If you need help or advice on any aspect of OA publishing at Aberdeen please see our commonly asked questions below or if you'd like to speak to someone please see the contacts list:

Your Questions Answered:

Should I go Green or Gold open access?

Sherpa Romeo is a useful guide which gives a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of copyright transfer each publisher's agreement. www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo

You can check the self-archiving terms of your preferred journal here, however the terms vary between journals and for a definitive answer you should check the individual journal policy or email openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for advice.

If your research has been funded by an external body please check their open access policy. SherpaFact www.sherpa.ac.uk/fact can help.

If you are funded by UKRI or Wellcome/COAF and there is not a compliant green open access option funds may be available where there is a suitable gold open access option. Please email openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for more information.

How can I check whether my journal complies with REF?

The HEFCE REF policy requires that the accepted manuscript is deposited in the institutional repository, currently within 3 months of first online publication. Embargoes of up to 12 months for STEM subjects and 24 months for the arts and humanities are allowed. Please check Sherpa Romeo www.ac.uk/sherpa/romeo for your preferred journal’s permissions or email openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for assistance.

How can I check whether my journal complies with my funder?

SHERPA/FACT www.sherpa.ac.uk/fact is a tool to help researchers check if the journals in which they wish to publish their results comply with their funder's requirements for open access to research.

You can check whether your preferred journal is compliant with your funder here, however the terms vary between journals and for a definitive answer you should check the individual journal policy or email openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for advice.

Is my article eligible to have the APC paid from the block grant?

UKRI and Wellcome/COAF have provided a block grant to make their research open access. Where there is not a compliant green open access route we may have funds available to pay for gold open access. The block grant is available for original peer reviewed research published in a journal, please note that commissioned review articles are not eligible for funding.

The conditions are that the corresponding author or PI must be currently employed at the University of Aberdeen. For UKRI funded research the journal must be fully open access, APCs will not be paid for hybrid journals. Expired grants must have ended in the last 5 years as per the Researchfish reporting period. The grant reference number must be acknowledged in the article.

The article must be published under a CC-BY Creative Commons licence.

Email openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for further information.

Which version of my paper can I archive in the institutional repository?

The most common versions of a paper are:

  • Pre-print: a draft of an academic article or other publication before it has been submitted for peer-review.
  • Post-print: the final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer review process, but not yet formatted by the publisher.
  • Publishers’ PDF: the fully formatted and typeset version of the article, in some cases publishers may permit this version to be uploaded.

The term "Authors Accepted Manuscript" or "Accepted Manuscript" is often used when depositing papers for REF. This term directly relates to the Post-print version of a paper and is the version of the paper which has been firmly accepted and agreed with an editor, before copy-editing or typesetting.

Most publishers allow deposit of the accepted manuscript which is the final draft incorporating any amendments resulting from peer review but before the publisher formatting has been applied. 

Gold open access papers should allow the published PDF to be archived under the terms of the CC-BY Creative Commons licence.

What is a Creative Commons licence?

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.

The common types of CC licence used in open access publishing are:

  • CC-BY "Attribution" - The most open licence that lets others distribute, change and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. RCUK and COAF require that articles published via a gold open access route use a CC-BY licence.
  • CC-BY-NC "Attribution-Non-Commercial" - This licence lets others use and build upon your work non-commercially. Their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, but they don't have to use a CC-BY-NC licence for their derivative works.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND "Attribution-Non-Commercial-Non-Derivative" - This licence lets others use and share your work non-commercially as long as they do not change it in any way. This licence is the most restrictive creative commons licence.

See here for further information https://creativecommons.org/about/

  • Please note that Wellcome/COAF and UKRI require that the CC-BY licence is used for any publications where they have funded the APC.
  • Please note that for green open access UKRI specify that the licence is no more restrictive than the CC-BY-NC licence or equivalent

Read more about Creative Commons licences



Online Help with Specific Issues and Contact Names

Issue Online Help Contact Email Tel.
Help with checking UKRI and Wellcome journal compliance and funder mandates, for publishing your article


Joanna Adams j.adams@abdn.ac.uk ext.7875
Help with updating information about your publications in PURE PURE (see particularly User Guide and How to Movies) Joanna Adams j.adams@abdn.ac.uk ext.7875
Help with depositing research outputs in AURA PURE (see particularly Adding New Content guide)   AURA Team ext.7875
Help with updating ResearchFish   Andrew Phillips andrew.phillips@abdn.ac.uk ext. 3870
Help with updating PURE   Nykohla Strong n.strong@abdn.ac.uk ext. 2077
All other enquiries about OA publishing at Aberdeen     openaccess@abdn.ac.uk  


Contact your Information Consultant if you just want more general information on Open Access publishing or to arrange a presentation by LSC&M on OA and OA publishing at Aberdeen for your School or Department.

Library Contacts by

Subject Contact Email Tel. 
Medical and Biomedical Sciences Mel Bickerton m.bickerton@abdn.ac.uk ext. 7876
Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering Susan McCourt s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk ext. 3287
Business and Law Janet Mackay j.i.mackay@abdn.ac.uk ext. 2572
Anthropology, Education, Gender Studies, Music, Politics and International Relations, Sociology Claire Molloy c.a.l.molloy@abdn.ac.uk ext. 4813
Divinity & Religious Studies, History, History of Art, Language & Literature, Modern Languages, Philosophy Ewan Grant e.grant@abdn.ac.uk ext. 2587