Open Access Publications Policy



Open Access Publications Policy

1.1  Open Access refers to the provision of free, immediate, online access to research, which is also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.


1.2  There are two ways to make research Open Access:

  • Green Open Access: depositing a copy of a published research output in an open access repository such as WIRE
  • Gold Open Access: publishing in a journal that makes a research output freely available online immediately.

1.3  Key research funders such as UKRI, the European Union Framework Programmes and the Wellcome Trust, as well as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) have policies on Open Access, intended to maximise access to and re-use of publicly funded research.

1.4  The University of Wolverhampton is committed to the principles of Open Access and aims to             ensure that research outputs achieve the maximum economic, social and cultural impact by allowing access to the widest possible audience.

1.5  The University’s Open Access repository WIRE is available for the recording of all research outputs and as a means for making green Open Access full-text versions available online.

1.6  The University is committed to supporting researchers’ freedom to choose where to publish, as long as the journal or publisher with which the author’s work is published is not in conflict with REF or funders’ contractual requirements.

2.1  The aims of this policy are to:


2. 1.1  Ensure that researchers meet the requirements of funders to make research outputs freely available  through an Open Access route.


2.1.2  Ensure that research outputs are eligible for submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF).


2.1.3  Expose University of Wolverhampton research outputs to as wide an audience as possible, raising the profile of both individual researchers and the University.


2.1.4  Create a clear record and ensure long term preservation of University of Wolverhampton research outputs.


2.1.5  Provide a route by which authors can share their research outputs online without contravening copyright.

3.1  This policy applies to all research outputs authored or co-authored by staff at the University of Wolverhampton including those published by research students.


3.2  It mandates the Open Access publication of all journal articles and conference papers in scope of the REF 2021 Open Access Policy requirements, and encourages the deposit of all other research output types, where possible.

4.1  The University of Wolverhampton Open Access Publications Policy requires that:


4.1.1  All journal articles and conference contributions are deposited in WIRE via Elements as soon as possible after acceptance for publication and no later than three months after this date. The version that should be deposited is the author’s accepted manuscript.


4.1.2  Where permitted a full-text copy of all other types of research should also be deposited in WIRE via Elements. The Scholarly Communications Team can answer any queries regarding publisher permissions for archiving book chapters, monographs and other output types.     

4.2  The University of Wolverhampton fully advocates green Open Access (deposit in WIRE). Gold Open Access through Open Access journals is supported via the institutional article processing charge (APC) fund, while funds are available; or through Open Access or hybrid journals where APCs can be met by the research funder or University library subscriptions to transformative publishing deals.

4.3  Individual publishers may require an embargo period to be applied to research outputs deposited via the green Open Access method. Where such an embargo exists, it will be handled by the Scholarly Communications team, and outputs should still be deposited as soon as possible, and no later than 3 months, after acceptance for publication.

4.4  All documents made available on an Open Access basis in WIRE will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) licence where legally permitted. Licenses more restrictive than CC BY-NC-ND will not be applied. A more permissive licence will be applied on request if, for example, that is a funding requirement.

4.5  Metadata only records with no full-text documents will not be published on WIRE, except for those which are temporarily subject to embargo periods or where the full text version was in the public domain when the author was not employed at a UK HEI.

4.6  Research students are required to deposit a copy of their thesis into WIRE as a condition of award. All theses will be made Open Access on deposit, unless the student has been granted a restricted access period by the Dean of Research.

5.1  Researchers[1] are responsible for:           

5.1.1  Ensuring that details of all research outputs are recorded in Elements and the relevant full-text versions are deposited into WIRE within the required timeframe. Journal articles and conference contributions must be deposited immediately after acceptance for publication, but the deposit of other types of published research outputs is encouraged as soon as possible where permitted.

5.1.2  Depositing in WIRE research outputs that have been published gold Open Access and previously made available on pre-print or other repository platforms. This is to maintain a complete record of University of Wolverhampton’s research.

5.1.3  Ensuring their journal choice is compliant with funder requirements. To ensure eligibility for the next REF, it is recommended that publication is restricted to titles with no Open Access embargo, or where any embargo is no greater than:

  • 1 year for outputs admissible to REF panel A or B
  • 2 years for outputs admissible to REF panel C or D

5.1.4  Avoiding disreputable ‘predatory’ publishers by using tools such as the Directory of Open Access Journals and Think Check Submit to identify high quality Open Access peer reviewed journals. Where the author is unsure of a publisher’s standing, consultation with the Scholarly Communications Team is recommended.

