Compliance with CSO Open Access Policy

As a Chief Investigator there are two ways in which you can comply with the grant condition to ensure that your CSO funded research is made freely accessible via PMC and Europe PMC.

1. Journal allows Open Access

You can submit your manuscript to a journal that offers an open access option. Journals who provide this facility will take responsibility for depositing the final, published version of your paper in PMC/UKPMC and making it freely available on the day of publication. Publishers that provide this option include all the open access publishers (such as BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science) as well as an increasing number of traditional publishers who have introduced a model in which individual articles can be made open access. Under this model the author pays a fee to the publisher to make their article accessible for free online, immediately it is published in the journal. A copy of the article can be deposited in PMC/UKPMC, again with immediate free access.

Since the end of 2012, it has been CSO policy that researchers can apply to CSO for up to £2000 towards the costs of Open Access publishing of a paper arising from CSO funded research project.  Such applications are only valid up to 12 months after acceptance of the final report and should be made after the paper has been accepted for publication.  Applications should be made on Form 6a.

2. Author deposition

If you submit your manuscript to a publisher that does not offer an open access option you can still comply with the policy by depositing a copy of the final, peer reviewed manuscript in PMC/EuropePMC. In cases where the author manuscript is deposited, these papers must be made freely available not later than six months after the journal publisher’s official date of final publication.

The SHERPA service, hosted by the University of Nottingham, provides information – at the journal title level – as to whether or not a journal has a publication policy that is compliant with open access.  If the journal to which you wish to submit your manuscript is not listed in the database you should speak directly to the journal’s editorial staff to determine their policy.

What should I do if the journal does not have an open-access option, nor does it allow me to self-archive my manuscript with PMC/EuropePMC?

Authors must ensure, in advance of making any agreement with or commitment to a publisher at any stage, that the agreement or commitment does not conflict with the author’s obligations under CSO’s Grant Conditions. Specifically, authors should inform the journal that they have an obligation to deposit in PMC, and investigate whether the publisher’s policy is in conflict with this obligation.

Authors are unlikely to be able to comply with the Grant Conditions if, without reaching a specific agreement with the journal about deposition of a copy of the final paper in PMC, they transfer their copyright (or undertake to do so in the future) to a journal. If such a conflict exists, authors have a variety of options:

(a) Grant a licence of their copyright to a journal instead of assigning the copyright. Such a licence would have to deal with the rights granted to the journal in such a way as to allow the journal to publish but still allow the author to deposit in PMC. In this way, authors should be able to retain ownership of their copyright and still allow publication in a journal. This could be achieved, for example, through using a Licence to Publish.

(b) Agree to a journal’s normal arrangements only on the condition that it be specifically agreed that deposition in PMC can take place. Copyright agreements can take many forms, but the following is an example of the sort of wording that could be included in an agreement with a journal that would still allow an author to comply our Grant Conditions:

Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this agreement, the journal acknowledges that the researcher will be entitled to deposit an electronic copy of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript into Europe PubMed Central (EuropePMC) and for this manuscript to be mirrored to all PMC international sites. Manuscripts deposited with EuropePMC may be made freely available to the public, via the internet, within six months of the official date of final publication in the journal.

(c) Reconsider where to publish. This is anticipated to be an exceptional circumstance. It is also worth noting that the UK Research Councils, a number of large charities and a number of national and non-government funding agencies around the world have adopted very similar positions, which make it likely that that the arrangements suggested here will become part of normal research practice.