How to make it right: a Rights Retention Pilot by the University of Cambridge ahead of shaping a full institutional policy | Plan S

In 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously to adopt a ground-breaking open access policy. Since then, over 70 other institutions, including other Harvard faculties, Stanford and MIT, have adopted similar policies based on the Harvard model. In Europe such institutional policies have, so far, been slow to get off the ground.

We are beginning to see that situation change.

The University of Cambridge has recently established a pilot rights retention scheme on an opt-in basis, with a view to informing the next revision of the University’s Open Access policy. In the following interview, Niamh Tumelty, Head of Open Research Services at the University of Cambridge, describes the purpose of the pilot, how researchers can benefit from it and shares her tips for any other institution that might consider adopting a similar policy….”

Rights Retention Pilot | Open Access

“These webpages contain information on the rights retention pilot currently in place at the University of Cambridge.

The University needs to be able to disseminate research and scholarship as widely as possible and comply with its funder requirements, while enabling its researchers to publish in a journal of their choice. 

In order to achieve this, the University has established pilot rights retention scheme on an opt-in basis. This pilot will be closely monitored and reviewed with a view to informing the next revision of the University’s Open Access policy.

To sign up for the pilot, please use this webform.

During this time, if you sign up for the pilot, you should include the following wording in a prominent place in the manuscript (e.g. the acknowledgements and/or funding statement) and cover letter from the initial point of 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’

Upon editorial acceptance, please upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to Symplectic Elements. The Open Access team will deposit the manuscript into Apollo and will release it publicly at the appropriate time.

This pilot is based on the approach that the University of Edinburgh is taking with their new Research Publications and Copyright Policy and considers the advice of Harvard University, where rights retention statements have been in use since 2008. We thank both universities for sharing their materials and welcome the reuse of the contents of our document by other institutions.?…”

UKRI Open Access Policy Update | Open Access

“A Rights Retention pilot at Cambridge

We are setting up a Rights Retention pilot, and more information will be available by April 2022.

By opting into the pilot as a Cambridge author, you will grant the University a non?exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide licence to make the accepted manuscripts of your scholarly articles publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (or an alternative licence if requested) in line with funder requirements. You will still need to include the Rights Retention Statement when submitting your articles for publication, however the agreement with the University adds an extra layer of protection in case a journal asks you to sign away copyright and impose an embargo.  …”

Should we accept Elsevier’s 7th proposal?

“Here we outline reasons for and against accepting Elsevier’s 7th proposal.  It is based on information provided by the University of Cambridge library.  …

We recommend the deal be rejected after considering the following pro/cons.  If you agree, please consider signing at the bottom of the document, and share with colleagues.  (Anyone from UK can sign.) …”

Michael Williams on the Elsevier negotiations: What’s our ‘Plan B’? | Unlocking Research

“As negotiations continue between Elsevier and the UK university sector, institutions need to position themselves to ensure that we have a realistic alternative access solution if the decision is to not sign an agreement. But what would happen in the event of a non-renewal scenario? This post explores how we at Cambridge University Libraries are preparing for Plan B and the alternative access solutions we will be providing….

At Cambridge we are doing our best to engage our research communities with the Elsevier negotiation so that any decisions around the deal and potential implementation of Plan B will only take place following communication and engagement with research-active members of the University. If we need to implement a Plan B, it should not come as a surprise; it will be planned and communicated in advance….”

Dr. Jessica Gardner on the ongoing negotiation between Cambridge and Elsevier | Unlocking Research

This post by Dr Jessica Gardner, Cambridge University Librarian, introduces the context for the ongoing negotiation between Cambridge University and the publisher Elsevier. It is the first in a series of posts on the negotiation from members of the Cambridge community.

Copyright life hacks for librarians

Abstract:  Librarians are continuously looking for new ways to make the training they offer accessible and engaging to both colleagues and users. One area where this is especially important is copyright – a topic many librarians identify as vital to their role, but they often find it hard to attend training. Cambridge University Libraries has introduced a range of methods to reach out to even the most reluctant copyright learner and improve the overall copyright literacy of its staff. This article showcases these methods in the form of ‘life hacks’ – simple measures which can be implemented with little or no cost and using existing resources.


Methods outlined include making the best use of knowledge already present within your organisation, using visual methods to attract a new audience and creating interactive online resources. Also discussed is the importance of making copyright training accessible, both to users with disabilities and those who may have constraints on their time and technological ability. The article concludes with a reflection about the challenges faced whilst creating new resources. The techniques outlined in this case study can be adapted for use by a range of libraries no matter the target audience.

Cambridge University Library joins Google Arts and Culture

“Cambridge University Library (UL) is the first institution of the University of Cambridge to join the [Google Arts and Culture] platform and joins organisations such as the British Museum, Rijksmuseum and the White House, among many others, who share their collections freely, and openly, with the world….”

