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Open access and open research

Open access refers to research outputs that are available online and free at the point of access, without barriers such as subscription or registration.

As a researcher you will need to ensure your compliance with multiple open access policies including the NTU Publications Policy, the open access policy for REF, and you may be subject to further requirements by your research funder.

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Open access policies

As part of the NTU Publications Policy, academic staff are required to deposit, where copyright allows, the following research outputs into the Institutional Repository (IRep):

  • Journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN
    • Deposit as soon after the point of acceptance as possible and no later than three months after this date.
    • Authors must provide the accepted and final peer-reviewed text and are expected to add embargo details for the journal following a check on SHERPA/RoMEO.
    • Following publication of the output, the depositing author is responsible for updating the record in IRep with full bibliographic details, including the date of publication.  This needs to happen as soon as possible after the point of publication and no later than one month after this date.
    • Compliance with this policy safeguards NTU output eligibility for submission to the REF.
  • Book chapters and monographs that report original research
    • Deposit as soon as possible after the point of the publication and no later than three months after this date.
  • Practice-based outputs
    • Deposit supporting digital content illustrating the nature of the work as soon after the point of publication as possible and no later than three months after this date.

Bibliographic details of all other research outputs should be deposited in IRep.

Journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN accepted for publication after 1 January 2021 must be made open access to be eligible for submission to the REF.

  • Authors must deposit the accepted and final peer-reviewed text in IRep as soon as possible after the point of acceptance and no later than three months after this date.
  • Gold and green routes to open access are acceptable.
  • Publishers often impose a delay before repositories can make manuscripts openly available. The maximum permitted embargo is 12 months (for Panels A and B) or 24 months (Panels C and D). Articles still under embargo are eligible for REF submission, provided they meet the requirements of the policy.

Further information is available in our guide on Open access and REF (PDF, 456KB)

Our guide on Open access and funded research (PDF, 507KB) provides information on funder policies, including the RCUK Policy on Open Access.

Depositing outputs

NTU research outputs are deposited in the institutional repository (IRep) via Worktribe. Follow these steps to submit a new output:

  • Log on to Worktribe with your University username and password. It is available on and off-campus.
  • Depending upon the output type you are submitting, you will be asked a series of questions to enable the library to process your request as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure to 'deposit' your record so it is sent to the Library for validation.  Your output will be made discoverable to an external audience via IRep.

Submitting a journal article or conference proceeding with an ISSN? The following checklist will ensure your compliance with the open access requirements for REF.

  • Provide the accepted and final peer-reviewed text (also known as the author-accepted manuscript or 'post-print') within three months of the accepted date.
  • Have the date your paper was accepted for publication.
  • Check the embargo details on SHERPA/RoMEO
  • When your journal article is published, use the submit amendment feature in IRep to provide the date of publication and any new citation information.  You must do this within one month of publication.

Guidance on how to deposit outputs in Worktribe is available from Thrive.

Your Research Support Librarian is available for help and advice during each stage of the process.

Open access at NTU

Where immediate Open Access (OA) is not available freely through an NTU agreement with the publisher, the University's preference is to achieve OA primarily through the green route. This is achieved by depositing the publisher-approved version of your manuscript, with no payment required, in Worktribe. Embargo periods may apply when publishing via this route and can be checked on SHERPA/RoMEO.

UKRI research grant and fellowship applications are no longer permitted to include costs for OA publication. Since 2013, UKRI has instead issued an annual Block Grant to HEIs, to enable them to cover the costs of Gold OA for papers arising from funded research, in accordance with the UKRI Open Access Policy.

Authors whose research is funded by any of the UK Research Councils can access the NTU Open Access Fund to cover publishers’ article processing charges (APCs) for peer-reviewed papers (except invited reviews). All submissions to the NTU Open Access Fund require approval by the relevant Associate Dean for Research following the completion of the NTU open access fund application form. Guidelines have been appended to the form to provide further information and greater clarification on eligibility for submission to the fund.

For other research funders you should check the terms and conditions of your grant, as you may be able to include the costs of OA in your budget.

Publisher discounts and deals

NTU authors can benefit from a range of agreements (PDF, 209KB) with publishers without the need for APC payment or ADR approval. Please be aware that these deals are reviewed frequently and the terms and conditions may change without notice.

Contact your Research Support Librarian for more information.


Increasingly researchers are making use of preprints for the rapid dissemination of their research. This involves posting your original manuscript on a preprint server (an open online repository) prior to, or alongside submission for formal publication. Peer review can be a long drawn out process and preprints provide the opportunity to get your work out there quickly, increasing its visibility and readership, as well as establishing the precedence of your work.

Preprints are part of the drive towards Open Research and their use varies by discipline; they form part of the scholarly record, so it is important to be aware of publisher copyright polices related to posting preprints. Further advice and FAQs (PDF, 471KB) are available to support you in this practice.

Still need help?

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