5.1.5  Budgeting for Open Access publication costs in grants if gold Open Access is a requirement of the funding.

5.1.6  Checking that publishing permissions and other rights listed by commercial publishers are acceptable before signing any contract such as a copyright transfer agreement. Agreements that do not allow deposit of an article to meet conditions of funding, such as rights retention strategies and green Open Access requirements for embargo periods and licences, must not be signed. Where an author is unsure if a publisher policy or contract will allow them to fulfil the Open Access requirements of funder policies, they should contact the Scholarly Communications Team for advice as soon as possible in the publication process.

5.1.7  Using the standard institutional affiliation “University of Wolverhampton” in all published research outputs.

5.1.8  Acknowledging the source of grant funding as stipulated by the research funding body.

5.1.9  Ensuring that they comply with publisher copyright when sharing their published research output online.

5.1.10  Registering for an ORCiD identifier and using this on any personal or University of Wolverhampton web page, and throughout the research lifecycle including, when publishing or depositing research outputs and when applying for research grants.

5.1.11  Engaging with the information on Open Access offered by the University and attending training sessions where possible.

5.2  In addition to complying with this policy, University of Wolverhampton staff and students must also comply with institutional and funder policies relating to Open Access and research data management.      


[1] Exceptions apply only to staff who were not employed at a UK HEI when the full text version first entered the public domain.

6.1  The University is responsible for:

6.1.1  Providing access to systems, support, information and training to facilitate Open Access.

6.1.2  Managing the long-term preservation, continued access, and storage of research outputs in WIRE.

6.1.2  Checking research outputs deposited via Elements by adding metadata, embargoes and creative commons licences and making the outputs available in WIRE as soon as possible.

6.1.3  Recording the compliance of outputs with the REF2021 open access policy, and subsequent research assessment exercises, and applying exceptions to the policy where appropriate.

6.1.4  Investigating and promoting the University’s transformative subscription deals that include pre-paid article processing charges for gold Open Access publishing.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies and guidance:


University of Wolverhampton Policies

Open Research Statement

Research Data Management Policy


Funder and Research Council Policies

UKRI Open Access Principles and High Level Policy

REF Open Access Policy

Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020

8.1  Open Access: Open access refers to the provision of free, immediate, online access to research, which is also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

8.2  Author’s accepted manuscript (AAM): The author’s accepted manuscript is the final version of the manuscript which has been accepted by the publisher following changes made during peer review. If the document has been typeset or copy-edited by the publisher, then it is not an AAM.

8.3  Gold Open Access: The final publisher’s version of a research output is made Open Access at the time of publication without an embargo period. An article processing charge (APC) is usually charged for publication. APCs for University of Wolverhampton authors must be met through the research funder.

8.4  Green Open Access: Making a version of a research output Open Access by depositing a copy (usually the AAM) in an institutional repository. Some journals impose an embargo period during which Open Access copies cannot be made available. There are no additional costs associated with green Open Access.

8.5  Hybrid Open Access Journal: A subscription journal where some articles are made available on an Open Access basis on the payments of an article processing charge (APC).

8.6  Open Access Journal: Open Access journals are journals in which all the articles are available Open Access at no cost to the reader. The journals are funded through support from learned societies, professional organisations or institutions, where there is no cost to the author, or through article processing charges.     

8.7  ORCiD: A digital identifier unique to every researcher. It provides a means of unambiguously identifying an individual researcher through the research lifecycle from grant application to publication and facilitates automatic linking between an individual and their professional activity. Researchers can set up their own ORCiD at

8.8  Predatory Publishers: Predatory publishing is an exploitative academic publishing business     model that involves charging publication fees to authors without checking articles for quality and legitimacy and without providing the other editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals. TheDirectory of Open Access Journals can be used to identify high quality Open Access peer reviewed journals.

8.9  WIRE: Wolverhampton Institutional Repository and E-theses is the University’s Open Access repository, accessible at . Instructions for archiving in WIRE are available at

8.10       Creative Commons licences: Free, easy-to-use copyright licenses that provide a simple, standardised way to give permission to share and use creative work.

VersionApproved DateReview DateAuthor/OwnerApproved By
5 16 March 2022 March 2025 Stuart Bentley, Scholarly Communications Librarian / Luke Fowler, Content, Digital and Research Support Manager, The University Library (Directorate of Student and Academic Services) Academic Board