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Open access publication policy


The University has policies and procedures in place to ensure good research practice and to sustain programmes of excellent and ethical research. Poicies are also concerned with research quality promoting the highest standards of integrity, impartiality and respect for data. The University is committed to making the outputs of its research as widely available as possible and supports the principles of open access to make the outputs of publicly-funded research available through unrestricted online access.

The aim of the policy is to: 

  • maximise the visibility of the University's research to a global audience and to generate new research partnerships and collaborations
  • help researchers to disseminate their work as widely as possible and increase usage, citations and impact
  • support compliance with the open access policies of research funders
  • ensure that there is a central, comprehensive record of all University research outputs for reporting and auditing purposes
  • facilitate the preservation of research outputs

Policy requirements

  • 1. A record for each research output resulting from research carried out by University researchers must be added to the institutional research output repository, SHURA (Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive). This must be done on acceptance by the publisher and certainly no later than the date of publication. The principle of creating a central record of University research as soon as possible after completion applies to all types of outputs irrespective of format.
  • 2. Authors must at the same time or as soon as possible afterwards deposit a copy of their work in SHURA. This will be made open access/publicly available in accordance with their agreement with the publisher and with the publisher's open access policy. For journal articles the version of the work which can be accepted will in most cases be the post-print. The author's final peer reviewed version before publication and not the publisher's PDF. Authors may in addition choose to deposit their work in subject repositories relevant to their discipline.
  • 3. The University's preference is to follow the green open access route wherever possible but the gold route through the payment of article processing charges (APCs) to publishers is also supported where appropriate. Funds provided by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the University Open Access Fund will be used appropriately and strategically to increase the visibility and impact of University publications.
  • 4. Authors must acknowledge institutional affiliation to Sheffield Hallam University in a standard format in their publications.
  • 5. Authors must acknowledge sources of funding in their research outputs including grant numbers where applicable.
  • 6. Authors are encouraged to seek to retain copyright and other reuse rights for their research outputs in any contracts with collaborators, funders and publishers. Authors must be aware of the terms of copyright transfer agreements they sign with publishers and the impact on how their work can be made available and reused
  • 7. Authors must apply the most open form of licence which is appropriate to their work to allow re-use. This includes taking into account funder requirements to use specific Creative Commons licences.
  • 8. Authors must indicate where the underlying research data can be accessed in compliance with the University's research data management policy.
  • 9. Authors must follow University guidelines on the principles of authorship.
  • 10. A collaboration agreement must be in place with external partners before the start of the research that clearly addresses publication practice, authorship, open access and payment in line with funder and/or University policy.
  • 11. Authors who join the University and who have published research whilst at another UK higher education institute (or research organisation) must deposit a record of their research in SHURA within one month of commencing their employment at the University. Where permitted, authors must at the same time or as soon as possible afterwards deposit a copy of their work in SHURA or provide details of the subject-based repository where the publication is archived as set out in points 1 and 2 above.


The policy and associated procedures apply to all research outputs produced by University staff in the course of their employment and by postgraduate research students for the duration on their studies at the University.

The policy applies to all types of research irrespective of the source of funding but acknowledges that there may be individual conditions/circumstances such as confidentiality or commercial sponsorship which need to be considered before making a work open access.

The open access of research data which underpins research outputs is discussed in the research data management policy.

Governance and infrastructure

  • Policy owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor for research and innovation
  • Operational owner: director of Learning and Information Services
  • Policy coordinator: head of information resources
  • Monitoring board: Research and Innovation Committee

Responsibility for implementation

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for research and innovation
  • Assistant deans for research and innovation
  • Research centre heads
  • UoA co-ordinators

It is the responsibility of individual researchers to ensure that they comply with the policy together with any conditions made by funders with respect to publications in their grant awards.

Open access policies

Further information and guidance

Related Sheffield Hallam University policies

Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive (SHURA) provides the central record and archive for research outputs. It contains descriptions of the research outputs with full-text where available. It uses EPrints software and conforms to standards for open access repositories which means that the content is discoverable by internet search engines.

SHURA is managed by Learning and Information Services (LIS). LIS staff advise on licencing issues, check that deposits are compliant with publisher copyright policies and manage funds and processes associated with the payment of article processing charges.

Information about SHURA and how to upload your work 

The Research and Innovation Office advises on grant applications, processes and compliance.

Funder and journal policies

  • SHERPA RoMEO provides information about open access policies by journal and publisher.
  • SHERPA FACT provides information about journal compliance with funder policies.

Information on the staff intranet, including publication decision-making tree.

Information on the external webpages.


Open access means unrestricted online access to peer reviewed research. Although in practice mainly applied to journal articles, it is also applicable for all types of research outputs in text or non-text format.

Green open access refers to the practice of self-archiving where authors publish in an appropriate publication and then self-archiving a version of the article for free public use in their institutional repository.

Gold open access is the term used to describe the situation where authors publish in an open access journal that provides immediate OA to all of its content on the publisher's website (may involve payment of a fee) or where they publish in a hybrid journal which are subscription journals that provide gold open access only for those individual articles for which their authors (or their author's institution or funder) pay an open access publishing fee.

Download a PDF version of our open access publication policy. 

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