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 place restrictions on access (an "embargo") and restrictions on how much you can archive e.g. only one chapter of a monograph. 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 publishers offer the option to publish open access on the publisher website. Your final full text will be open access immediately upon online publication and a licence guiding reuse will be applied, such as one of the Creative Commons licences, of which the most liberal is CC BY. This often (but not always) involves payment to the publisher of a one-off open access fee, Article Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC) and is sometimes referred to as “gold” or paid open access.
Alternative models for open access publishing
Alternative models include "Diamond" and "Platinum" open access, where the final version is published as open access on the publisher website, without the requirement for authors to pay open access fees. 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.
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.
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.