New Open Access Publications Policy

The University has updated its Open Access Publications Policy. The changes were approved by the Research and Innovation Committee in Michaelmas Term 2022.

The Open Access landscape is complex and continuously changing. The University's updated Open Access Publications Policy reflects current funder policies and seeks to support researchers as early as possible in the publication process. The changes help researchers navigate this complex environment and maximise Open Access of Oxford-authored publications.   

What to do    

  • Seek advice: know your Open Access options when thinking of a publication venue  

When you are thinking of publishing and are unsure of your funder’s Open Access requirements or those of the next REF, please contact the Open Access helpdesk ( The helpdesk can advise on the Open Access requirements and options available to you, including sources of publication funds, using rights retention to keep your copyright, conversations with co-authors about Open Access costs and on the relationship between Open Access and Intellectual Property. You can also visit the Open Access webpage for information. 

The policy applies to any of the following: journal articles, conference papers, books, book sections and chapters, reports and working and discussion papers – please note this is not an exhaustive list.  

  • On acceptance for publication, please use Symplectic Elements to deposit your author accepted manuscript into ORA (journal articles and conference papers only)  

Log into your Symplectic Elements account and deposit your author accepted manuscript into ORA (Oxford Research Archive) upon receipt of your acceptance notification. ORA is our central archive where a copy of all publications should reside and is core to meeting our Open Access obligations and aspirations efficiently. 

What is expected for the next REF?  

Outputs published from 1 January 2021 are already potentially eligible for submission to the next REF, likely in 2027, and through Act on Acceptance (Step 2 above) you can ensure that your journal article or conference proceeding meets the Open Access eligibility for inclusion.   

If there is a new REF Open Access policy, it is likely to be announced in 2023 and align with the existing UKRI Open Access policy. Increasing your understanding of Open Access options now by contacting the Open Access helpdesk ( when you are ready to publish will make it easier to know what to do when the new REF Open Access policy is announced.