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Research Publications & Copyright Policy

Why are we doing this?

Academic staff at Newcastle University have traditionally, when publishing research outputs, exercised an independent right to assign or give away their scholarly works. This has enabled the current process of the corresponding author assigning copyright to publishers, which results in many journal articles and scholarly works now being under partial or complete ownership by the academic publishers.

In support of the Newcastle University Institutional Position Statement on Open Research which aims to maximise the visibility and impact of research for public benefit in accordance with the University Vision and Strategy. The University has implemented the Research Publications & Copyright Policy to ensure authors retain these rights over their own work, allowing dissemination of their accepted manuscript freely under a CC BY licence. 

Research funders, including UKRI, Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health and Care Research, now require that all journal articles covering research supported in whole or in part by their funding should be made open access immediately on publication, without embargo. Compliance is a condition of grant funding. Rights Retention policies offer a way to comply with funder requirements and allow authors to distribute their research as widely as possible.

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 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 and along with the other N8 institutions was 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.

Authors are encouraged to include the RRS in the funding acknowledgements section as good practice, especially when contacting small or independent publishers, as it may not be possible for the University to contact all possible publishers. Newcastle authors can then continue to submit articles using the institutional repository, those papers which are not eligible for paid Open Access can now be made Open Access via the Green OA route, where applicable.

If the publication is eligible for one of our publisher 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.

Open Access checklist for authors