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Plan S and publishing your research

To remain compliant with funder and expected REF open access requirements, Brunel researchers who are publishing research articles in journals should use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool before submitting their manuscript for publication. 

Funders, including UKRI, European Commission and other Plan S organisations, have changed their open access policies and grant conditions to require that a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License is applied to either the Author Accepted Manuscript at the time of submission, or to the final published version. The changes mean that you must check before you submit and agree to publish that the open access publishing routes available to you for a prospective journal will meet our funder requirements. 

Authors should use the tool to view a journal's open access compliance for the available publishing routes, which will identify it as belonging to one or more categories. These are detailed below, along with guidance on the steps authors need to take to publish in their journal of choice and remain fully compliant with open access requirements. 

Journal Checker Tool: Guidance for authors

  1. In the Plan S Journal Checker Tool, start entering the selected journal title to display matches. Where there are multiple matches, choose the one which is identical to the ISSN on the journal website. 
  2. Enter your funder, choosing from the drop-down list.  If you do not have a grant, enter UKRI, as Research England (REF) is a UKRI research council. 
  3. Set the affiliation to Brunel University to display the results of your search combination, and follow the next steps indicated below.

Journal Checker Tool: Results

Results may display one or more of the following. Where the tool indicates that a route is Preferred, this route is encouraged by funders, as they have verified that it meets the key open access requirements and minimum technical standards required  for open access compliance.

Transformative Agreement - Preferred

The University has a Transformative Agreement which includes this journal, giving a route to funder open access compliance under certain conditions. 

Publishing as open access in this journal is covered as part of a Read and Publish agreement, and authors should select a CC BY License wherever it is available. There may be a publisher cap on the number of articles that can be published under this agreement. If the quota is reached, authors will be asked to request additional funding from the University to publish in this journal. 

Before you submit

  • check that you are eligible to publish under the University's Transformative Agreement
  • apply to access the University's or funder's publishing funds, if a charge will be made.

You will need to be the corresponding author and be publishing under a Brunel affiliation. Please see the Open Access web page for further information.

Transformative Journal - Preferred

This journal meets the requirements for Gold Open Access publishing as long as you select a  CC BY License on submission. Funding may be required to publish in this journal.

 

Additional funder specific information may be required.

 

Before you submit

  • check that you are eligible to publish under the University's Transformative Agreement
  • apply to access the University's or funder's publishing funds, if a charge will be made. 

You will need to be the corresponding author publishing under a Brunel affiliation. Please see the Open Access web page for further information.  

Full Open Access - Preferred

This journal is a compliant Gold open access publishing route, as long as you select a CC BY License on submission. Funding will be required to publish.

Additional funder specific information may be required. 

Before you submit

  • check that you are eligible to access the University's publishing funds
  • apply to access the University's or funder's publishing funds, if a charge will be made.

You will need to be the corresponding author publishing under a Brunel affiliation. Please see the Open Access web page for further information.

Compliance through self-archiving

This journal will allow you to make your output compliant through placing it on BURA, the University's institutional repository. This is compliance through the Green Open Access self archiving route. You will need to select the publishing licence on submission.

Before you submit

  • you must include this rights retention wording with your manuscript submission to retain the right to apply a CC BY License to the accepted manuscript.

On acceptance for publication

  • you must upload your author accepted manuscript to BRAD, the University's research database, immediately on acceptance. 

If you need further advice please contact Open Access before you submit your article, or at any point if you encounter difficulties, as on publication timings must be met for REF and funder compliance. 

There are no publishing options aligned with your funder's policy

This journal has no routes for compliance for your selected funder under a Brunel affiliation. Submitting to this journal without taking additional steps will mean that you will breach funder requirements and the article is unlikely to be submissible to the next REF. 

Before you submit

  • contact Open Access for guidance on options available to you. 

There may be routes to publishing in this journal through Green open access self-archiving and rights retention. To comply via this route, you must include this rights retention wording with your manuscript on submission.

On acceptance for publication

  • you must upload the Author Accepted Manuscript to BRAD as soon as it has been accepted for publication.

This ensures that REF and funder on publication timings are met.

Frequently asked questions

If you can't find the answer you need on this page or through the related links, please contact Open Access. For more information on Open Access and other services see the related links or go to Open Research and Rights on the Library website.

