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University Publications Policy

Rights retention

If you are a Leeds researcher and you are listed as an author on a research article, review or conference paper, you must retain your rights in your work. This includes articles by postgraduate researchers that are co-authored with research staff.

Other members of the University community – including professional service staff, teaching staff, and postgraduate researchers – also publish research outputs and are encouraged to voluntarily opt in and also retain their rights under the publications policy.

Go to the rights retention section of the publications policy

How to retain your rights

To retain your rights, include this rights retention statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and in any accompanying cover letter:

“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.”

In this way you have retained the necessary rights on behalf of the University. This means you may make the accepted manuscript of the article publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence as soon as it is accepted.

COAlition S has resources to help you to submit an article with a rights retention statement, including a pre-submission template and a submission cover letter template.

Funder policies take precedence

Funder open access policies and funder’s associated rights retention and licensing notification statements take precedence over the University publications policy.

The University cannot override or grant dispensation from funder open access policy requirements.

UKRI, Wellcome Trust and other Coalition S funders with a rights retention strategy have their own mandated statements that authors must include to comply with their grant terms and conditions.

These specific funder-related statements apply to all manuscripts submitted for publication for Wellcome funded research, but for UKRI funded research their statement is only used when using Route 2 of their open access policy (the "green OA" route).

Opting out of the policy requirements

There may be exceptional circumstances where authors must opt out of the University Publications Policy rights retention requirement. For example, if an article contains substantial material where copyright is held by a third party and cannot be reproduced with a CC BY licence.

Please contact if you think there are exceptional circumstances that will mean that rights retention cannot be applied, to discuss this as early as possible.

Authors cannot opt out of the requirement to deposit full text copies of final accepted peer-reviewed research articles, reviews and conference papers into the institutional repository.

Transitional agreements with publishers

As an institution we participate in many transitional open access agreements with publishers. These already allow the published version of research outputs to be made open access with a CC BY licence.

Subscription only journals without a transitional agreement

You might wish to submit your article to a subscription journal not covered by a transitional agreement. In this case, select the subscription publication route at the point of submission, not an open access route, which may incur a fee.

Make sure you include the rights retention statement so that you can make the accepted manuscript available via Symplectic as soon as the article is accepted for publication.

Some publishers still levy page charges, colour fees and other associated fees for publication. These are separate to open access fees and publishers might require payment before publication.

Please contact for guidance on any fees.