Frequently asked questions

General open access FAQ

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Yes, you can. There are ways of publishing open access even if you don't have a funder.

  • Publish in a ‘no charge’ open access journal. (You can filter DOAJ to find these journals)
  • Publish in a normal subscription journal and deposit into ORA using the ‘green' open access route.

Find out more about paying for open access

When publishing open access, you’ll hear different versions of manuscripts referred to. The most common are:

  • Preprint: a version of your manuscript that you make available via a preprint server. 
  • Submitted: the version of your manuscript that you sent to a publisher.
  • Author accepted manuscript: the version of your manuscript after peer review and edits but before publisher formatting. This is usually a Word or LaTex document.
  • Version of record: the final published version of your research after publisher formatting and typesetting. 

Find out more about preprints

Find out more about different versions


The date of acceptance is when the publisher has firmly accepted your output for publication. It means the date that you, as the author, consider you have been told by the editor that the paper has been accepted (even in an informal email). This will be after peer review, edits and other alterations have been made.

You may have received ‘provisional’ or ‘conditional’ acceptance before this date, but these do not count as the ‘date of acceptance.’

University policy asks academics, researchers and research students to provide open access to their research outputs by depositing accepted manuscripts into our institutional repository Oxford University Research Archive (ORA).

It also encourages other staff who publish (librarians and professional, admin or support staff) to deposit their work.

Find out more about Oxford University’s open access policy

Funds and funders FAQ

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Plan S is an initiative for open access publishing launched in September 2018 by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. The aim of Plan S is that scientific publications resulting from research funded by public grants are published open access on publication without any restrictions.

You can find a list of current cOAlition S members on their website

Go to the Plan S and cOAlition S website

Oxford will cover the entire open access fee for all Oxford affiliated corresponding authors who are funded by one or more of our block grant funders.

If the corresponding author is from another institution and is able to cover the open access charges (via block grant or other funds) then we would expect them to pay the entire fee. If the other institution cannot pay the APC in full, then the Oxford-affiliated author should apply to the correct APC block grant held by Oxford and we will pay the entire fee. This is to ensure the Oxford-funded author is compliant with their funder – even if they are not the corresponding author.

Find out more about applying to the block grants

Oxford University and the Bodleian Libraries have signed up to several agreements with publishers to help subsidise Oxford authors (even unfunded ones) to publish open access in journal titles listed in the agreement contract.

Find out more about publisher deals

Not necessarily. It will depend on the particular publisher agreement and sometimes on the journal title. If you are not sure, please contact the APC team to check.


Depositing and the Oxford University Research Archive FAQ

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The University’s OA policy covers all research outputs by Oxford University authors. 

If you are a researcher or academic you will usually be given an Elements account (which allows you to deposit into ORA) when you start at the University. Other members of staff can also apply for an account. This includes junior research fellows, postdocs, retired fellows, emeritus professors and DPhils.

Find out more about depositing into ORA

No, you won’t. 

Depositing into ORA is a safe way to make your work open as quickly as possible while also complying with funder’s conditions. 

The ORA team will follow your publisher’s rules for deposit when they process your item. This includes applying any embargos.

Find out more about embargoes

The publisher’s version (aka version of record) of your work is often under copyright to the publisher meaning you won’t be able to deposit it elsewhere. 

However, if you have published via any of the publisher-made open access models (gold, hybrid or diamond/platinum) you are allowed to deposit the final version of your research as it will be licensed to allow this.

Yes. You should deposit the author accepted manuscript in ORA, even if you are also depositing in other repositories such as ArXiv, BioRxiv, EuropePMC or SSRN. Other sites do not necessarily meet funder or Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy metadata requirements. 

Definitely. All Oxford researchers are asked to deposit into ORA on acceptance. If the final PDF is not available straight away, please deposit the accepted manuscript and the team will ensure the published version is available after publication.

By depositing the AAM you have met Oxford's requirements so you do not need to also submit a later version.

However, if for any reason you need to deposit a later, different version or additional file you will be able to do this by amending the Elements record.

You can, as long as your publisher allows it, but you don’t normally have to. 

Books and book chapters do not need to be open access to be considered as a 2021 ‘REFable’ output. Most funders don’t require this, although there are some exceptions: ERC, Wellcome and the post-2024 UKRI policies include monographs.

Find out more about book chapters

Find out more about monographs

Please deposit. Depositing into ORA gives you an open access, Oxford-controlled version of your research so you can guarantee funder and REF compliance. It will also meet the University's objectives for the discovery, dissemination, and preservation of Oxford research.

If one author deposits the manuscript, other Oxford authors can ‘claim’ a record to ensure the item is attached to their Elements account. It’s important to claim the existing record rather than creating a new, duplicate record.