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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. The Wellcome Trust encourage Wellcome funded researchers to share preprints of their work, and require 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, although they may impose an "embargo" on access and restrict how much you can share 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.

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 Attribution licences. This may involve payment to the publisher of an open access publishing fee, or there may be no fee to pay. "Diamond" or "platinum" models are where no open access publishing fees are charged to authors. University of Exeter researchers can also publish open access at no extra cost through publisher Transformative Agreements

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.