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Open Access: FAQs & Definitions

Information Services and Library Team, London Business School.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which version should I deposit?
HEFCE stipulate that the author's final peer reviewed version should be deposited. (Otherwise called the post-print or post-referee but pre-publication version.) Most publishers do not allow the final published version to be uploaded into a repository. To check this use Sherpa Romeo.

Will an article deposited under Green OA be immediately available to download in full-text? 
This depends on the publisher’s Green OA policies for the journal. Some publishers impose embargoes of between 12 and 24 months; others have embargoes of up to 4 years. Institutional Repository systems will allow deposit of an article under Green OA but also impose and enforce any required embargo period. Once the embargo has ended, the document will be available to download in full-text. An IR may therefore have to maintain a “dark archive” of embargoed documents as well as those will be available for immediate download after embargoes have ended.

Are there any discounts available for Gold Open Access?
This depends on the publisher, or if the author is a member of a society or if the LBS Library subscribes to a journal covered by Gold OA policy (Discounts must be previously arranged). “Offsetting” opportunities (i.e. where Library has a journal subscription) will be explored.

Do all journals offer a Gold OA option?
No. Some but not all, established journals offer a Gold alternative (paid) open access.  Recently, some new journals have been established to operate as exclusively Open Access e.g. PLoS (Public Library of Science)Use SHERPA/ROMEO to check this by publisher / journal title.

I have a funder – how can I check their requirements against my journal of choice?
Use SHERPA/FACT  to check your funder’s requirements against the journal where you intend to publish your article. SHERPA/FACT will tell you which version of your article you can upload into the Repository as defined by both your Funder’s and the Publisher’s policies on Open Access.

I don’t have a funder – how do I check the Open Access options for my journal(s) where I intend to publish?
Use SHERPA/ROMEO to check publishers’ copyright policies for self-archiving.

I’m bidding for funding – how can I check different funders’ Open Access policies to help my journal choice?
Use SHERPA/JULIET - you can search by funder’s name or keyword to review its current top-level policy.

How can I check before I select a journal (in which to publish) if it complies with HEFCE OA policy?
Use the SHERPA/FACT service  and / or SHERPA/ROMEO - you can use these services to search for journal titles and review the current publisher Open Access policies (and funder mandates).

I already use SSRN to deposit papers – so aren’t I “compliant” already? 
If you deposit pre-prints (Working Papers) in SSRN, then these won’t comply with HEFCE’s post-2014 REF Open Access policy which requires post-prints to have been deposited into a subject or institutional repository on / within 3 months of acceptance for publication after 1 April 2016 The School’s Institutional Repository won’t conflict with your SSRN profile or workflow. The IR can contain multiple links to different versions of your article (e.g. pre-print on SSRN; post-print in LBS repository; version of record on publisher’s web site).

Can I deposit book chapters?
Book chapters are not required for deposit to the repository but they can however contribute to the wider base of research outputs for the REF – but the 90 day rule doesn’t apply to this format. A few publishers will permit deposit of single chapters in repositories; others will charge substantial APCs. A list of what publishers allow in terms of open access to chapters and books is available on Cambridge University’s Scholarly Communication webpages.

 So check your publishers OA policy for monographs to see if they allow deposit in an institutional repository, at all. If they do, then simply Act on Acceptance as usual and we’ll deposit in the repository with the appropriate embargo applied. If you’re not sure or don’t have time to check the publisher’s policy, then simply forward us the chapter and we’ll check for you. 

HEFCE have developed a set of FAQs regarding OA policy.



Accessible Different from discoverable. Accessible in open access terms means not behind a paywall and able to download and search the pdf or document immediately upon finding it.
APC Article Processing Charge. 
The publisher fee to cover publishing.The payment of an APC enables GOLD (immediate) Open Access to the research paper
AAM Author Accepted Manuscript
CC-BY A Creative Commons licence that allows others to modify, develop and/or distribute the licensed work (including for commercial purposes) as long as the original author is credited.
CC-BY-NC As above but restricted to non-commercial.
Discoverable The ability to find an article. Depositing in a repository with the appropriate metadata will result in an article becoming more discoverable. It is not the same as accessible.
Embargo period A length of time that publishers set before authors are allowed to make publications Green open access. Embargos may vary. Further information can be found using Sherpa/RoMEO.
Gold Open Access

Author pays model.

The journal publisher charges a fee (Article processing charge) in order to make an article freely available. Articles can then be  immediately available to the public on the publisher’s website.

Green Open Access Self archiving
Authors publish in a journal and self-archives a version (pre-print, post refereeing or published version) of the article in their institutional repository. The publisher decides which version it permits to be archived and it may also set an embargo period, usually between 6 and 24 months.
Institutional Repository An online collection of open access research publications undertaken by a single institution, such as LBS.  Contains both metadata and full text records in a variety of formats and usually forms a comprehensive record of research outputs.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID - now becoming an international standard. 


Meta data Descriptive information about a research output used when citing it in another work: author, title, journal title, publisher, date of publication etc.
Point of acceptance The date when the publisher confirms to you that your article has been accepted.
Research output The written analysis of research undertaken by academic staff. Outputs can include books, articles, conference proceedings, theses, commissioned reports, working papers and non-textual elements such as graphs and data.
Self archiving The process of depositing your research output to a repository along with bibliographic metadata. Leads to Green Open Access.
Subject repository A subject orientated, often multi-disciplinary, collection of open access e-publications from multiple institutions, which are free to users. SSRN is a good example.

Journal articles - publishing terms

First draft of the article  before peer-review, even before any contact with a publisher.
N.B. Publishers may use the term pre-print for the finished article, reviewed, corrected, ready/accepted for publication. (But not the type-set/ formatted version.) This different usage can cause confusion.

A version approved 
after peer-review, with revisions having been made. Content wise, post-prints are the same as the published article but the appearance this might not be the same as the published article as the publisher may alter the appearance during typsetting/formatting.

Publisher’s Version
The published journal/article version or "version of record."