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Scholarly Communication


Introduction and background

Open Access to research publications involves making them freely available online rather than charging readers to read and use them. Open Access to research data makes data more widely available for re-use by others to support research, innovation and wider public use.

HEFCE calls for all author accepted manuscripts of journal articles or conference proceedings to be deposited in an Open Access repository at the time of acceptance for publication. The University administers publication funds for RCUK and COAF that can reimburse publisher charges for immediate Open Access to the publisher's version. Other research funders have policies that call for Open Access.

The University operates an advice site at If you upload your manuscript, you will be advised on your options.

The University's Open Access policy framework

The General Board has set up a Project Board to manage the transition to Open Access. Membership of the Project Board is set out below. The Project Board has adopted the following policy framework:

Open Access Policy Framework

i. The University of Cambridge is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, it supports the principle that ‘the results of research that have been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain’ and therefore it supports its staff in making their research available through Open Access (OA).

ii. The University affirms that academics should not be deterred from publishing in the journal of their choice.

iii. The University recommends Green OA (self-archiving) as the most cost-effective, sustainable way to achieve greater public access to research outputs and supports Green OA through the development of its institutional repository, or through subject based repositories and other open websites.

iv. The University will support Gold OA, whereby the author is usually required to pay an Article Processing Charge to publish in an OA journal, only where funding is made available for this purpose by the research funder.

v. The University supports the use of the widest form of licensing so that the article may be read and re-used. CC-BY is currently required by the published RCUK policy; this allows articles to be read and re-used for both non-commercial and commercial purposes.

vi. Funder mandates are evolving and this framework may need regular review.