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Biochemistry: Open Access publishing

Guide to Oxford University library resources, facilities and services for Biochemistry.

To-do list

  • Familiarize yourself with your funder's requirement.  See Oxford Open Access:requirements by funder.  If it is not listed there, consult the SHERPA/JULIET site.
  • Check if the journal you wish to publish in, has an open access policy.  Use SHERPA/RoMEO site.
  • Consult SHERPA/FACT to check if the journal is compliant with your funder's requirements for open access.
  • Decide which open access route to take to comply with your funder if you have the choice  - gold or green.
  • If gold, claim APC payment following instructions on this page under "Quick links".
  • If green, self-archive your accepted manuscript in ORA http://ora/information/contribute
  • Deposit all your newly-accepted journal articles and conference papers into ORA through Symplectic Elements, and within 3 months of the date of acceptance to be eligible for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).  Go to Act on Acceptance to find out more and Deposit your work.
  • If you have any questions while going through these steps contact your subject librarian using

What is The REF? The REF is a UK national evaluation of research quality led by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  it is, usually, run every 5 years.  To find out more, see about the last REF 2014.

Depositing Publications in ORA

To deposit in ORA please follow instructions AAM Quick Deposit Form on the ORA Help & Information page.

If you use Symplectic Elements tool or wish to register for an account follow instructions on the page Depositing to ORA using Symplectic Elements

Open data

RCUK strongly supports making research data open access as well as papers. 

Open Access and Oxford


To find out about Open Access publishing and Oxford's policies with regard to Open Access payment, please see the following boxes underneath:

  • Funders Requirements
  • Publishers Policies
  • Open Access & the Next REF: Act on Acceptance

For a recap, see the To-do List on the left.

The Bodleian Libraries regularly run general (non-subject specific) workshops on Open Access and maintain the Open Access Oxford website.

Funder requirements

Since April 2013 funding councils which are part of RCUK require articles published in peer reviewed journals or conference proceedings to be open access. The RCUK open access policy states:

"Our vision is for all users to be able to read published research papers in an electronic format and to search for and re‐use (including download) the content of published research papers, both manually and using automated tools (such as those for text and data mining), provided that any such re‐use is subject to full and proper attribution." (see RCUK Policy on Open Access and Supporting Guidance)

More information can be found at

Many other funding bodies have similar open access requirements.  See our list of funding bodies for more information or visit the Sherpa Juliet web site which provides full details of requirements for each funder.

Publisher policies

If you are required to make your article open access you will need to find out your publisher's policies on open access.  How to make your article open access?

The green route

  • It is free.
  • The author deposits the final version or accepted manuscript (after peer review) in an open access repository ( see more in box Open Access Repositories).
  • The article is available free on the internet after an embargo period.  Be aware that most publishers will insist on an embargo period, whilst funders will require your article to be available within a particular time frame (e.g. 6 months for most RCUK grants, 12 months for AHRC and ESRC). 

Examples of Major Green Journals: Science, Nature, 

The gold route

  • It requires the author to pay an "Article Processing Charge" (APC) to the publisher.
  • The publisher archives a pdf version in PubMed Central or Europe PMC.
  • The article is available free at point of publication on the publisher website. 
  • Authors who have their research funded by RCUK and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) are eligible to apply for the RCUK and COAF block grants to cover the cost of the APC. 

Gold route journals may be divided into two categories:

  1. entirely open access journals in which all articles are freely available. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists 8000 scholarly journals in this category. You will be required to pay an APC to publish in many of these journals.
  2. hybrid journals in which articles are NOT generally open access (i.e. they are only available to paid subscribers) unless the authors pay an APC to make their article open access

Examples of fully gold journals: eLife, PLoS publications, BMC Biochemistry, BioMed Central publications

Examples of hybrid journals:PNAS, Cell, Journal of Molecular Biology, American Journal of human Genetics 

Please note that some open access journals do not allow you to deposit a copy of your article in an repository or have your paper published under CC-BY licence.  This can be problematic if the terms of your grant require you to do so.

To find out which of the different options are available from your publisher see the Sherpa Romeo web site which lists open access policies by publisher.

 Applying for Article Processing Charge (APC)

RCUK and COAF have allocated Oxford a sum of money to pay APCs for RCUK funded research.

For APCs for research funded by the the Wellcome Trust and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) see Open Access: What do I do at Oxford?

For APCs for research funded by other RCUK grants see Open Access: Applying for Funding from Oxford's RCUK Open Access Block Grant.

For further help and questions about APC please contact us.

Contact us

Identify yourself with an ORCID iD

An ORCID iD is a unique researcher identifier, used worldwide, that you keep throughout your life and retain even if you move institution.

It identifies you and your work, and prevents confusion between you and others with the same name or initials.

Use ORCID at Oxford to register your affiliation with Oxford. 

Find further information on the ORCID LibGuide.

From August 2015 Wellcome Trust requires ORCIDs in grant applications.

Quick links