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Open Access : Making your research freely accessible online

Open Access

Details and benefits of Open Access

  • No subscription costs with worldwide accessibility
  • Citation advantage over publications available for a fee, as open access helps to maximise views and downloads
  • Can lead to new research students at universities and help kick-start new collaborations between researchers
  • Most funders such as RCUK and Wellcome Trust require publications to be made available on an open access basis
  • Greater visibility for universities and the type of research they do
  • Those who actually provide the money for publicly-funded research (i.e. tax-payers) will have access to the research they have funded
  • Book chapters and monographs are increasingly being included
  • HEFCE policy states that from 1st April 2016, if universities want research papers to be included in the next REF, they have to be deposited in an open access repository within three months of being accepted

There are two types of Open Access


  • Authors submit an un-finished version of the article (“author accepted manuscript”) in their institutional repository and in a central repository (PubMed)
  • After the publisher’s embargo period, which is usually 6-12 months, or longer, the manuscript becomes freely available
  • Over 90% of journals allow a version of the paper to be deposited this way
  • You can check the SHERPA/ROMEO database for publishers’ conditions


Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

The newly established Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) will cover the cost of article processing charges (APCs) for peer-reviewed research, funded wholly or partly by one or more of these charities: Arthritis Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Wellcome Trust. COAF funds may only be used to pay open access article processing charges, not to cover other charges that some journals may levy, such as page and colour charges. Where these apply, researchers must use other funds to meet these costs.