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Open Access for Grant Compliance and Increased Visibility - Sciences

Many granting agencies now require publications to be open access within 12 months of publication. This guide is designed to help navigate this for the sciences


Depending on the publisher and whether or not you have used the SPARC addendum, you can often self-archive your publications.  Physicists have been doing this for decades with ArXiv, depositing preprints even before the articles have been published.

The ACS, the RSC, the Chinese Chemical Society, the Chemical Society of Japan, and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) have recently collaborated to create ChemRxiv as preprint server for chemistry. If you want to see the power of preprints and open access, check out these stats; as of March 2020 there were about 4500 preprints in the system but there were 4.4 million views and 1.5 million downloads!

ChemRxiv is designed to all allow you to upload a preprint and then use the platform to submit it to the various journals directly. This gets your paper visibility immediately and streamlines the submission system.

U of T has a repository called TSpace for archiving faculty articles (can be embargoed for 12 months if necessary.) The Department of Chemistry already has a community home page in TSPACE.

Before archiving papers, you need to know if the specific journal allows you to archive the preprint, postprint (final version before published version) or even the final pdf. SHERPA/RoMEO  is a website that has collected the policies from many journals and publishers and is a quick way to determine what your rights are. The info still needs to be double checked against the individual publications website as policies change.

A number of science publishers have formalized this system:

  • Elsevier has a set of rules for self-archiving called Green Open Access which allows authors to post the prepublication (post review) version on a personal or institutional website.
    • Authors can share their accepted manuscript:
      • via their non-commercial personal homepage or blog
      • by updating a preprint in arXiv or RePEc with the accepted manuscript
      • via their research institute or institutional repository for internal institutional uses or as part of an invitation-only research collaboration work-group
      • directly by providing copies to their students or to research collaborators for their personal use
      • for private scholarly sharing as part of an invitation-only work group on commercial sites with which Elsevier has an agreement
    • After the embargo period
      • via non-commercial hosting platforms such as their institutional repository
      • via commercial sites with which Elsevier has an agreement
      • In all cases accepted manuscripts should:
        • link to the formal publication via its DOI
        • bear a CC-BY-NC-ND license –
      • if aggregated with other manuscripts, for example in a repository or other site, be shared in alignment with our hosting policy
        not be added to or enhanced in any way to appear more like, or to substitute for, the published journal article.  (Elsevier website)
  • American Chemical Society:  "All ACS authors, when required to do so by their funder, government, or institution, may deposit their peer-reviewed manuscript, accepted for publication but prior to ACS’ copy editing and production, to their funder, institutional, or governmental repository to comply with open access mandates with a 12 month embargo." From the Open Access page
  • Royal Society of Chemistry: 12 month embargo period for accepted manuscript on a personal website or institutional repository - check each journal title on Sherpa or the RSC website for variations.
  • Wiley allows self-archiving of the post review pre-published version
    • "The accepted version of an article is the version that incorporates all amendments made during the peer review process, but prior to the final published version (the Version of Record, which includes; copy and stylistic edits, online and print formatting, citation and other linking, deposit in abstracting and indexing services, and the addition of bibliographic and other material. 
      Self-archiving of the accepted version is subject to an embargo period of 12-24 months. The embargo period is 12 months for scientific, technical, and medical (STM) journals and 24 months for social science and humanities (SSH) journals following publication of the final article
      • the author's personal website
      • the author's company/institutional repository or archive
      • not for profit subject-based repositories such PubMed Central

                     Articles may be deposited into repositories on acceptance, but access to the article is subject to the embargo period.                    

The version posted must include the following notice on the first page:

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."


  • Springer has a self-archiving policy
    • "Authors may self-archive the author’s accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/ she may not use the publisher's version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website.  The link must be provided by inserting the DOI number of the article in the following sentence: “The final publication is available at Springer via[insert DOI]”." (Springer website)
  • Thieme also has a 12 month embargo period for self archiving - see their policy