Category Archives: Open Access

What does an accepted manuscript look like?

The accepted manuscript required for the REF open access policy can take many forms. This post is an attempt to provide some guidance!

The REF and university open access policies require that an author uploads the accepted version (also known as the “post-print” or “accepted manuscript” or “author’s final, accepted manuscript” version) of a paper into RIS at acceptance. This is the minimum requirement – if you ARE allowed to upload the published version under the publisher’s copyright terms (or a creative commons licence if the article was published open access) then you should do so. Publisher copyright for a journal can be checked on the Sherpa Romeo database.

Sherpa Romeo defines the “post print” as:

The final version of an academic article or other publication – after it has been peer-reviewed and revised into its final form by the author

HEFCE also clarify in their FAQ for the REF open access policy:

We ask that access is provided to the version of the article that contains all academically necessary changes arising from peer review and the academic editorial process. Accepted manuscripts do not typically contain the subsequent non-academic alterations arising from copyediting and typesetting, nor do they typically show the journal page numbers and other publication livery present in the published version of record, but for many people wishing to access research findings they do represent an academically sound version of the output.

So we normally advise that the accepted version:

  1. Contains all changes to the paper requested following the peer review process
  2. Is the version that has been agreed with the editor at the point of definite acceptance for publication
  3. Does not contain any publisher formatting = a proof is normally not acceptable
  4. If it is a Word document, it is recommended to save it as a PDF

However, this is not always the case:

  • Some publishers (e.g. Elsevier) make a clearly labelled “accepted manuscript” available and this can be used in RIS/Cronfa
  • Some journal submission systems will apply formatting earlier in the process

You can see some different examples of accepted manuscripts on Cronfa:

If in doubt which version is acceptable, get in touch with the library research support team ( and we can help!





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Celebrating open access on Cronfa in 2016


Cronfa is the institutional repository for Swansea University’s research publications (current and past authors). It contains bibliographic details for all our research outputs plus full text to download where an author has made this available.

The home page of Cronfa showcases our research. A recent software update means we now have lists for “Most Recent Full Text Additions” and “Top Downloads” per week / month / all time. The change reflects the fact that our authors now have to comply with the REF and university open access policies and make their work open access on Cronfa where possible.

Cronfa in numbers (as of 7/12/16):

  • Number of records on Cronfa = 21,932
  • Number of records with full text* = 1985
  • Number of full text files added since Dec 2015 = 1195
  • % total content available full text*: 9%
  • % total content available full text for outputs published 2014-on*: 22%

We have had a massive increase in the number of files uploaded to Cronfa this year: 1195 have been added since Dec 2015 (compared with 790 available to download then).

* This does not include records that are under embargo.

Types of publication

Our total publications are made up as follows:

  • Journal articles = 17820 (81%)
  • Books = 627 (3%)
  • Book chapters = 1397 (6%)
  • Conference contributions = 1489 (7%)
  • Other = 599 (3%)

Support for Cronfa, RIS and Open Access

We have expanded the Library Research Support team this year to meet the demand for open access support and administration – guidance and our contact details can be found on our webpages.

Thanks to all our researchers for making their work open access this year both on Cronfa and via the “Gold” publisher route!


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Last open access briefing this term!


We have one more open access briefing this term – it’s on Friday 25th November 12-1pm in the SURF Room, Fulton House, Singleton Park Campus. Book your place here!

All Swansea University researchers need to ensure their publications comply with the REF Open Access policy, the institutional policy and any funder policies. Not sure what you need to do? Come along and find out!

We will give an overview of the new Open Access policy for the next REF – this policy places the responsibility on authors to “deposit their work and consider their open access options” but the Library Research Support Team can help with this. As well as widening readership beyond those who can afford expensive journal subscriptions, open access is being shown to boost citations and impact so authors should benefit from the extra effort required by these funder policies.

Come along to find out:

– what needs to be done on RIS when you have an output accepted for publication

– the pros and cons of the different options for making outputs open access, including potential costs and sources of funding.

– how the Library Research Support team can help you

The session will be led by Sam Oakley, Research Librarian (


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What can you do with a newly open access article (on Cronfa)?


We have been pushing the message hard about the new REF open access policy  but open access has many benefits beyond compliance. Evidence piles up that it can lead to increased impact and citations because people everywhere can read your work, not just the privileged elite with access to expensive journal subscriptions. So if you have uploaded a version of your paper to our repository RIS and it’s now available to download in Cronfa, here are a few suggestions of what you could do next to send it out into the world to get read…

What link to share?

Cronfa pages have reliable URLs and include the DOI (where available) to the published article too e.g. so if your article is only open access on Cronfa, share the link to that page:


Copy the link from the address bar of your browser (on Windows = Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste)

Of course, if your paper is published “Gold” open access then using the DOI to link to the publisher site is preferred.

