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Rights Retention Strategy

 

Overview

A number of funders now have Plan S aligned open access policies (for example, Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Templeton Foundation). These funders have a number of options available for researchers to comply with their open access mandate.

The routes are:

1. Publish in a fully open access or transformative journal, and pay an APC for immediate gold open access of the version of record.

2. Publish in a journal that provides gold open access via a Read & Publish deal. No individual APC is paid.

3. Publish in a subscription/hybrid journal that does not fall under 1 or 2 above (i.e. that is not working towards becoming fully Open Access within a defined timeframe) by applying a CC BY licence to your accepted manuscript and depositing it in your funder’s preferred repository (e.g. Wellcome Trust requires deposition in EuropePMC). No individual APC is paid.

 

What researchers need to do

Option 3 above is referred to as the ‘rights retention strategy’.

In order to use the rights retention strategy, it is critically important that you state on your submitted manuscript that you will apply a CC BY licence to the accepted version. It is via this statement that you are ‘retaining’ your right to apply a CC BY licence to the accepted version.

If you don’t include the statement, your paper will be non-compliant with your funder’s open access mandate, as they require the statement to be included on all submitted manuscripts.

The statement should read: “This research was funded in whole or in part by the [Funder] [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission.”

Once the paper is accepted for publication, the author should deposit the accepted manuscript in their funder’s repository of choice, making sure that it is available by the time the version of record is published.

 

Depositing your Accepted manuscript to Apollo

The Open Access team will deposit your paper in Apollo for you, however, please note that if your funder requires rights retention, institutional repositories are not always the preferred repository and depositing in Apollo alone may not make your paper compliant.

Once your paper has been uploaded, a member of the Open Access team team may check with you when your paper was first submitted if it is not obvious from the submission. This is to determine whether the new rights retention policy applies or not. They will also confirm with you that the rights retention statement was included on the submitted manuscript, and will ask you to confirm that you haven’t signed a rights agreement that prevents you from complying with your funder’s open access mandate.

Once confirmed, we will deposit your accepted manuscript in Apollo with a CC BY licence.

You can upload your accepted manuscript via our website

 

How are publishers responding to rights retention?

We are aware that researchers have experienced difficulties with some publishers when attempting to use the rights retention strategy.

We are not aware of any journals that are actively refusing to consider papers that contain the rights retention statement, although this may change in time. If authors do experience this then they should contact both their funder and the Open Access team.

 

Below are some examples of publisher responses to rights retention:

 

  • The publisher asks the grantholder to agree to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) at the point of submission.

Authors should be aware that their funder will not pay these APCs. Authors are advised to contact the journal and ask for a fee waiver, or consider publishing in another journal.

 

  • The publisher informs the authors that the licence of their accepted manuscript and their published paper must match, and therefore request payment for an APC. 

Authors should be aware that their funder will not pay these APCs. Authors are advised to contact the journal and ask for a fee waiver, or consider publishing in another journal.

 

  • The publisher asks the corresponding authors to sign an agreement stating that they will not act in a way that goes against the journal’s self-archiving policy

Authors should be aware that signing agreements like this will prevent them from complying with their funder’s open access mandate, unless the journal’s self-archiving policy allows them to apply a CC BY licence to their accepted manuscript and deposit it in their funder’s preferred repository immediately upon acceptance with no embargo. Agreements like this should not be signed and authors are advised not to do so. If the publisher refuses to publish the paper then authors should consider publishing in another journal. Authors should contact both their funder and the Open Access team so that they are aware of the difficulties experienced with the particular publisher. 

 

  • The publisher suggests to authors that they publish in a different journal (which will either be fully open access or a ‘transformative’ journal, i.e. one where the funders will pay an APC)

Authors should be free to choose where they publish and should be aware that such suggestions may be a means to avoid rights retention, rather than a genuine suggestion of a more suitable journal.