Guide to reading SHERPA’s Funder and Author Compliance Tool (FACT)

SHERPA FACT is designed to help researchers select the open access option that meets their funder’s open access policy.


Screen image showing SHERPA FACTEnter the journal title and select one or more funders from the drop down list and click on Check compliance.

You will see a result similar to the one below. The top entry, gives advice on the paid open access option offered by the journal. The lower entry about permission to deposit a copy of the paper in a repository free of charge.

Screen image showing advice

A tick indicates you can follow these instructions and comply with your funder’s open access policy.

A cross shows you that this option does not fully comply with your funder’s open access policy and taking this action will result in non-compliance and your application for APC funding being declined.

In the example above you cannot meet the MRC’s requirement to deposit to PubMed Central within 6 months of publication without paying an open access fee.

Summary of SHERPA FACT combinations and what to do

Screen image showing 2 ticks You may choose either to deposit the accepted manuscript in a repository (free of charge) or apply for APC funding.

Screen image showing tick and cross

You should apply for APC funding when uploading the accepted manuscript to Symplectic.

Screen image showing a cross and a tick

You should deposit in your funder’s preferred repository. The paid open access option does not meet your funder’s open access requirements.

Screen image showing 2 crosses

By publishing with this journal you will be unable to comply with your funder’s open access policy. Please contact the Library's open access team, your funder or consider publishing in another journal.

Some terms you might see and what they mean…

Paid open access option – this journal is a hybrid journal and offers authors the choice of publishing with or without open access.

Open access journal – this journal publishes all articles as open access and will always charge an open access fee (APC). There is no option to deposit a copy to a repository free of charge.

With an acceptable Creative Commons Attribution licence - suggests that the journal only offers Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) to authors opting to publish open access. This licence will meet the requirements of your funder.

With a range of Creative Commons licences to be selected or confirmed by the author – indicates that the journal will ask you to select your funder’s preferred licence from a range of open access licences. The licence you should select is the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY).

With an unacceptable publisher’s own licence – the publisher’s own licence does not meet the funder’s requirement to publish with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY).

You cannot readily archive your article compliantly in Europe PMC/Pubmed Central  - the journal does not permit you to archive a copy of your paper Europe PMC/PubMed Central within the embargo period required by the funder.

Does not automatically deposit the publisher's version/PDF of your article in Europe PMC/Pubmed Central – the publisher does not offer to deposit a copy of your paper in Europe PMC/PubMed Central when you pay an open access fee. This disqualifies the journal from funding by the Wellcome Trust and other charities contributing to the Charity Open Access Fund.


For help and support contact the Library's open access team