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Biological Sciences Libraries


Q. How to choose the right journal?

The webpage Think Check Submit can help researchers to identify journals and publishers through a series of steps that will support your evaluation on the final decision.

Visit the page

Q. What are my data storage options (including for personal / sensitive data)

A range of cloud-based and centralized storage options are available from UIS: 

In addition to the free allocations provided to all users and groups, there is a scheme (closing in 2022) by which PIs in the School of Biological Sciences can apply for additional free resources. Details here:

It is important to consider the confidentiality/sensitivity of data in choosing where to store it. The University guidelines and data security classification system can be found here: (see the links below the text for specific recommendations)

➤ Contact for advice:

➤ See also:

Q. I am new to the department and I don’t have access to Symplectic Elements?

Your personal information is automatically transferred in from central HR. If you can not access Symplectic this transfer mind have been delayed. Please contact with your details.

Q. What is the ‘accepted manuscript’ that needs to be uploaded?

The accepted manuscript is the final authors manuscript which shows the peer-review changes, not the final version.

Q. When should my manuscript be uploaded?

As soon as the manuscript has been accepted for publication it needs to be uploaded to OA. Visit and clicking on ‘upload manuscript’


Q. Do I need to upload all the files I have for the submission of my manuscript?

Yes, please upload the manuscript and any supplementary information can be added as separate files.

Q. Do I have to acknowledge the source of funding in Symplectic on submission?

Yes, If the work was done on a grant you can link it during the upload at the ‘Link Funding’ stage. Your Symplectic record will have a record of your grants, If the grant is not listed, select ‘Grant not listed’ and this can be updated at a later stage.


Q. Why do I need to submit grant information on Symplectic?

If you are funded by any UKRI institution, the source of funding acknowledged in the paper will help to decide whether or not you would be eligible for payment of Gold Open Access through the block grants.

Q. I have no grant or funds to pay publication costs.

Check the Read & Publish site to see if the University has an agreement with the publishers of the journal. If they have then the cost of publishing may be covered by the agreement.

NOTE: Please ensure that you qualify for open access under the terms of the agreement as listed below – This is important!

In each of these agreements all staff and students of the University may read journals published in the agreements and all researchers in the University may publish articles in the journals without incurring any article processing charge.

Identification as corresponding author

In order for your article submission to qualify as eligible under the agreements, you must be the responsible corresponding author and affiliated with the University of Cambridge.  In the article submission process you must identify yourself as affiliated with the University of Cambridge and/or you must use your email address (or sub-domain in the format

Q. Does the university agreement on the “Read & Publish” cover all types of submissions?

No, the agreements do not cover reports, case studies, abstracts, reviews. In most cases, the agreements only cover research articles.

Please check with the OA team for more inforamtion.

Q. How do I check the journals policy on self-archiving - Green OA?

Use Sherpa Romeo an online resource that analyse publishers open access policies. It will display if the journal can be self-archived in an institutional repository.

Q. What is an Embargo period?

If the accepted article has been archived in an institutional repository it is the length of time before work is openly available. This is imposed by the publishers and is either 6 or 12 months.

Q. Should I sign a copy/OA (open access) agreement?

No, do not sign any copyright /OA agreements before the manuscript is uploaded to OA. The OA team will then advise which option to choose.

Q. I’m being asked to sign a copyright agreement or OA (open access) option on submission?

If this is the case, please contact OA for advice .