You would need to consider the following issues:
- Would such works normally be counted as research outputs as part of your Royal Holloway REF submission? If so, then we would expect to get some form of them, subject to any contract or licence agreement.
- Is deposit covered in any clauses in a commercial contract or licence agreement you have signed with a publisher? If so, we would respect such agreements. We could approach the publisher on your behalf to clarify open access compliance.
- Is the item now out of print? We know of Royal Holloway authors who have been able to deposit a version of an out of print book because copyright has returned to them contractually in the event of a publisher choosing not to reprint their book.
Long term preservation – even if deposit in an open access agreement was prohibited for very long periods of time such as 70 years, it is still worth putting a copy in the institutional repository as a closed access item to ensure that at some point in the future your work will survive and can be accessed by future scholars. Our experiences to date have shown that personal electronic copies of versions of research outputs tend to be very hard to obtain after a couple of years.
If you are asking the question prior to entering into an agreement with a publisher, why not consider publishing your work with open access publishers? Or even retaining specific distribution rights in any agreement you can sign.
Please contact the Open Access Team, openaccessroyalholloway.ac.uk, if you would like to discuss this further.