Why should I use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool before I submit my manuscript to a journal?

It's important that you use the Journal Checker Tool before you submit your manuscript, because you may need to take additional steps before agreeing to publish, so that your article is REF and funder compliant. The steps you will need to take will vary by journal, by funder and by affiliation.  

These may include a requirement to include additional funder specific information, choosing a specific Creative Commons License, or including recommended rights retention wording with your manuscript on submission. 

I don't have an external funder - should I still use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool?

Yes. It's important that all corresponding authors submitting articles or conference papers to journals use the Journal Checker Tool to ensure they can take the necessary steps at the right time to ensure your publications remain REF and funder compliant. 

As the University receives funding from Research England, which is one of UKRI's nine research councils, corresponding authors without direct external funding should select UK Research and Innovation as the funder from the drop down list and follow the guidance above. 

My article will be published Gold open access, do I need to use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool?

Yes. Some Gold open access publishing arrangements do not comply with funder open access requirements. Please use the tool to check the details for the journal you intend to publish in, and follow the advice given above to ensure your article meets REF and funder open access requirements.

I'm publishing in a journal I've used before and my article was REF2021 compliant - do I need to use the Journal Checker Tool?

Yes. The new requirements are more stringent in terms of when and how journal articles are made open access, and many publication routes you have used before may no longer comply. You should check the details for your journal before you submit your manuscript to view the routes available to you as a Brunel-affiliated corresponding author, and any additional steps you might need to take to keep your article compliant with expected REF and funder open access conditions.

This may include adding funder specific information, ensuring you select a CC BY License or adding recommended rights retention wording to your manuscript submission or to your publishing agreement.

What publishing licence should I choose?

 Articles being published as Gold / paid open access should be published under a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) with no embargo. You can find out more about choosing the correct publishing licence here. If a CC BY licence is not available for an open access route, you will need to take additional steps to make sure your article is REF and funder compliant. These are indicated in the Journal Checker Tool results guidance above. 

Do the new open access requirements affect my ability to choose where I publish my work?

If your preferred journal has no routes for compliance with the new open access requirements under a Brunel affiliation, the library can advise and support you with retaining author rights, so you can publish in your journal of choice and ensure your article remains compliant with funder and future REF open access requirements.  

What counts as a funder?

A funder is any funding body that you will include in the acknowledgements in your research article. If your article acknowledges multiple funders, you should use the Journal Checker Tool to verify the requirements for all applicable funders. 

If you are not sure of your funder's specific open access requirements, contact Open Access, Library Services for help. 

The Journal Checker Tool has identified my preferred journal as a Preferred option. Can I just go ahead and submit?

Not quite! Please check the section above and other relevant frequently asked questions on this page for the extra steps you need to take before submitting your manuscript. 

For example, you may need to access funding made available for Gold open access publishing, take advantage of one of the Library's transformative agreements, or follow rights retention guidance to apply the right licence to the accepted version of your manuscript. If you contact Open Access for advice before you submit, this will make sure your article remains compliant with REF and funder open access requirements and save you time in the long run. 

Do I still need to upload my article to BRAD?

Yes! All Brunel staff authors are required to upload the Author Accepted Manuscript to BRAD, the University's staff research database, immediately on acceptance. The date of deposit is important for demonstrating compliance with REF requirements. Please continue to do so, whether you are publishing as Gold open access or following the Green self-archiving route. This will ensure that you can access the full range of University services to support you with publishing, impact and visibility and can demonstrate compliance to REF and funders. 

While it is normally the corresponding author's responsibility to upload an accepted article, all staff authors are responsible for checking their individual BRAD profile to make sure that the Author Accepted Manuscript is available. If the corresponding author is not a staff researcher or is based elsewhere, it will not be uploaded. 

Doctoral researchers  who are co-authoring articles with staff authors, should make the Author Accepted Manuscript available to a staff co-author for deposit in BRAD. For help, contact BRAD, Library Services.

 

Further information

See the Plan S Jourrnal Checker Tool FAQs for more information about the tool and its results.  

Why Plan S? explains the drivers for Plan S open access policy.

For advice on any actions you need to take, publishing support available to help you make your article compliant with funder and future REF open access requirements, see the related links and contact Open Research and Rights, Library Services.