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Routes to open access

Routes to open access


Make the pre-peer-reviewed version open access on a preprint server, free of charge. Pre-printing makes your research findings quickly available, registers your discovery, and increases visibility of your research. If you plan to submit to a journal, check the publisher policy before posting your preprint, to make sure they allow submissions of work that has already been shared as a preprint. Many funders including The Wellcome Trust, UKRI and NIHR encourage researchers to share preprints of their work, and may mandate this during public health emergencies.


Make your work open access by uploading the accepted manuscript to an institutional or subject repository (self-archiving or "green" open access). Most publishers allow you to share your accepted manuscript in a repository, they may impose an embargo on access and restrict how much you can share e.g. only one chapter of a monograph. Upload via Symplectic to ORE.

Publish open access on the publisher website

When you publish open access on the publisher website, your final full text will be open access immediately upon online publication with a licence such as one of the Creative Commons licences. Many open access publishers and journals do not charge author publishing fees (sometimes called "diamond" open access). Or, there may be an open access publishing fee to pay.

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.