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Frequently Asked Questions


I cannot find the journal I am looking for, what should I do?

Check your spelling: RoMEO does not automatically suggest alternative spellings for words, so check that you have spelt the title correctly.

If this does not work, go to Advanced mode and try:

Title searches: The search function is set as default to 'exact title'. If you are having problems, you should try altering the search setting to 'Title starts' or 'Title contains'.


ISSN searches: This is the most reliable method of searching for journals.

I think a FACT record may be inaccurate, what do I do?

If you are aware of any new policies from publishers or consider that an entry may need to be reviewed, please provide any feedback via our Feedback Form.

Why are some journals compliant when they have 12 months embargo for STEM or 24 months for Arts? Doesn't this exceed RCUK's allowable embargoes?

The RCUK guidance is that during the period of transition for implementation of the RCUK OA policy, the green embargo period for journals which have an acceptable gold OA option is a maximum of 6 months for biomedicine, 12 months for Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines and 24 months in the arts, humanities and social sciences. These longer embargo periods are part of the flexibility that RCUK is providing whilst researchers, their institutions, publishers and learned societies adapt to the developing open access environment. For those journals which do not have an acceptable gold OA option, the maximum embargo period is 6 months for STEM disciplines, and 12 months in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Why does my journal not appear in the auto-complete list?

The auto-complete list for journal titles is comprised of the top 600 journal titles, identified by research funders and from the titles most frequently searched for in RoMEO. You can still search for titles not currently included in this list.

My funder says I must deposit my articles in my institutional repository, where can I find it?

Your institutional repository is usually accessible from your institution's library webpages. Alternatively, OpenDOAR lists all UK repositories containing full text items.

Please contact your repository staff for further details on how to submit to your repository. Your local repository staff or Research Office, may also be able to direct you to any local funds for payment of open access fees.

My funder says I must pay for open access, where do I apply for funds?

Research Councils UK have provided institutions with funds to pay open access fees. Local repository staff or your research office should be able to direct you to such funds. Details of your local repository can be found on OpenDOAR.

What data sources are used by SHERPA/FACT?

SHERPA FACT pulls information and interprets data from:

What are FACT's working definitions and assumptions?

p>See our Definitions and Assumptions page

How does FACT handle multiple funders' requirements?

FACT merges the funders' policies by reconciling the different settings, as follows:

Please note that any special arrangements that funders have with publishers are assumed to override the publishers' default policies.

What is the hierarchy of Creative Commons licences with respect to openness?

SHERPA/FACT uses the following hierarchy for Creative Commons licences, with the most open at the top:

Is FACT available for other Funders?

FACT has been designed to work with any research funder's open access requirements, although some additonal customisation may be required. The Centre for Research Communications would be happy to hear from funders who wish to be added to FACT. Please contact

Where can I see a breakdown of funder policies?

SHERPA/JULIET provides a breakdown of funders open access policies.

Is there a FACT API?

A SHERPA/FACT Application Programmers' Interface (API) has been released for beta testing. More information.

What are FACT's timescales and procedures for updating records?

We aim to respond to feedback on any update requests within 3 working days and complete these were possible. Where we need to get a response from a publisher before updating our own records, updating can take longer. SHERPA/FACT has an active update programme and is linked to RoMEO, which is also fed by contributions from the community as well as our own targeted update programme.

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