OA agreement – Cambridge

“The University of Cambridge has made an agreement with Cambridge University Press to support Open Access publishing in Cambridge journals. The agreement also includes access to the most recent Full Journals Collection.

This Read and Publish agreement covers the Article Processing Charges (APCs) for corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Cambridge in fully Open Access journals and subscription-based journals that offer hybrid Open Access. The agreement for unlimited Open Access publishing started on 1 January 2020. Articles submitted by eligible corresponding authors qualify for Open Access publishing under this agreement upon the date the article is accepted for publication, from or after 1 January 2020 through to 31 December 2020….”

UKRI Open Access Consultation- University of Cambridge Response

“This is the University response to the 2020 UKRI Open Access Consultation, submitted via an online form on 27 May 2020. The response was developed based on input from across the University, including from Schools, Departments, individual researchers and Cambridge University Press and aims to represent the breadth of disciplinary perspectives across the University. The draft response was circulated for comment to the Open Research Steering Committee, the Research Policy Committee, the Library Syndicate and governance within CUP for comment prior to the development of the submitted version.”


2019?That?Was The Year That Was? | Unlocking Research

“2019 saw?a number of?happenings in the policy space at Cambridge. Most excitingly, the University’s?Position Statement on Open Research?was announced in February, making it one of the first UK universities to have such a statement. This demonstrates the University’s commitment to making open research a reality at Cambridge. 

Following on from this, in July 2019, the University together with Cambridge University Press? announced that they have signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The newly created?Open Research Steering Committee, headed by the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research,?will have oversight over the open research direction and?the?implementation of DORA.?The Steering Committee and their working groups are currently looking into open research training, open research infrastructure (such as electronic research notebooks), Plan S and DORA.?

In December, an updated version of the?Research Data Management Policy Framework?was released. This update brings the policy framework?in?alignment?with funder requirements and acknowledges?the important roles that Principal Investigators,?research staff and students, and University support staff play in good data management practices.?It sits beneath?the Position Statement on Open Research, with the documents being closely aligned.?…”

Open Access Service Manager – Job Opportunities – University of Cambridge

“The Open Access Service in the Office of Scholarly Communication processes several hundred articles per month into Apollo, the University repository The repository holds over 200,000 items and stores, disseminates and preserves in the long-term the broader intellectual output of the university in digital formats, including databases, multi-media files, e-science outputs, theses, learning objects and electronic. To ensure efficient engagement with the “open” agenda, the Office of Scholarly Communication delivers numerous advocacy and training events across the University of Cambridge.

Working within the Office of Scholarly Communication at the University Library, the Open Access Service Manager will lead the team that delivers a researcher-focused service in support of open research. This involves the provision of information, training and advice to all academic and research staff required or wishing to publish articles via open access. They will be responsible for managing the RCUK and COAF funds of over £2 million annually, including signing off on invoices up to £6,000.

In addition the role holder will be expected to manage the reporting requirements to the research community, University Executive and the funding bodies and will be expected to represent the Office of Scholarly Communication on various committees. The key goal will be to ensure that the majority of the University research publication output is compliant with funder, University and publisher policies and that the University has a process to support open research that is affordable and sustainable….”

Case study: Doing more with ORCID – UK ORCID Support

“The University of Cambridge research repository (Apollo), uses ORCID IDs as a unique identifier for researchers.  When a researcher submits a dataset to Apollo, a DOI is minted for the dataset through the DataCite service.   By including the ORCID in the metadata submitted to DataCite, DataCite then populates the ORCID registry entry for the researcher (with their permission) with information about the dataset, using an ‘auto-update’ feature. 

The result is that a link is created between the researcher and their data, through the ORCID ID identifying the researcher, and the DOI for the data assigned by DataCite. The persistent identifiers are used to connect researchers and their achievements, improving visibility and discoverability across different systems.  The workflow reduces duplication of effort in entering information and avoids input or identification errors….”

Automating repository workflows with Orpheus, an Open Source database of journals and publishers

Abstract:  Repository management relies on knowledge of numerous attributes of academic journals, such as revenue model (subscription, hybrid or fully Open Access), self-archiving policies, licences, contacts for queries and article processing charges (APCs). While datasets collating some of this information are helpful to repository administrators, most cover only one or few of those attributes (e.g., APC price lists from publishers), do not provide APIs or their API responses are not machine readable (self-archiving policies from RoMEO), or are not updated very often (licences and APCs from DOAJ). As a result, most repositories still rely on administrative staff looking up and entering required attributes manually. To solve this problem and increase automation of tasks performed by the Cambridge repository team, I developed Orpheus, a database of academic journals/publishers written in Django. Orpheus was recently integrated with our DSpace repository Apollo and auxiliary systems via its RESTful API, enabling embargo periods to be automatically applied to deposited articles and streamlining the process of advising researchers on payments, licences and compliance to funders’ Open Access policies. Orpheus is Open Source ( and may be easily expanded or tailored to meet the particular needs of other repositories and Scholarly Communication services.