LLS Research Support

LLS provides research support to academics and PG students, including:

  • REF (Research Excellence Framework)
  • PURE (Publications-Research) – Research Information System
  • Research Data Management
  • Open Access
  • Referencing
  • Metrics
  • Altmetrics
  • Copyright
  • Ethics
  • Digital Footprints

Open Access

“Open Access” is unrestricted access via the internet to peer reviewed scholarly research. This includes:

  • Journal Articles
  • Software
  • Research Data
  • Book Chapters
  • Monographs
  • Open Educational Resources

The University of Northampton is working to help academics to not only comply with funding body requirements for open access (OA), but also to increase the visibility of all their research outputs.

An advantage of OA over traditional publishing models is a higher impact and visibility of research, since that research reaches a wider audience. Research that is open access can therefore result in increased collaboration opportunities and citation impact.


Pure is the Universities Current Research Information system, and links through to our public pure portal, the University of Northampton Research Explorer.

This showcases the research outputs, activities, datasets, student thesis, equipment, projects, research impacts and press/media of the research undertaken at the University of Northampton.  Pure provides a profile for all research active staff and PG Students.

Research Data Management

We believe that excellence in research and research integrity is facilitated by the application of good practice in research data management.  We support researchers to achieve excellence through the provision of Pure and training using resources like DMPOnline.

Research data management is concerned with many aspects of research data:

Data Collection Using effective file formats, implementing file naming conventions and managing large volumes of data
Data Documentation Following documentation and metadata standards, making data easier to understand and reuse
Data Storage Using secure data systems to store and transfer data, with automatic file replication and versioning
Ethics and Legal Complying with relevant laws, managing ethical considerations and keeping sensitive data confidential
Data Preservation and Open Data Using open formats, using an appropriate repository, minting DOI’s for effective citation, minimising restrictions

There are three key elements involved in managing data effectively at Northampton:

  1. Create, implement and maintain a Data Management Plan
  2. Use secure storage such as Tundra or the Network drives during research
  3. Deposit completed data in our data repository, Pure

Researchers who do these three things well can be confident in how they manage their research data. The Research Support Team is available to help researchers carry out these activities.

Papers with data freely available receive around 9% more citations than those with restricted data

Funding Open Access

Gold Open Access is where a paper is made fully open on the publisher’s website, often for a fee or ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC).  The University has a number of agreements and memberships with different publishers which in many cases will allow discounts to be applied against APC payments.  The University has a small institutional budget to pay for Gold APCs.

APCS will only be paid where articles meet the following criteria:

  • Published under a CC-BY licence
  • Embargo period in excess of 12 months for green open access (using accepted manuscript)

Approval from the Head of Research Support for payment of an APC must be obtained prior to agreeing to copyright transfer. Email openaccess@northampton.ac.uk to access this fund.

REF and Open Access

To be eligible for submission in REF2021, a research output must have been deposited in an institutional repository on acceptance for publication and must be made open access as soon as possible after publication.

The version of the article that is required to be deposited and made open access (freely available) is the Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM), with the peer-review comments implemented as it was accepted for publication. Depending on the publisher, these articles may be subject to an embargo period, after which the article can be made freely available.

The key components of the HEFCE OA policy:

  • Research outputs must be deposited in an institutional repository as soon after the point of acceptance as possible and no later than three months after the acceptance date.
  • Northampton authors should deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscript in Pure immediately after the acceptance date as stated in the last correspondence from the publisher to the author.
  • Only the accepted author manuscript (AAM) will meet HEFCE compliance requirements.  Pre-prints are not acceptable. The AAM is your corrected version, after peer review, prior to any type-setting or work by the publisher (not the final published version). This is also sometimes referred to as the Author’s Manuscript or post-print.
  • Applies to all journal articles or conference proceedings with an ISSN.

There are allowances for publisher embargoes to be respected.  The maximum embargo periods are:

  • 12 months for Panel A and B (Stem)
  • 24 months for Panel C and D (HaSS)

Research outputs that are still under embargo can be selected for the next REF provided that the date of first publication is within the REF reporting period.

Date of Acceptance

The date of acceptance is the point at which the author is notified that their output has been reviewed by the journal or conference (normally via peer review) and all academically necessary changes have been made in response to that review.  The article is ready to be taken through the final steps toward publication (normally copy-editing and typesetting).

By this point, the paper should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. At this stage, the journal editor or conference organiser normally notifies the author that their paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted (as opposed to any earlier point of ‘provisional acceptance’) and the paper is ready for copy-editing or typesetting; it is the date of this notification that should be taken to mean the date of acceptance.

The author’s final, accepted manuscript is the one that has been agreed with the editor at that point. The accepted manuscript is not the same as the copy-edited, typeset or published paper – these versions are known as ‘proofs’ or ‘versions of record’ and publishers do not normally allow authors to make these open access.‌

Where a publisher does not operate peer-review, the Author’s Final, accepted manuscript is considered to be the final version of the manuscript submitted to the publisher for publication.

From HEFCE’s Open Access Policy – POST REF 2014. 

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