Ideas for promoting an article

  1. Include the link to your “Latest paper:” in your email signature
  2. Link to your paper on a LinkedIn profile (and/or post to any relevant LinkedIn groups)
  3. Uploading a copy of your paper to sites such as Academia.Edu or ResearchGate is not often permitted by publishers as these are commercial sites, however you can link to the open access version from profiles there.
  4. Ensure your paper is added to any online profiles you maintain (e.g. ORCID, ResearcherID, Google Scholar) and include a link to the open access version where possible.
  5. If you are attending or presenting at a conference, tweet a link to your paper when appropriate with the conference hashtag (or get someone else to do it for you if you aren’t on Twitter).  If you are presenting a poster or have any paper handouts, create a short URL to share.
  6. Write a guest blog post including a link to the open access version. Contributing to “The Conversation” is also a great way to reach a wider audience – see our Swansea University authors here.
  7. Sharing links on social media is ideal – altmetrics can help you explore who is talking about your paper OR papers on similar topics. Use the Altmetric bookmarklet to access stats (or many publisher sites now include them). For example, using the Altmetric bookmarklet on this Cronfa article takes you to this site where you can see all the places where the article has been discussed online. If your research relates to this topic, there are articles or blog posts which could be commented on (with a link to your paper) or social media accounts which may be interested in your paper too.
  8. Promoting your article online requires some tact and diplomacy – ideally you will already be part of mutually-supportive online networks! If not, are there departmental / College / research groups or other accounts which could promote your work for you? Make sure they know about your newly open access paper.

What other ideas could be shared? Anything that has worked well for you? Let us know in the comments!

And: a few select links for more on promoting your research paper (& boosting impact in general):



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Don’t fall victim to predatory publishers


Have you received emails asking you to submit a paper to a journal or conference? Researchers are increasingly being bombarded by unsolicited solicitations to publish and these should be treated with extreme caution.

The model of authors paying to publish open access has had the undesirable side-effect of spawning an industry of low quality, sometimes fraudulent, publishers and copy-cat journals to try and get authors to part with money to get published. Emails may reference your previous research or conference presentations; the journal may be a close imitation of a well-reputed one in your field. The pressure on academics to publish means that some of these emails will succeed – unfortunately, it is not just the loss of money that is at stake but also reputation:

One dodgy publication in your publication list brings all the others into question. If you are attaching that publication list to a research grant application, it works against the whole submission. (“Are my publications any good?“, The Research Whisperer blog, 22 Mar 2016)
You may already be wise to this but please don’t assume your colleagues or PhD students are – help us spread the word that this is happening and that there are resources available to help evaluate where to publish.

We have already blogged on some places where you can explore legitimate places to publish. The Think, Check, Submit website also offers good advice on approaching the question of where to publish. Their video is below:

Think. Check. Submit. from Think. Check. Submit. on Vimeo.

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Filenames in the Research Information System

Whats in a name

A few tips on naming your files for the Research Information System:

  • You may have noticed that RIS does not accept filenames with a space or special character such as such as: ! # $ % & ‘ @ ^ ` ~ + , . ; =  so you may need to rename your file before adding it.
  • If you are using more than one word you can separate them with an underscore or perhaps capitalise each word as in ThisIsMyArticle.
  • When you are naming your file consider the end user who will download it – it will be more useful to them if the name gives some indication of what the document is and perhaps who it is by than if it is named something like  article.pdf. You want your reader to be able to recognise and cite your article!
  • Although you want your filename to be descriptive it is best not to make it too long as that can be problematic in some computer systems. 255 characters is the limit for windows systems.
  • We would also advise you to convert your author manuscript to PDF (on many PCs this can be done in Word using File – Save as). This means that your user does not have to have your version of Word and allows your work to be accessed by anyone anywhere, the aim of open access.

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The REF Open Access policy is now in operation…


The countdown is over – the REF policy is now active

Any papers accepted for publication after 1st April 2016 must now comply with the REF’s open access policy. The university expects all papers to be compliant even if you do not anticipate that they will form part of the REF – the university’s own open access policy  applies to all publications produced by our researchers.

To ensure you comply with the policy:

  • Take action when you have a paper accepted for publication
  • Enter details of the publication onto RIS including the accepted date
  • Upload your accepted manuscript into RIS
  • Check the copyright for the journal using the Sherpa Romeo database
  • Use the “Publish to Cronfa” link to make your file open access, setting an embargo period if required. The system will delay publication until the date you specify.

The REF policy limits embargo periods to 12 or 24 months so contact us if you find the journal exceeds this.

We are here to help: Please send us your accepted manuscript and details of the publication including the date of acceptance.

Quick guide to uploading files to RIS (PDF)

Guide to using RIS (PDF)

(We have some briefing sessions next week if you want to learn more or ask questions.)

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