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Cardiff University Open Access Publications Policy

  • Effective date:
  • Last updated:


Cardiff University recognises the significant social and economic benefits associated with free and open access to publicly funded research.

Open Access (OA) is a publishing model that enables peer reviewed articles to be freely available for anyone with access to the internet, rather than limiting readership to subscribers only. It opens up academic research to everyone and is strongly supported by the UK Government as a driver for economic regeneration.

UKRI and other funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust, Horizon Europe and some charity funders are requiring their grant holders to ensure that all outputs from their grants are made OA.  There are also open access requirements for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Cardiff University’s institutional repository, ORCA, showcases staff and research student publications and makes research outputs available to the public online. Cardiff University requires the deposit of the full text of all Cardiff University research publications into ORCA where copyright allows.

Cardiff University Open Access Publications Policy

The Cardiff University Open Access Publications Policy requires that:

For grant holders (UKRI, Wellcome, etc):

  1. Immediate open access to research articles (from April 2022 for UKRI grant holders).  This can be through a Transformative Open Access Agreement or a fully Open Access publication with a commercial publisher, or via an institutional or subject repository or publishing platform.
  2. For monographs, book chapters and edited collections, these must be made available through open access within 12 months of publication, from 1st January 2024.

For authors not holding a grant:

  1. Authors/Open Access Co-ordinators should record bibliographic details of all research outputs in the University’s institutional repository, no later than the date of publication.
  2. For journal articles and conference proceedings only, authors deposit the full text of the final, peer-reviewed, author’s accepted manuscript (“post-print") in the institutional repository no later than 3 months after acceptance. Where publishers’ copyright permissions allow and there are no confidentiality or commercial constraints, these versions will be made Open Access. Subject Librarians and the ORCA team can advise on copyright permissions (see para. 21).
  3. Self-archived authors accepted manuscripts will automatically have a cover sheet added containing the bibliographic details.
  4. Outputs subject to an embargo will not be released publicly until the embargo period has expired (although they will still be eligible for REF submission within the embargo period).
  5. Authors/Open Access Co-ordinators are responsible for checking the accuracy of their publications in the Research Portal.
  6. Authors/Open Access Co-ordinators are strongly encouraged to deposit the full text of all other publications (including monographs) in the institutional repository where publishers’ copyright permissions allow. This will enable the University to claim credit in the Environment statements for promoting an Open Access policy.
  7. Authors must use the standardised institutional affiliation “Cardiff University” in all research outputs to ensure a consistent link to the University. The use of standard author identification methods such as ORCID is required. Help is available from the ORCA Team and/or your subject librarian.
  8. Authors must acknowledge the source of grant funding associated with a research output. This is a condition of grant funders.
  9. Authors must comply with the funders’ policies relating to OA, including research information and data management, including research data access statements.
  10. The policy applies to all researchers, including PhD students.
  11. University regulations already require research theses to be deposited into ORCA when awarded (unless exempted for copyright reasons).
  12. Cardiff University Press has been established to provide a compliant route to open access for University outputs, including monographs. Submissions to the Press are managed by Editorial Boards under the oversight of a University Press Editorial Board.

The rationale for the policy

  • To ensure that the requirements of research funders to make research outputs available freely online are met.
  • To ensure that all journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs are potentially eligible for submission to the REF.
  • To raise the profile of Cardiff University research.
  • To improve opportunities for authors to have their work published.
  • To enable consistent displays of bibliometric measures associated with research outputs such as citation counts and article impact factors.


  • The deposit of research outputs in the institutional repository will ensure their long-term preservation, storage and availability.
  • Publication data and links will be available via School and personal webpages.
  • Researchers will be supported in the upload of relevant, required information to UKRI’s harmonised Research Outputs System, based on the Researchfish tool (which is a requirement for future funding).
  • Outputs deposited in the institutional repository will be ‘exposed’ to Google and other search engines, thus increasing visibility and citation counts.
  • Making outputs Open Access facilitates knowledge transfer and open science. Public service organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses which do not have access to academic literature will be able to access the University’s outputs freely over the web, demonstrating Cardiff’s commitment to supporting the economy in Wales and the world.

Advice and guidance

  • Researchers can deposit their publications in the institutional repository via the intranet. The University Library provides advice and assistance to help researchers with their publications. Contact your Subject Librarian or for further information.
  • Subject Librarians and the ORCA Team can also advise on compliance with copyright and embargo periods and other matters such as research data access statements.
  • The Sherpa Romeo website provides details of the policies of different publishers with regard to copyright permissions, and Sherpa Fact is a tool to help authors establish whether a journal is compliant with funder policies.
  • Support for academic staff regarding advice on funder requirements and availability of OA funding and/or Transformative Agreements which may cover the costs of Open Access charges is provided via
  • Further information, including step by step guidance on REF compliance for each School can be found on the staff and student intranet by searching for Open Access.
  • This policy forms part of the University Research Integrity Code of Practice, which can be found on the intranet.

Cardiff University
19 May 2014
Revised 16 July 2014
Updated 2 December 2014
Revised 7 July 2017
Revised version approved by Senate 25 October 2017
Revised September 2021, approved by Senate 10th November 2021

Document control table

Document title:Cardiff University Open Access Publications Policy
Date approved:10 November 2021
Approved by:Senate
Effective date:19 May 2014