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Open access and rights retention

Why opt out?

Opting out of the SHU Research Publications and Copyright Policy means that access to your manuascript will be restricted. The SHU policy allows your accepted manuscript to be made available from the date of first publication under the most liberal creative Commons license (CC BY). If you opt out, access to your accepted manuscript will be restricted, either by delaying access and/or applying a more restrictive Creative Commons license.

There are three main reasons why you may choose to opt out of the University's policy: 

  1. Because of the publisher’s response to a submission with the Rights Retention Statement 

  1. Because of copyright, when the paper contains third-party materials which cannot be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution licence and the redaction of the third-party materials will compromise the reading of the article. Or when the author has grounds to prefer another Creative Commons licence than CC BY (which may occur especially in the arts and humanities) 

  1. Because your co-authors want a different licence than CC BY or follow the publisher’s embargo 

It should be noted that you cannot opt out of the requirement to deposit the accepted manuscript in Elements. You can only obtain an opt-out of the following two policy requirements: 

  • to achieve immediate open access from the day of first publication 

  • to use the Creative Commons Attribution licence 

Therefore, opt-outs will often mean that a delay of between 6 and 24 months will be applied (often referred to as ‘an embargo’), and that no Creative Commons Attribution licence will be used.  

You should be aware that opting out may mean that you no longer comply with your funder’s Open Access requirements, especially if you have a grant from a funder that requires immediate Open Access, such as UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) or the European Research Council (ERC).

How to opt out

You can opt out in two ways: 

  1. By sending an email to Please include: 
  • The publication for which you are requesting a waiver 
  • Why you are requesting a waiver 
  • What your requirements are (licence and embargo) 
  1. By requesting a ‘waiver’ in Elements.

Please see our guidance on requesting a waiver in Elements.

What happens next

Because opting out may mean that you no longer comply with your funder’s Open Access requirements or with Open Access requirements for REF, your Library will get in touch with you to confirm that an opt out is indeed desired. Once you have given confirmation, your paper will be made available from the repository according to your requirements.