Deposit in Spiral via Symplectic
Guide to depositing in Spiral

The HEFCE post-2014 REF open access policy will apply to all journal articles and conference papers accepted for publication from 1 April 2016. During the transitional period of the policy implementation, you need to deposit your paper/s up to 3 months from the date of publication. From April 2018 the HEFCE policy will require deposit of the accepted manuscript within 3 months of acceptance.

By depositing your accepted manuscript in Spiral now, your final published journal article or conference paper will be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF. To do this, you must upload a copy of your accepted manuscript to Symplectic, or ask a proxy to do so. The Library’s open access team will manage all accepted manuscript submissions to ensure you have provided sufficient information, and that the submitted manuscript meets the post-2014 eligibility requirements.

Your final journal article or conference paper does not have to be published on ‘gold’ open access, i.e. you do not have to pay an open access fee or APC, to be eligible for the post-2014 REF.

You can read the full policy and FAQs written by HEFCE at their site. Library Services, the Research Office and ICT Research Support Services are all working on ways to support staff to comply with the policy. To find out more about how the policy affects you, please see the FAQs below or contact the Library’s open access team.

Frequently asked questions

How do I make my work eligible?

When you receive notification from your publisher that your journal article or conference paper has been accepted for publication, you should then upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic. HEFCE require that the deposit must take place within three months of acceptance.

When you upload your manuscript you need to enter the date of acceptance when you do this, and enter some basic metadata (journal article title, authors, journal author, DOI if available). When you have submitted this, the Library’s open access team will check your manuscript version, verify the metadata, and deposit the metadata and manuscript in Spiral. Your work is then eligible for the post-2014 REF.

Does my work have to be published on gold open access to be eligible?

No. It is the accepted version of your work, not the final published version, that must be open access in a repository to be eligible. You can choose to publish in a gold open access journal if that is the most appropriate publication for you, but it is not a requirement for post-2014 REF eligibility.

Which version of my work is the accepted manuscript?

This should be the post-peer review version of your manuscript, before copy-editing and formatting. Any pre-peer review versions will not be considered the accepted manuscript.

I’ve already deposited my work in another repository. Do I have to put it in Spiral too?

No. If the version of the work in the repository is the accepted manuscript, we will ask you to enter the link to the manuscript in Symplectic. To do this, use the ‘Deposit my work’ function in Symplectic, and select the ‘OA location’ tab to provide the link. You don’t have to upload a manuscript.

If the version of the work is a pre-print, you will have to make sure that when the accepted manuscript is available it is deposited either in the same repository or in Spiral. It is only the deposit  of an accepted manuscript version that will make your final work eligible for the REF.

How do I upload my work to Symplectic?

A guide on uploading your work to Symplectic is available. Your Symplectic Faculty contact can help you to use Symplectic, and you can speak to your librarian or the Library’s open access team.

Can I still publish in the journal I have always published in?

Yes. HEFCE and the College are clear that authors have free choice to publish in the journal or publication that is most appropriate.

How can I find out what my journal’s open access policy is?

You can use Sherpa Romeo to look up the open access policy of your journal and/or publisher. We know that information there can sometimes be unclear (often because the publisher information is not clear) if you don’t read about open access all the time!

You can contact your librarian or the Library’s open access team if you would like more help in finding out the correct policy.

Does my journal have to have a gold open access policy?

No. You can choose to publish in a gold open access journal if that is the most appropriate publication for you, but it is not a requirement for post-2014 REF eligibility.

Do I have to pay an open access fee or APC for my work to be eligible?

No. You can choose to publish in a gold open access journal if that is the most appropriate publication for you, but it is not a requirement for post-2014 REF eligibility.

Your funder’s open access policy, i.e. RCUK or Wellcome Trust, may mean that you do need to publish your work on gold open access, and pay an open access fee or APC, but this is a separate policy from the post-2014 REF.

Is the HEFCE open access policy the same as the RCUK open access policy?

No. The RCUK open access policy requires that upon acceptance authors must either deposit their accepted manuscript in a repository no later than 12 months (6 months for MRC-funded work) after publication or pay an APC (open access fee) for immediate open access on the publisher’s website.

