Our open research policies

Read about our gold and green open access policies, processing charges and licensing. Find out how you can share and reuse your open access research and the licenses available.

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Submitted version under review (SMUR): The version of the work as submitted to the journal, prior to the peer review process.

Author accepted manuscript (AAM, also known as ‘Post-print’): The version of the work as accepted for publication. This may include any amendments suggested as a result of the peer review process. This is the version you will receive via email when your article is accepted. You should keep a copy of this for your records.

Version of record (VoR, also known as ‘Publisher PDF’): The version of the work that appears in the official publication, which includes Emerald branding and formatting

Statement relating to rights retention strategies

Emerald has long championed the need for equity in Open Access, particularly recognising the challenges of our global community of authors across less well funded social sciences and related fields.

To reflect that commitment, we were the first publisher to offer a zero-embargo green Open Access policy (since 2014) which has allowed authors to self-archive their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) under a CC-BY-NC licence, should they choose to do so. This allows authors and their institutions to fulfil any open mandates required by funders, without the need to pay an article processing charge, but protects the rights of the author and publisher by preventing subsequent commercial use of the AAM.

We are aware that a number of UK universities have implemented a 'Rights Retention Strategy' which compels authors to deposit AAMs in their institutional repository where they will be made publicly available by the University under a CC-BY licence. Emerald does not support these strategies for a number of reasons:

  • Firstly, this approach undermines the rights of authors who lose control over where or how their work is subsequently published or otherwise commercially exploited. For example, under a CC-BY licence an AAM can be republished in a journal other than that to which it was originally submitted and neither the publisher or author would be able to take any action to rectify this.
  • Secondly, this approach is a threat to the integrity of the research published. AAMs could be disseminated widely with no ability for publishers to correct or retract the work and no obligation for those subsequently publishing the work to comply with COPE guidelines.
  • Lastly, we believe that the legal basis under which a University can claim to 'retain' rights to an AAM is flawed. This approach ignores the significant value and investment that publishers make in the peer review process and in their journal brands. The intellectual property rights in an AAM are a combination of  the work of the author and that of the publisher. Whilst in some cases the university may own author copyright under an employment contract, it cannot unilaterally 'retain' the rights of the publisher or co-authors who may not be employees.

In the meantime, we remain open to consider any equitable approach that increases Open Access routes for our authors. Our belief is that the creative commons approach taken to date is not fit for purpose in the context of scholarly publishing and we would welcome further discussion between institutions, funders, authors and publishers with a view to finding a solution which promotes equity, whilst recognising the contributions of all of these stakeholders in the creation of robust academic research.

Green open access/self-archiving policy 

Our green open access route offers all Emerald journal authors or book chapter authors the option to make their research immediately and openly available upon official publication, free from payment. We are one of only a handful of publishers that doesn’t impose an embargo period.

You may deposit your author accepted manuscript at any point, but it must not be made publicly accessible until official publication (i.e. as soon as it appears on Emerald Insight in its final typeset version).

Emerald allows deposits to the following places:

  • Your institutional repository (the repository of the institution you are affiliated to)
  • A not-for-profit subject repository relevant to your discipline
  • Your personal or company website
  • On scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs) that have signed up to the STM article sharing principles. Emerald does not currently allow sharing on ResearchGate or Academia.edu.

How to deposit your Emerald work

To deposit your author accepted manuscript, you will need to include the following details:

  • You must include the DOI back to the official published version of your work on Emerald Insight
  • Include all of the relevant citation information (for journal articles: article title, journal name, volume, issue no. and for book chapters: chapter title, book title, volume, issue)
  • The author accepted manuscript itself must clearly indicate where the research was published
  • Include a clear licensing statement in the citation information and on the first page of the AAM (see below).

Deposit licenses

As an Emerald author, you have a choice of two licences to deposit your AAM under; you may either include the copyright line of the published work, or deposit under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence.

The CC BY-NC licence means that anyone may reuse that AAM for non-commercial purposes. If anyone wishes to use that AAM for commercial purposes, they should contact [email protected].

To display this licence on your AAM, you would include the following (alongside the article citation/metadata):

'This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact [email protected].'

We understand that you may not wish to use the CC BY-NC licence; in this case, you should deposit the author accepted manuscript and the following statement:

‘© [insert the copyright line of the published article]. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher’

Gold open access policy

If your funding body or institution requires you to make the version of record (also known as the branded publisher PDF or the final/official version) fully and freely available immediately upon publication, you can choose to publish your article or book via the gold open access route. This typically involves payment of an article processing charge (APC), chapter processing charge (CPC), or a book processing charge (BPC) – exceptions are listed below.

