Author: Judith Carr

HEFCE open access policy – a note from the College open access team

Open access team at Imperial College LondonThe Open Access Team are based in the Imperial College Library at South Kensington. We are the team that is on the ‘other end’ when you press the ‘deposit my publication’ button in Symplectic for uploading your manuscripts into Spiral, or when you make an application for support for article processing fees. We are here to help you comply with open access requirements, including the HEFCE Open Access policy.

Last month the Faculty of Medicine Newsletter drew attention to how important it was for research active staff to comply with the new HEFCE policy from 1 April 2016. Following on from that newsletter we thought it would be useful to clarify and highlight a few points about the policy and the process for depositing your publications in Spiral through Symplectic Elements.

  1. The HEFCE policy applies to peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings accepted on or after 1st April 2016. This means anything accepted or published before this date complies as far as HEFCE is concerned! (Phew. So it is okay if you cannot find the author accepted version of that article that was accepted 6 months ago! )*
    Please upload your author accepted version ( final draft without publisher’s layout etc.) into Spiral via Symplectic. It is this version and only this version that we can use, unless your article goes open upon publication ( the gold route).**The date of acceptance must be entered in Sympletic.This is where you start:
  3. Imperial corresponding authors. You know when your article or conference proceeding has been accepted as you get that all important email from the journal publisher. So please act as soon as you get this notification. You can send non-Imperial co-authors the URL you will receive (via email) once the version you upload has been checked and deposited in Spiral. Imperial co-authors will be notified via Symplectic when the publication details have been added to Spiral. Have an open access ‘conversation’ before submission if you can.
  4. Corresponding authors not at Imperial – Imperial co-authors should have that open access ‘conversation’ too. Open access policies affect all authors, not just in the UK. If the corresponding author can deposit the accepted version in a compliant open access repository (usually an institutional repository) then ask to be sent the link and enter the publication details in Symplectic adding the link when requested rather than a file. If your corresponding author cannot deposit the work themselves, then ask for a copy of the accepted version and advise them of what you need to do.
  5. The Library’s Open Access team will check your records. Nothing goes live until they do! We make sure you have the correct version, the correct licence, the correct embargo period. So please don’t worry: go ahead and upload.

Remember: compliance = action on acceptance

We strongly recommend that you upload your author accepted version as soon you are notified of acceptance. Action on acceptance needs to become a ‘habit’, the Open Access team are here to help. It is impossible to cover every scenario or eventuality in 5 points! So if you have any questions, need further clarification, please contact us.

Judith Carr
Scholarly Communication Support Manager
Imperial College London


*If you have a really good filing system (or your corresponding author does) and you can lay your hands on an author accepted version of an article, then please do upload it as soon as you can. We want as many open access outputs in Spiral as possible and remember that there are other research funders such as RCUK and Charities Open Access Fund who have their own requirements. You can find out more about other research funder open access policies on the College Open Access support pages

** Going open on publication: you can apply for funding via ‘deposit your work’ in Symplectic. If you go open on publication without funding from the Library, please still upload your article, using the final published version. It is important that you enter the date of acceptance in Symplectic for compliance purposes.