Open Access Help and Support

Open Access Help and Support

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 below.

Your Questions Answered

Should I go Green or Gold open access?

Open Access Workflow: use the workflow as a guide to the key steps in Green or Gold OA publishing of your research. 

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: 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 for advice.

If your research has been funded by an external body please check their open access policy. Funder policies can also be found on Sherpa/Fact database

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 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 for your preferred journal’s self- archiving permissions permissions or email for assistance.

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

Sherpa/Fact and PlanS Journal Checker Tool are tools 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. However, the terms vary between journals and for a definitive answer you should check the individual journal policy or email for advice.

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

UKRI and Wellcome and British Heart Foundation 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. Journals 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 and the article must be published under a CC-BY Creative Commons licence.

For further information visit ‘How To Make Your Research Open Access’ or email

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

  • 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


PlanS Journal Checker Tool

Funder OA Policies

Open Access Team  
Help with updating information about your publications in Pure Pure (see particularly User Guide and How to Movies) Open Access Team  
Help with depositing research outputs in AURA Pure (see particularly Adding New Content guide)  
Help with updating ResearchFish   Andrew Phillips ext. 3870
Help with updating Pure   Nykohla Strong ext. 2077
All other enquiries about OA publishing at Aberdeen   Open Access Team  

Contact the Scholarly Communications team if you want to arrange a one-to-one chat about more general information on Open Access publishing or to arrange a presentation on OA and OA publishing at Aberdeen for your School or Department.