Research Publications and Copyright Policy

Learn more about the University's policy on the availability of research publications authored by University of Liverpool researchers.

The Research Publications and Copyright policy came into effect 1st March 2023. By ensuring that University of Liverpool researchers retain the rights to make their scholarly journal and conference papers available on an open access basis the policy brings the following benefits:

  • It will simplify the publishing process, helping researchers to share their outputs more widely to enjoy the benefits of higher impact and reach associated with open access through one simple action
  • It ensures compliance with funder open access requirements regardless of the journal to which a paper is submitted
  • More readers, both inside and outside academia, will be able to access papers, which in turn could lead to greater impact on society and increased citations and collaborations for our researchers


What are the key points of the policy?
  • The policy supports authors in making their journal papers openly accessible via a single, simple action; this enables compliance with open access requirements regardless of funder or publisher
  • The policy confirms that staff hold the copyright in scholarly papers they write
  • Authors licence back to the University the right to make Author Accepted Manuscripts of University of Liverpool authored papers available on an Open Access basis with a Creative Commons-Attribution licence (CC-BY)
How does it work?
  • The University contacts the publishers of the majority of our papers to inform them of the policy and how its grant of licence is binding on any subsequent assignment of rights
  • Authors are encouraged to also include a Rights Retention Statement in their submission letters and paper acknowledgements sections
  • Authors deposit their papers as usual into the University Repository via Liverpool Elements
  • The Library will check the details of the deposit and make the Author Accepted Manuscript openly available via the Univerisity Repository
How to use a Rights Retention Statement

Authors are encouraged to include a Rights Retention Statement in submission letters to publishers and in the acknowledgements section of their papers. This gives further notice to publishers of the prior grant of licence to the University. It’s use is especially encouraged when contacting smaller publishers, as it will not be possible for the University centrally to contact all possible publishers.

Here is a typical wording you can use:

For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission

Note that if your funder requires a CC-BY licence, you can also name them and the grant in the statement, e.g.:

For the purpose of open access, and in accordance with the requirements of BBSRC Grant no. 12346879, the author …

To what publications does this apply?
  • The scope of the policy, and the recommendation to include a Rights Retention Statement, applies to journal articles and conference papers
  • In particular, the policy applies to papers in paywalled subscription journals that are not included in any of our read and publish agreements
  • It is worth noting over 70% of our journal article outputs are now covered by read and publish agreements
  • For ease, authors can choose to include a Rights Retention Statement in submissions to all journals (it is not possible for the University to contact centrally every publisher)
  • The policy applies to papers submitted to publishers from 1st March 2023
  • If you create an Elements record for your paper, you’ll be asked to confirm if submission was before or after 1st March 2023
  • If you have not created a manual record for your paper, the submission date will be checked within the library 
  • Clear guidance on the Elements deposit screen will outline exactly what licence will be applied to your paper
What if I am a co-author?

The policy applies to all articles published by University of Liverpool researchers, including where they are not the main or corresponding author. If you are co-author on an article, you should make your fellow authors aware of the University's Open Access policy and that you will be depositing the accepted manuscript of the article into Elements.

If your co-authors are based at other research-intensive Universities in the UK, it is possible that their institutions have, or will be developing, similar policies.

Who else is doing this?
  • Many overseas universities have had such policies for over a decade – the approach is often called “the Harvard model”
  • University of Edinburgh was first UK institution to introduce a similar model
  • Cambridge, St Andrews and Sheffield Hallam quickly followed
  • In 2023 all N8 institutions will implement such policies (Newcastle and Sheffield already have)
  • Many other UK research universities are taking similar policies through their committee structures
Are there any exceptions to the policy?
  • An opt-out is available for instances where it is not possible to comply with the policy, e.g. there is significant use of third-party copyrighted material in your paper
  • Opting-out would be via an email link on the Elements deposit screen – you would still deposit the paper even if opting-out of the policy
  • Note you cannot opt-out of the policy as a way of opting-out of an obligation to a funder to make a paper openly accessible
  • It is worth remembering that opting-out of the policy may also render an article ineligible for REF submission, if the journal embargo period exceeds the maximum allowed by the REF open access policy

If you have further questions, please do email the Open Access team.

Back to: Open Research