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Research Publications & Copyright Policy

Policy Summary

This summary and the guidance that follows should be read in conjunction with the University Research Publications and Copyright policy.

The purpose of this policy is to allow immediate open access for all journal articles and conference proceedings to help maximise the visibility and impact of our research and ensure compliance with REF and research funder requirements.

The policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews and conference papers) authored or co-authored by Newcastle University staff and by students acting as co-authors with staff. Upon acceptance for publication each member of staff agrees to grant Newcastle University a non‐exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide licence to make the accepted manuscript publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. Accepted manuscripts provided to us by authors will be deposited in a digital repository and made open access on publication and under a CC BY licence.

This policy came into effect on 1st August 2022, but along with the other N8 institutions will be formally implemented from 1st January 2023.

What do authors need to do?

When submitting manuscripts in scope of the policy to a publisher authors should add the following Rights Retention Statement (RRS) to the acknowledgements and to any cover letter or note accompanying the submission:

“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.”

Authors should also inform their co-authors at the earliest opportunity about the University’s requirements to share the manuscript on publication with a CC-BY licence. If the Newcastle University author is not acting as corresponding author they should request that the RRS is included in the submitted manuscript and cover letter.

Should any co-authors raise an issue with use of the RRS or if the publisher asks for this statement to be removed before they will review or accept the submission, authors should contact the open access team for advice. In some cases authors may choose to opt out of this policy. However, we would not recommend this where doing so would prevent compliance with your funder’s open access policy (e.g. UKRI, Wellcome, NIHR, Horizon Europe) or if it is anticipated that the publication may be returned as an output in the REF.

On acceptance authors should upload the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to MyImpact. Providing the RRS is included in the accepted manuscript this will be made open access upon publication under a CC BY licence.

If the publication is eligible for one of our transformative agreements the publisher will offer authors the option to publish gold open access without additional charges. We recommend authors accept this offer and select the CC BY licence. The open access team will replace the AAM uploaded to MyImpact with the published version of record.

On publication authors are requested to notify the Library (, who will update the MyImpact record.

Requesting an opt out of this policy

In most cases compliance with this policy will be straightforward for authors. However, in exceptional circumstances issues may arise that require staff to opt out of these requirements or to request use of a different Creative Commons licence (e.g. CC BY-ND).

Examples of where authors may wish to submit an opt out request include where:

  • The journal refuses to publish the output with the RRS included.
  • An author does not have permission to share the accepted manuscript with a CC BY licence immediately on publication because:
    • A co-author objects to including the RRS in the paper
    • A co-author prefers a different licence (e.g. CC-BY-ND)
    • The author has approval from Wellcome/UKRI to apply a CC-BY-ND licence by exception
    • The article contains significant 3rd party content which cannot be licensed as CC-BY and the redaction of which would compromise the integrity of the article

To opt out of this policy, or to request a different Creative Commons licence (e.g. CC BY-ND) for a publication, authors should contact the open access team on acceptance. 

Please note that opting out means that the accepted manuscript is subject to standard publisher terms for open access and this may cause the publication to be non-compliant with funder policies.