly a research institution.


A monograph is a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference works or textbooks) on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, presented at length and usually by a single author.

Open Access

In the broadest sense this means the output is freely available online. This can be achieved through either green or gold Open Access routes.

Benefits from OA to research include:

  • closer linkages between research and innovation, with benefits for public policy and services and for economic growth, e.g., through improved opportunities for collaboration with research, commercial and other partners
  • increased public engagement with research, improving reach into different communities such as public and voluntary sectors, business and the professions
  • enhanced transparency, openness and accountability
  • improved efficiency in the research process itself, through increases in the amount of information that is readily accessible, reductions in the time spent in finding it, and greater use of the latest tools and services to organise, manipulate and analyse it

A further benefit is the increased global profile of UK researchers and institutions in a competitive environment.

Open Access Journal

Open Access journals are journals in which all the articles are available Open Access. There is no cost to the reader. These journals are either supported by learned societies, professional organisations or institutions, where there is no cost to the author, or through article processing charges which are, in many cases, met by funder grants.

REF 2021 Open Access Policy

Research England and the three other UK HE funding bodies believe that the scholarly outputs of research should be as widely accessible as possible. For this reason, a policy has been introduced for open access in relation to REF 2021. The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, any journal article or conference paper accepted on or after the 1 April 2016 must have been deposited to a repository within 3 months of the date of acceptance. More policy details.

Research Councils UK

The strategic partnership of the seven research funding bodies which operate as part of UK Research and Innovation. The funding bodies are:

  • AHRC - Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC Biotech and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC - Economic and Social
  • MRC - Medical Research Council
  • NERC - Natural Environment Research Council
  • STFC - Science and Technologies Facilities Council
  • RCUK have given block grants to Institutions fund open access publishing


WRAP is University’s institutional repository and includes a platform that provides an open access showcase scholarly outputs from research undertaken by the University of Warwick research community and the suite of services that assist researchers in depositing their work and making it open access.