Open Access and publication support in Informatics

Support available for publications and Open Access, a FAQ on common issues surrounding open access, and a summary of common publisher policies.

Open Access and publications support

Within Informatics support for Open Access and publications is provided by Victoria and Andrew in the RDM team. Please contact the RDM team for questions about Open Access policies or publisher policies.

Research Data Management

Support is also offered centrally by the Scholarly Communications team based in the Library. They have a list of available publisher discount schemes on their webpages (including University deals with publishers that allow gold open access free of charge).

Scholarly Communications team

Scholarly Communications webpage on publisher open access agreements

If you are struggling to find an open access journal to publish in you may find the Directory of Open Access Journals helpful. The DOAJ is an extensive (but not exhaustive) community-curated directory of open access journals.

Directory of Open Access Journals 


New Open Access Policies

UKRI Open Access Policy

From 1 April 2022 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which consists of the nine research funding councils AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Innovate UK and Research England, implemented a new open access policy. The main takeaway from the policy is that from 1 April 2022 all research articles submitted for publication, including journal articles, reviews and conference papers, that have arisen from research funded by UKRI will be required to be published open access using a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY).

Researchers can comply with this policy either by

  • publishing at a venue that will make the final published version, known as the Version of Record (VOR), open access using a CC-BY licence or,
  • depositing the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in an institutional or subject repository and making it immediately open access (i.e., with no embargo) with a CC-BY licence upon publication.

From 1 January 2024 this policy will also encompass long-form publications including monographs, book chapters and edited collections.

UKRI Open Access Policy

University Research Publications and Copyright Policy

The University has implemented a new Research Publications and Copyright policy to help the researchers and the University of Edinburgh comply with UKRI and other funders’ requirements. The policy also enables the University to disseminate its research and scholarship as widely as possible.

This policy confirms the current practice that members of staff own the copyright to their scholarly works but grants the University of Edinburgh a non-exclusive licence to make the manuscripts of staff members’ scholarly articles publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.

The University has acknowledged that it will not always be possible to comply with this policy so has added an opt-out option for researchers.

UoE Research Publications and Copyright Policy

Guidance on complying with open access policies

The Library's Scholarly Communications team have put together this helpful checklist to assist researchers in complying with the various open access policies. It is recommended that Informatics researchers follow this checklist but keeping in mind the following clarifications: -

  • Informatics researchers should e-mail the RDM team as soon as the manuscript has been accepted for publication. They will create the Pure record and contact you if  further information is required.
  • If authors cannot guarantee that the final published version of their paper will be published open access (under a CC-BY licence), or if the publisher does not explicitly allow the AAM to be made open (under a CC-BY licence), then it is strongly recommended that authors add a Rights Retention Statement (RRS) in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission. The statement should be along the lines of: 

“For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.”

  • UKRI's Open Access policy states that a RRS should always be added to submissions of papers it has helped fund (UKRI OA policy para. 12). However, the Research Publications & Copyright policy grants the University the right to openly share upon publication, under the terms of a CC-BY licence, the accepted manuscripts of papers co-written by authors employed by UoE, regardless of whether a rights retention statement (RRS) is included, who the funder is, or if any other copyright agreements are signed by the authors downstream. As such, it is not strictly necessary to include a RRS, though it is still recommended that one is added so as to be clear with co-authors and publishers what will happen at UoE. The University has contacted major publishers to inform them of the new publications and copyright policy. You are welcome to contact Victoria ( to confirm whether your chosen publisher has been notified.
  • If your chosen venue of publication charges a fee for open access publishing check that there is funding available to cover this cost before submitting you paper for review. If in doubt contact the RDM team for advice at We will ask you whether your research is funded and where you want to publish.
  • The RDM team will set any Author's Accepted Manuscripts deposited into Pure to become open, under a CC-BY licence, automatically upon publication unless authors explicitly tell them not to either by emailing them directly at or by using the opt-out form.

Open Access FAQ

Question: If a publisher, such as ACM, has explicitly stated that the AAM can be openly shared under the terms of a CC-BY licence do I still need add a Rights Retention Statement?

Answer:  No, it should not be strictly necessary though it is still recommended so as to be clear with co-authors and the publisher what will happen. What is important is that the AAM is deposited into Pure no later than one month after publication otherwise the paper will run the risk of not being compliant with open access policies.

Question: How can I publish with IEEE as their copyright agreement does not allow a CC-BY licence to be applied to the AAM?

Answer: IEEE now allow for a Green Open Access route that is compliant with the UKRI policy if there is no money available to pay the open access article processing charge. For more information please refer to the IEEE statement on the matter. 

This FAQ will be updated as and when new questions are submitted.


Pure entry

Staff can choose to enter publications themselves, or use one of the following methods of mediated entry:

Use the centrally provided guides for creating Pure entries Guides on adding new content to Pure
Forward the acceptance email and the accepted manuscript to the RDM team on Contact the RDM team
Complete the local publications form. Informatics publications submission form

Summary of Publisher Trends

Information about publisher's policies should be listed in the copyright form/license transfer form that staff sign.  For journals, information can be found on the SHERPA/RoMEO site.


For convenience, a summary of the policies for some of the major publishers of Informatics material is included below. If there are major discrepancies between these pages and communications you receive from publishers, please let the RDM team know.


  • Conferences: the author's final version can normally be archived with no embargo
  • Journals: the author's final version can normally be archived with no embargo

If funds are not available to pay for a gold open access option ACM will allow authors to deposit their accepted manuscript open under a CC-BY licence. Note the ACM LaTeX templates often include header and footer information, so the author's final version may not look that different from the final published version.

ACM copyright policy

ACM author rights

ACM statement on PlanS


  • Conferences: the author's final version can normally be archived with no embargo
  • Journals: the author's final version can normally be archived with no embargo

IEEE electronic dissemination information

IEEE statement on compliance with UKRI open access policy


  • Conferences: the publisher's final version can normally be archived with no embargo
  • Journals: the publisher's final version can normally be archived with no embargo

ACL FAQs including information on copyright


Conferences in LNCS: the author's final version can be archived with an embargo period of 12 months.  Note, however, that the University's Research Publications & Copyright Policy (2021) takes precedence and that the embargo will not be enforced. Authors are strongly encouraged to include the rights retention statement in the Acknowledgement section of their paper upon submission.


Journals: The University is signed up to Springer Compact which will allow Gold OA without additional charge when the corresponding author is at Edinburgh. Note that this does not cover Springer Nature titles, though Springer have indicated that they are working on a route that will allow UKRI funded researchers to comply with open access policies.

Springer Compact

The Scholarly Communications team have published further information on the negotiations between Jisc and Springer.

Centrally provided information on the Springer subscription renewal


Journals: Eligible hybrid Elsevier journals are covered by the University's Read and Publish deal, and authors can see if their chosen journal is covered via the Scholarly Communications webpage, or directly via Elsevier's webpage on their agreement with UK HEIs. Based on records created in Pure Jan 2021 - Oct 2022 , 59 of 63 Elsevier journals in which Informatics authors published their research were covered by the agreement.

Centrally provided read and publish journal list

Elsevier agreement with UK HEIs

If the journal is fully open access it will require the payment of an article processing charge (APC), then author should confirm with Scholarly Communications that funds are available. For example, research funded by UKRI will be covered by the block grant, but Scholarly Communications will need to process the payment.

Contact Scholarly Communications

Open access publication funds