Routes to open access


You can make your work open access in an institutional or subject repository, without the need to pay open access charges. This is referred to as self-archiving or "green" open access

Most publishers allow you to archive your accepted manuscript in a repository, although they may not allow it to be immediately open access. The University of Exeter's preferred route to open access is self-archiving in the institutional repository, Open Research Exeter (ORE). Upload upon acceptance, via Symplectic to ORE.

Paying for open access

Many journals offer the option to publish the final version of your article as open access on the publisher website, immediately upon online publication. A licence is applied that describes how others can reuse your work, such as one of the Creative Commons licences, of which the most liberal is CC BY.

This usually involves payment to the publisher of a one-off open access Article Processing Charge (APC) and is sometimes referred to as “gold” open access

Alternative models for open access publishing

"Diamond" and "Platinum" open access options exist, where the final version is published as open access on the publisher website, without the requirement for authors to pay open access APCs. Open access publishing costs in these models are funded by academic institutions, learned societies or governments.

Platforms such as Wellcome Open Research allow researchers to rapidly publish any results they think are worth sharing, including negative or null results, with the publication fee covered directly by the funder.

Open access advice for academics

Professor Sabina Leonelli gives advice to academics considering making work open access. 'Green' open access (self-archiving) is available to all researchers and involves making the accepted manuscript open access in an institutional or subject repository. This is compliant with University policy, REF 2021 and many research funders. Some researchers may also have access to funding to pay for open access.

Green and Gold open access

An explanation of the two main routes to open access. 'Green' open access (self-archiving): making your accepted manuscript open access in a repository, 'Gold' open access: paying to publish the final version as open access on the publisher website. Other options also exist.