The gold open access route complies with mandates from funding bodies around the world, such as the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For example, payment of an APC (in the case of hybrid, and fully open access journals), guarantees that the article is made open access upon the official date of publication.

All gold open access articles and books are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction of the content in any medium, providing that the original author and source are credited. 

How do I pay to make my article or book open access?

As a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), we subscribe to its code of conduct.
If you are the corresponding author, once the article, chapter or book has been accepted, we will send you an invoice for the APC, CPC or BPC. This invoice can either be paid by you directly or by arrangement with the relevant funding agency or academic institution. Invoices should be paid within 28 days via BACS / electronic transfer or cheque only. 

If you would like to make your article or book gold open access and you haven’t previously agreed to do so with your funding body or institution, you should check with your institutional APC/CPC/BPC administrator (prior to submission) to ensure they have the money available to help.

Please note, payment of an APC or BPC is independent of, and holds no bias over, the editorial and peer review processes operated by the journal and book teams.

APC payment exceptions:

  • If your manuscript is accepted by one of our platinum (sponsored) fully open access journals you will not be asked to pay an APC. Publishing costs are covered via sponsorship or subsidies. 
  • If you are based in a location classified as a low or lower-middle income country by the World Bank, you may be eligible for an APC waiver or reduced APC rate. See our APC waiver policy below.
  • A number of organisations have established partnerships with us to cover the costs of an agreed number of gold open access articles from their regions. You can view a list of these on our Open access publishing agreements page.

There are a number of ways you can publish gold OA with Emerald; all our journals offer a gold OA option, or you can publish a gold OA book. To find out more about the options available, visit our Open Research page.

Fully Open Access (Sponsored) – also referred to as 'Platinum Open Access'

Our Sponsored Open Access journals, also commonly referred to as ‘Platinum Open Access’, are published in partnership with organizations such as universities and associations. There are no charges for the author for these sponsored publications.

Article processing charge (APC) waiver policy

Emerald is committed to making open access accessible and inclusive to all and supports publication of research from low- or middle-income countries. This is why we invest in a waiver programme that allows authors from these countries to publish their work in our fully open access titles either without charge or with a 50% discount.

View our fully open access journals

Who is eligible for an APC waiver?

  • Corresponding authors based in countries classified by the World Bank as ‘low’ income are eligible for a full waiver.
  • Corresponding authors based in countries classified by the World Bank as ‘lower–middle’ income are eligible for a 50% waiver.

Waivers will be automatically applied during the submission process. A full list of eligible countries is provided below (World Bank: 2023 fiscal year).

World Bank low-income countries eligible for a full APC waiver

  • Afghanistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo, Dem. Rep
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia, The
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Korea, Dem. People's Rep.
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Republic of Yemen


World Bank lower-middle income countries eligible for a 50% waiver of the APC

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Comoros
  • Congo, Rep.
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt, Arab Rep.
  • El Salvador
  • Eswatini
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Iran, Islamic Rep
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Lao PDR
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Samoa
  • São Tomé and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • West Bank and Gaza
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Open access refund policy (APC/CPC/BPC) 

Prior to publication, a refund may be awarded in the following circumstances: If there is a reason the article can’t be published; for example, on the advice of our legal team, we may decline the article and refund the APC.  

Once the article has been published, we are unable to offer refunds in the following circumstances: 

  • Article retraction or article removal: If the rare situation arises that we need to retract or remove an article (e.g. due to an issue of publication ethics or a breach in author warranties).
  • Article withdrawal: If for any reason an author decides to withdraw their paper prior to publication.
  • APC vouchers: Emerald has established partnerships with libraries and consortia to cover the cost of an agreed number of open access articles via an APC voucher scheme. Eligibility for an APC voucher must be highlighted prior to publication of an article. Emerald is unable to refund the APC to eligible authors following publication. 
  • Publication delays: If, despite our best efforts, the publication of an article is delayed due to editorial or author changes. 
  • Circumstances beyond our control: If the publication is delayed or not fulfilled due to circumstances beyond our control, for example, natural or other disasters.
  • Availability of articles on third-party platforms. While we do our best to provide third parties with the metadata and APIs required to host open access articles on their platforms, we cannot guarantee they will post or display it. Emerald is unable to refund the APC If they fail to do so.