Is the HEFCE open access policy the same as the Wellcome Trust open access policy?

No. The Wellcome Trust open access policy requires that upon acceptance authors must either deposit their accepted manuscript in PubMed Central no later than 6 months after publication or pay an APC (open access fee) for immediate open access on the publisher's website.

My work is funded by RCUK/the Wellcome Trust, and I have paid an open access fee for it to be published. Is it now eligible for the post-2014 REF?

No. You should upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic to ensure post-2014 REF eligibility. If you’re unsure about the differences between the open access policies, please contact the Library’s open access team or speak to your librarian.

Does HEFCE require my work to be published under a certain type of open access licence?

HEFCE have not specified a particular licence should be applied to the accepted manuscripts. The licence used must permit  ‘anyone with internet access to search electronically within the text, read it and download it without charge, while respecting any constraints on timing [embargoes]’. The licence applied to any work deposited in Spiral will allow this type of use.

Do I have to deposit my data in Spiral to be eligible for the REF?

No. Your funder may have requirements as to the availability of underlying datasets associated with published outputs but these are separate from the post-2014 REF requirements. For information about your funder’s data requirements, see Research Data Management.

I don’t have a copy of my accepted manuscript. What do I do?

If you are the corresponding author, please ask your publisher for a copy. If you are the non-corresponding author, we advise you to ask your corresponding author for a copy or for the link to the manuscript if they have already deposited it in a repository.

For further advice, please contact the Library’s open access team.

My co-authors are not in the UK and do not want to make the accepted manuscript available on open access. What do I do?

HEFCE have allowed for a number of exceptions where authors cannot meet their open access eligibility requirements. If you cannot get a copy of the accepted manuscript at the point of acceptance because the corresponding author is not in the UK and will not provide a copy, please contact the Library’s open access team for further advice.

I forgot to upload my accepted manuscript, and my article/paper has been published. What do I do?

You can still upload the accepted manuscript to Symplectic, so please do this as soon as you can.

The Library’s open access team will be able to contact authors for whom we have not received an accepted manuscript after final publication. However, we would strongly advise that you get in to the habit of depositing the accepted manuscript before 1 April 2016 when the policy will apply to all journal articles and conference papers.

My publisher will not permit me to deposit my accepted manuscript in a repository. What do I do?

HEFCE have allowed for a number of exceptions where work cannot meet their open access eligibility requirements. Please contact the Library’s open access team for further advice.

My publisher has asked for an embargo to be placed on access to my accepted manuscript. What do I do?

You should still upload your manuscript at the point of acceptance as embargoes will not affect the eligibility requirements. If there is an embargo on open access, your accepted manuscript will be ‘hidden’ in Spiral until the embargo is lifted. The Library’s open access team will ensure embargoes are correctly applied.

I cannot make my accepted manuscript open access because of IP or security reasons. What do I do?

HEFCE have allowed for a number of exceptions where work cannot meet their open access eligibility requirements. If it is ‘unlawful to deposit’ or deposit would ‘present a security risk’, then your work should not be deposited to a repository, and eligibility for submission to the post-2014 REF is not affected.

When I have uploaded my accepted manuscript to Symplectic, how do I know my work will be eligible?

Spiral is a HEFCE-compliant repository. During the policy transitional period your work will be eligible as long as you have uploaded the accepted manuscript to Symplectic within 3 months of publication. The Library’s open access team will then ensure that the correct version of your work and appropriate metadata are made available in Spiral within the time limit stated in the post-2014 REF.

Following the end of the transitional period (from April 2017) the same procedure will apply to all work uploaded within 3 months of acceptance.

My paper has been published in a gold open access journal, do I have to upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic?

No. HEFCE have amended the policy to state that where a gold version of the published paper is available, the accepted manuscript does not have to be deposited in a repository. You must still ensure that the date of acceptance is entered in Symplectic for the relevant paper to ensure compliance. Please contact the Library’s open access team for help.

You can upload a copy of the final manuscript to be deposited in Spiral if you want to.