New Open Access policy at St Andrews!

Jacqueline Proven
Wednesday 21 December 2022

The University of St Andrews has launched a new Open Access policy to harmonise the latest requirements from research funders and provide greater support to our researchers, as well as ensuring alignment with the open research objective in the University strategy to “make our research findings widely available for local, national, and global benefit” [University Strategy 2022-27].

You can read the full Open Access policy statement and details aimed at enabling our researchers to use the rights retained in their scholarly works:

  • The University will require Accepted manuscripts for Articles published in Journals and Conference Proceedings to be deposited in Pure. Deposited manuscripts will be made available without embargo and with a Creative Commons CC BY licence.
  • The University will also require manuscripts for Books and Chapters to be deposited in Pure, but only where there is a funder mandate in place – for instance for Wellcome Trust or UKRI. Here a 12 month embargo is permissible as are alternative Creative Commons licences (although CC BY is preferred).
  • The full policy contains details on exceptions as well as ‘alternative options’.
  • The policy will be in effect for research outputs submitted after 01 February 2023.

Open access (OA) must be globally sustainable and equitable and make the best use of resources, with innovative business models and community approaches encouraging a vibrant publishing ecosystem, thus making scholarly research more open and accessible to the public. The University recognises scholarly research as a collaborative endeavour transcending national borders, for which communication and discourse are essential. [University of St Andrews Open Access policy]



The University of St Andrews has long been committed to Open Research. Making research outputs more readily available to read and share increases the potential for community engagement, citation, reuse and impact. Most major research funders, including UKRI and Wellcome Trust, now have Plan S aligned policies requiring immediate open access (OA) to peer-reviewed publications and licensed in such a way as to maximise sharing and reuse. However, despite the emergence of Plan S aligned funder policies, there was still a need for St Andrews to provide additional robust support mechanisms that apply more democratically and not just to those with specific research funding. We therefore wanted to create a more cohesive shared open access journey (see diagram above) whereby every researcher at St Andrews has the potential to maximise the benefits from their research.

The principle support mechanism underwriting the new policy is Rights Retention. The University’s Intellectual Property policy already sets out the principle of retained author rights, aiming to rebalance ownership and rights in scholarly works to enable wide dissemination. The revised OA policy provides the details required for staff to apply these rights, fully supported by their institution.

Our academic community was consulted widely during 2022 so that feedback could be incorporated, and the revised OA policy contains a wide range of frequently asked questions to clarify and provide further guidance on implementation. The Open Research team are hugely grateful for the time and detailed comments from our researchers during this process (the final version of the policy was approved by Academic Senate in December 2022). This has therefore been a highly collaborative project, both internally and externally – St Andrews is not going alone with this new revised Open Access policy, many UK institutions are developing similar approaches, and we cite the University of Edinburgh as a leader in the sector and source of advice while developing our policy.

Share this story

Leave a reply

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

Contact us

Open Research
Walter Bower House
Eden Campus
Main Street
St Andrews
KY16 0US
Fife, Scotland, UK

Open Access email:
[email protected]
Research Data email:
[email protected]

Phone: 01334 468851(OA) / 01334 462343(RDM)