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Funders and other organizations often require research articles funded by them to be made freely available online, or “open access”. The best way to ensure maximum openness and re-usability of your article’s content is to publish it as Gold Open Access; see our Open Access FAQs for more about this.

For articles that are not published Gold OA, our Green Open Access policy provides another way for authors to comply with funders’ open access requirements, by allowing authors to make pre-final versions of their journal articles publicly accessible in non-commercial websites.

This page explains what versions of their articles authors are permitted to make publicly accessible, in what ways, by our Green OA policy. Our Green OA policy applies to all journal articles published by Cambridge University Press, but it is primarily designed to support open access for articles that are sustained by journal subscriptions. For this reason, our Green OA policy is not as permissive about what authors may do with articles in comparison with articles published fully open access (Gold OA).

Please note that some journals have more permissive policies than our standard policy. You can view exactly what each journal allows in this spreadsheet.

For most authors, our Green OA policies are not compatible with Plan S. Authors should publish as Gold OA in order to comply with Plan S.

We also support responsible social sharing of articles through personal networks; see our social sharing page for more information about this.

Please also see our Rights and Permissions FAQs for additional rights we grant to authors to re-use their work.


Green Open Access Policy (Version 2)

This policy is more liberal than our previous Green OA policy in a number of ways (see below), and these policy changes apply to all articles retrospectively.

For example, if an author has previously signed a publishing agreement that is more restrictive in how they may share pre-final versions of their article than our new standard Green Open Access policy, this Green OA policy supersedes the relevant conditions in their publishing agreement.

Terms and definitions

We use the following terms and definitions in this policy:

Article versions:

  • Preprint: An early version of an article created prior to the version submitted for publication in a journal. Theses and dissertations are considered to be preprints. See here for our full policy on preprints.
  • Submitted Manuscript Under Review (SMUR): The version of the article that is under formal review for inclusion in the journal.
  • Accepted Manuscript (AM): The version of the article that has been accepted for publication. This version may include revisions resulting from peer review but may be subject to further modification by Cambridge University Press (for example, copyediting and typesetting).
  • Version of Record (VoR): The version that is formally published in the journal. This includes any FirstView article that is formally identified as being published online before the compilation of a journal issue. The VoR includes any post-publication corrections.

Types of websites:

  • Personal webpage: Web pages created by you, about you and your research which are hosted on a non-commercial website (such as your institute’s website). Personal profile pages in commercial sharing sites (such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu and Facebook) are not considered to be personal web pages.
  • Department or institutional repository: Web pages hosted by an academic or research institute or department to provide access to the work of, and to promote the activities of, an institute or department, at all times operating for a non-commercial purpose.
  • Non-commercial subject repository: Web pages hosted by an organization to provide access to the work from researchers working in a subject or range of subjects, at all times operating for a non-commercial purpose.
    • Examples: PubMed Central, arXiv
  • Commercial repository: Any repository that uses content for direct or indirect financial gain. When considering whether a use is commercial or non-commercial, we look at the nature of the activity rather than the nature of the site or organization performing the activity.
    • Examples: ResearchGate, Academia.edu, SSRN


What authors may post to websites and when

Personal web page

Department, institutional, or non-commercial subject repository

Commercial repository or social media site

Preprint, SMUR

Entire article, at any time

Entire article, at any time

Entire article, at any time

AM (for science, technical and medical journals)

Entire article, on acceptance

Entire article, 6 months after publication

Abstract only, plus link to VoR on cambridge.org, at any time

AM (for humanities and social science journals)

Entire article, on acceptance

Entire article, on acceptance

Abstract only, plus link to VoR on cambridge.org, at any time

VoR

Abstract only, plus link to VoR on cambridge.org, at any time

Abstract only, plus link to VoR on cambridge.org, at any time

Abstract only, plus link to VoR on cambridge.org, at any time

Again, some journals have more permissive policies than our standard policy. You can view exactly what each journal allows in this spreadsheet.

Please note that some journals operate a workflow whereby Cambridge University Press publishes an Accepted Manuscript on cambridge.org when the article enters the production cycle. This is a separate process to what authors are allowed to do under our Green OA policy; please see our Production FAQs for more information.

Plan S compliance

Our Green OA policy is not compatible with Plan S, and our publishing agreements with authors may conflict with authors' agreements with their cOAlition S funders. Authors should publish articles as fully open access (Gold OA) in order to be compliant with Plan S.

Licenses authors can use

Authors may make Preprints and SMURs publicly accessible under any license terms they choose. We recommend a Creative Commons CC-BY or other CC license.

If the Version of Record is published as fully open access (Gold OA) under a Creative Commons license, the authors may make the Accepted Manuscript accessible under the same Creative Commons license as the Version of Record. For articles that are not published as Gold OA, authors may make Accepted Manuscripts available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license or equivalent, but not a more permissive license. This policy does not allow authors to make these AMs accessible under a CC-BY license, for example.

Third-party material

Before posting articles online, authors should ensure they have the appropriate permission to include any third party content. When posting articles under a Creative Commons license, the permission should allow the third-party material to either (i) be included under the Creative Commons license or (ii) be clearly indicated as being protected by third party copyright, with a clear notice that it cannot be reused without further permissions clearance from the identified third-party rights holder.

Closed deposits and embargo periods

As shown in the table above, our standard policy for science, technical and medical journals has a six-month embargo period after publication, before Accepted Manuscripts can be made publicly accessible. However, authors may deposit articles in repositories before the articles can be made public, provided the content is not publicly accessible. This is sometimes referred to as ‘closed deposit’.

Metadata about the article (for example the article title, abstract, and journal citation) can be made public as soon as the article has been published on Cambridge Core. The full text must not be made public before any applicable embargo ends.

Any applicable embargo period starts from the date the Version of Record is first published online, whether as part of a journal’s issue or as a FirstView article prior to the compilation of the journal issue.

Posting content in repositories

When posting content in repositories, we require authors to include:

  • If an article has not yet been published on Cambridge Core, a clear statement that the material has been accepted for publication in a revised form, with a link to the journal’s site on cambridge.org.
  • For all published articles, a link to the article on cambridge.org, for example with a DOI-based link.
  • A clear statement about the licence terms under which the posted version of the article is deposited.

Example statements are:

  • This article has been published in a revised form in [Journal] [http://doi.org/XXX]. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © copyright holder.
  • This article has been published in a revised form in [Journal] [http://doi.org/XXX]. This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © copyright holder.

Citing content in repositories

When citing an Accepted Manuscript or an earlier version of an article, we request that readers also cite the Version of Record with a DOI link, for example:

  • Subsequently published in revised form in [Journal] [http://doi.org/XXX].

Changes from our Green OA policy Version 1

Our policy Version 2 has one substantial change: Accepted Manuscripts of articles where the Version of Record is not fully open access (Gold OA) can now be made publicly accessible under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license.

We have also clarified:

  • How we define personal webpages, departmental and institutional repositories.
  • How we define ‘non-commercial’ and ‘commercial’ use.
  • That articles can be deposited in institutional or other repositories at any time as a closed deposit.
  • That preprints can be archived anywhere at any time, in the same way as submitted manuscripts, and that theses or dissertations can also be considered to be preprints.
  • That reprints and Submitted Manuscripts Under Review can posted under any license the author chooses, including Creative Commons CC-BY.
  • How we determine the start of embargo periods.
  • How Accepted Manuscripts deposited in Institutional Repositories should be cited by readers.