ISIS Publications and Open Access

The UK research councils are encouraging the results of publicly-funded research to be made available with 'open access'. What this is, and how it affects publications resulting from work performed at ISIS, is described here.

Policy summary
(see below for details)

• Research performed at ISIS is publicly-funded (unless directly paid for by industry or an overseas partner). Therefore the UK Research Councils’ policy on open access for publications applies.

• For publications with a UK corresponding author, that author should apply to their home institution for funds to cover article charges to make the paper fully open access (‘gold route’) . Where these funds are not available, the ‘green’ route for the relevant journal and/or STFC’s ePubs system (or a similar university system or arXiv) should be used.

The UK government, through Research Councils UK (RCUK), is committed to providing greater access to the outputs of publicly funded research, by mandating an Open Access policy on all such research. The policy aims to achieve “immediate, unrestricted, on‐line access to peer-reviewed and published research papers, free of any access charge.” These requirements apply to all government funded research published after 1 April 2013. As ISIS is a largely publicly-funded facility, papers resulting from work at ISIS fall within the RCUK’s open access policy.

Routes to Open Access
There are two main routes to achieving open access:
1. ‘Gold’: the journal provides immediate and unrestricted access to the final published version of the paper via its own website. The journal should also allow immediate deposit of the paper in other repositories. This is often achieved through payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher prior to publication (but after acceptance).
1. ‘Green’: the journal consents to the deposit of the accepted manuscript (the version of the journal article submitted by the author that has been through the peer review process) in any repository within a defined period (often 6 months or a year). No APC is payable to the publisher.

RCUK policy
RCUK policy gives a preference for the Gold route. To this end they have provided block grants to institutions whose staff are funded by research council grants to cover the cost of APCs. The value of the grant is dependent on estimates of the numbers of publications from each institution . However, the decision on which route to follow remains at the discretion of the researcher and their organisation.

Policy for papers resulting from ISIS work
ISIS encourages papers from work at the facility to be made available through an Open Access route. UK universities have been allocated block grants to cover APC charges, and UK ISIS users should apply for these funds from their home institution (the corresponding author on the paper should do this). ISIS has no additional funds to support APC charges. Therefore, where funds are not available from a home institution, users should use the ‘green’ open access route for the relevant journal. We would also encourage use of the STFC ePubs repository or a similar university repository or arXiv . Where an ISIS staff member is corresponding author, STFC has some very limited funds (from the block allocation) to cover APC charges. Where these are available, the ‘gold’ route can be used; otherwise, the ‘green’ route should be used.

The SHERPA RoMEO database gives details of publishers’ copyright and archiving policies.

Useful links
RCUK Policy on Open Access and Guidance: 

RCUK block grant to institutions:


Sherpa RoMEO database:

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