Frequently asked questions
Deposit in Spiral
I have never deposited a paper in Spiral before, where do I start?
Can I use Spiral to comply with the HEFCE post-2014 REF open access policy?
At what point in the publishing process is it best to deposit a paper?
The HEFCE policy for the post-2014 REF states that once it has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication your work should be deposited within three months.
A publisher may insist that you wait until after the publication date or ask you not to deposit until 6 or 12 months after the publication. The Library can set these embargoes within Spiral.
Check the information displayed on the publisher's website, on Sherpa Romeo or in your publishing agreement.
Which version of my article should I deposit?
The HEFCE policy for the post-2014 REF requires you to deposit your final peer-reviewed accepted version in your institutional repository. This is also the version that most publishers will permit you to deposit.
The HEFCE policy allows for replacing this version with the publisher’s version at a later date. Check Sherpa Romeo to find out if your publisher permits this.
How many papers can I deposit at one time?
If you are depositing in Spiral for the first time, we recommend you deposit 1 paper to ensure the process runs smoothly. When you receive confirmation from Spiral that your paper has been approved, we recommend up to 3 papers at a time.
How will I know if a co-author has deposited a paper?
When depositing or claiming your work in Symplectic you can check the presence and status of deposited files.
Additionally, Imperial co-authors receive an email when a paper is deposited.
It is good practice to check with co-authors that they have no objections to your paper being deposited.
Can I deposit an unpublished paper?
From 1 April 2016 the HEFCE policy for the post-2014 REF will require authors to deposit accepted manuscripts in an open access repository within 3 months of acceptance. For many journal articles and conference proceedings this is likely to fall prior to publication. The Library will check each deposit in Spiral for compliance with publisher policy, and will apply embargoes as necessary.
Can I only deposit papers written while employed by Imperial?
The American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics will only permit you deposit papers written while you are employed at Imperial.
The majority of publishers do not state that the author can only deposit papers written when employed by the College. You can deposit any previously published papers you wrote elsewhere and library staff will check each deposit for copyright compliance.
If I have paid to make my article open access can I deposit the final published version?
This depends on the agreement signed with the publisher.
Some publishers use a Creative Commons licence which permits articles to be deposited in Spiral. Other publishers only permit open access articles to be available on their own website or on UKPMC.
Check your copyright agreement or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
How do I pass on additional information to the library staff processing my papers?
Please send additional information to the Spiral team including information that identifies the paper it refers to.
How long does it take for my paper to be available on Spiral?
The Spiral team aims to make papers available as quickly as possible.
The time taken will depend on the level of copyright and metadata checks carried out by library staff.
Where else can I deposit my work?
There are many subject repositories where you can deposit your work.
Most can be found in the OpenDOAR directory of open access repositories, and can be searched by subject area.
Copyright and publisher requirements
Who can I ask to help interpret my publisher's agreement?
For help interpreting copyright information please contact email@example.com including a link to any information you have or attaching a copy of your publishing agreement.
Where can I find my publisher's copyright policy?
Look in your copyright transfer agreement or licence or check SHERPA Romeo.
How does the Library check copyright permissions?
Library staff use their knowledge, publishers' websites and the SHERPA Romeo database to judge whether or not you are permitted to deposit the uploaded version of a paper. They may contact you to provide additional information.
Do I need to add a copyright statement?
No. This is added by library staff.
My publisher requires an embargo when I deposit my work to a repository – how do I add one?
Library staff will check your publisher’s open access policy and set an appropriate embargo. Embargoes in Spiral are automatically lifted when completed.
Using the repository
Can my paper be downloaded by anyone?
All papers in Spiral can be accessed by anyone (except PhD theses submitted before 1 March 2013 which are only available to Imperial staff and students).
Anyone downloading material agrees to the terms of the Use licence.
What is the “Request a copy” button?
When an item in Spiral is under an embargo, users can still use the “Request a copy” button to send a request to the author for a copy. One-to-one sharing of published articles is permitted by publishers, however it is at the author’s discretion whether requests are granted or not.
How will people find my work in Spiral?
Spiral is an open access repository which means its contents are freely available to the public. Search engines like Google Scholar index the contents of Spiral so they are more widely discoverable.
How much is Spiral used each year?
During 2014 there were 252,768 downloads* with articles and theses the most popular item type to be downloaded. This is a 79% increase on 2013 and represents the increasing usage of the repository as more items are added and more users become aware of it as a resource.
*statistics from IRUS-UK