Q. Will I get into trouble with my publisher for submitting my accepted manuscript to you?
No. Sending us your manuscript via www.openaccess.cam.ac.uk doesn’t put it directly into the Repository or make it available immediately online. It comes to the Open Access team. We will check the publisher’s copyright policies and make sure that we only add it to the Repository in accordance with what they allow.
If we were to receive a take-down request from a publisher, we would do so immediately. To date, this has never happened.
Q. If I put the article on my own website, will I get into trouble?
Different publishers have different policies on whether you can put articles on your own website and if so, whether you need to use a particular version or apply a particular embargo. You should check the copyright agreement or author rights, or contact us and we will be happy to advise you.
Q. Do I still have the copyright after I submit to you?
Yes. You grant us the right to add the paper to the Repository but we don’t take your copyright. If you sign a copyright transfer agreement with your publisher, this usually transfers the copyright to the publisher and restricts what you are able to do with your work.
Q. Will there be any copyright issues if I sign my publisher’s agreement before submitting the manuscript to you?
There may be. If you select the wrong Open Access option or no Open Access at all, it might mean you’re not compliant with your funder requirements or not eligible for funds from the RCUK or COAF block grants. Some publishers will allow you to change options retrospectively if you make a mistake, but this isn’t the case for all. The best thing to do is to make sure you get our advice before signing any agreements.
Q. Which journals offer a green Open Access publishing option? Can you provide a list of approved journals or a blacklist of journals to avoid?
A central tenet of the University’s policy is that it does not tell researchers where they can and cannot publish. Apart from the sheer numbers of journals involved, offering such lists may be seen as breaching this policy. Most journals – especially those from major publishers – do offer both green and gold Open Access options. If you would like advice on whether a specific journal allows you to comply with your Open Access requirements, please contact us and we will be happy to check for you. Further guidance can also be found using external services such as Sherpa/Romeo, although the information there is not always up to date.
You should also be aware of so-called ‘predatory Open Access journals’. These are journals which often approach authors directly inviting publication, but then charge mandatory and often high Open Access fees. Many are not properly peer-reviewed or have other questionable practices or reputations. An independently-compiled list of publishers about whom questions have been raised is available at http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/. If you submit an article to the Open Access service that seems to be in such a journal, we will try to point it out to you, but publication there remains entirely a matter of your choice.