For further information or enquires regarding Emerald’s APC refund policy please contact [email protected]

APC voucher policy

As an author, if you are affiliated with one of our partner organisations, you may be eligible for a prepaid voucher. See our list of current partnerships

To qualify for a voucher, the primary affiliation of the corresponding author must correspond to the institution participating in the voucher scheme. Where possible, you should use your official institutional email address to additionally indicate your affiliation.

If your affiliation changes prior to acceptance of the article, you will no longer be eligible for the voucher. If you have any queries about your affiliation, you should speak to your institution for advice prior to submission.

Emerald believes that the affiliation on a research article should correspond to the institution at which that research took place. Any requests for changes to affiliation post-submission will be handled in accordance with our corrections policy.

Retrospective open access policy

We allow you to change the OA status of your article post-publication. Requests need to be made within 3 months of official publication or within the same volume year, whichever period is the longest.

To make a request, please get in touch.

Emerald journal double dipping policy

We are committed to ensuring that customers do not pay twice for the same content, so-called 'double dipping', and we work closely with consortia, libraries, funding bodies, and authors to support open access through sustainable models.

In line with that commitment, our journal subscription prices are based on the number of subscription articles only – we don’t charge our subscribers for open access articles.

Both collection and individual journal subscription pricing is dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, increases in the number of journals, articles and issues, changing costs, and other economic factors. It is, therefore, important to note that any adjustments made for open access content may not always result in an absolute price decrease.

A number of our individual journals serve niche communities and, therefore, publish low volumes of articles, making pure APCs an unsustainable business model. For this reason, for individual journals, the list price for that title will be adjusted proportionately the following year (based on data from the previous three years) if:

  • More than 3 articles and more than 5% of the articles in a single journal volume are published as gold open access, and;
  • the open access revenue generated from APCs accounts for more than 5% of that volume’s revenue.

If a journal approaches the above threshold, if possible, the journal will publish more accepted articles from its backlog (articles which have been accepted by the journal but are awaiting publication) to ensure that subscribers receive maximum value for the content they have subscribed to.

We allow articles that were previously published as subscription articles to be made gold open access retrospectively under special circumstances. Find out more in our open research FAQs.

We offer both funded and unfunded authors routes to publish open access, including green and sponsored OA models. We continue to work with our stakeholders and communities to explore progressive solutions that deliver sustainable open access and support all disciplines.

Open data policy 

There are many good reasons to provide readers of your article with free access to the analytical code and data underlying your findings.

Sharing data brings a number of benefits which is why we encourage authors to do so.

Sharing data can:

  • Enable research to be reproduced
  • Reduce duplication of data collection and processing efforts
  • Increase the impact of your work
  • Aid new research
  • Increase the credibility of the findings

If you do decide to share it, the first step is to select an appropriate research data repository you can upload it to. This might be one run by your own institution, or it might be a third-party platform such as Dryad, Figshare, Open Science Framework, Zenodo, UK Data Service ReShare, OpenICPSR, or Qualitative Data Repository. The repositories will provide you with a citable DOI (digital object identifier) which should be included in your submission. Further repositories can be found on the Registry of Research Data Repositories (Re3Data).

A few important points:

  • In the acknowledgments or first footnote of any manuscript you submit to Emerald, you must let readers know whether they will be able to access the data, analytic methods, and study materials associated with your work (i.e. state whether or not you will be making them openly available).  
  • If you have decided to share them, you must also specify where the material can be accessed.
  • We encourage responsible data sharing; if your dataset contains information that an organisation might consider confidential, or it identifies an individual or company and you don’t have their consent, please liaise with your institution before uploading the data. In addition, if your dataset could be considered the property of someone else, you will need their permission before uploading it to a public repository.

Maximise the impact of your research by following best practices when sharing data; for example, compile a data dictionary listing the variables involved. 

Please note: We support the guidelines laid down in the concordat to support research integrity, developed by Universities UK, which state that there should be: "Transparency and open communication in declaring conflicts of interest; in the reporting of research data collection methods; in the analysis and interpretation of data; in making research findings widely available, which includes sharing negative results as appropriate; and in presenting the work to other researchers and to the general public."

To fabricate or manipulate data is fundamentally wrong and a breach of research integrity. Please be aware we may review data or request the original data files: if there is reason to suspect that the data is not plausible, we reserve the right to reject that paper. If that is the case, we will closely follow the principles outlined on the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) website.

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