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Open Access Resources

Freely available academic resources

Open access

Open access (OA) refers to the provision of free, immediate, online access to research publications, usually free of copyright and licensing restrictions. It can also mean allowing others to re-use your research. The benefits of open access include more exposure for your work and higher citation rates, enabling practitioners, policy makers, and researchers in developing countries to access your findings.

Diagram shows benefits of open access publishing: more exposure, practitioners able to apply your findings, higher citation rates, your research can influence policy, public access to your research, compliance with funder requirements, value for taxpayers' money, researchers in developing countries can see your work.

Click on the links below to find out more about open access, how to plan for it, and how it can help you build impact into your research:

Jisc | Introduction to Open Access

Directory of Open Access Journals

Open access and the REF

Final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journals and conference papers must be made open access by depositing them in an institutional or subject repository within three months of acceptance for publication. 

Institutional repository, Pure

To share research outputs in Pure, please alert the Research Support Librarian to your accepted or in-progress publications using the form below.

There are two routes to open access, gold and green:

Gold open access involves publication in journals or books which are themselves either completely open access, or partially open access ("hybrid" publications). In this case, the author typically pays a fee, or "article processing charge" (APC) and the resulting publication is free to access for anyone, with a licence that permits re-use.

For green open access, a shareable version of the text is deposited in an institutional or subject-based repository (such as Pure). The version used for green open access is the author accepted manuscript (AAM), or post print. This is the text submitted for publication after any changes made as a result of the peer-review process, but not the publisher's PDF. There is no cost to the author, but the publisher's policies may require an embargo to be placed on the document.

Policies on uploading author accepted manuscripts (AAMs) differ from publisher to publisher. Some allow AAMs to be uploaded to an institutional repository immediately, others require an embargo period of anywhere from six months to two years before the manuscript can be made freely available. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides an easy way to identify the policy for specific publishers and journals.

You can also check the Directory of Open Access Journals to see if a journal is open access.

cOAlition S - making full and immediate Open Access a reality.   


cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main target

"By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

The main target is supported by 10 principles. 


Institutional repository, Pure

Creative Commons

When publishing or sharing your work, especially if through a non-traditional route such as a webpage, social media or via platforms like YouTube, Flickr or Vimeo, you should  consider using a Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons offers a simple DIY method for licensing the reuse of a copyright-protected work of any sort. The Creative Commons website offers a choice of predefined licences using concise symbols that can be combined in different ways.

 The Creative Commons (CC) licences work worldwide within the limits of copyright law.  There are six different licences which can be used to protect your work, these are regularly updated and conform to international copyright laws.

Creative Commons licenses explained

CC BY LicenceAttribution (CC BY)

This licence allows you let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give you credit and cite the licence. When used on its own, this is the simplest and least restrictive CC Licence.

CC BY SA Licence Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)

This license allows others to distribute, alter and build upon a created work, even commercially, as long as the original source is credited and all derivative works are licensed with the same terms of use as the original. 

CC BY ND Licence Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND)

This license allows for the distribution of a work, commercially or non-commercially, as long as the created item is used unchanged and in its original and intended format with credit given to the creator.

CC BY NC Licence Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)

This license allows others to distribute, alter and build upon a created work for purely non-commercial use as long as the original source is acknowledged. Derivative works do not have to be licensed in the same manner as source material.

CC BY NC ND Licence Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license is the most restrictive of all the Creative Commons options and only allows for the downloading or use of works in a shared manner. The user must credit the original source and can’t change or distribute them commercially information in any way.

CC BY NC SA Licence Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license allows others to distribute, alter and build upon a created work, but not commercially, as long as the original source is credited. Unlike the CC BY-SA license, derivative works do not have to be licensed with the same terms of use as the original.

CC0 Licence CC0 - No Rights Reserved

This is an alternative to the Creative Commons licences, which is often appropriate for research data sets.

CC0 goes one step further than the Creative Commons licences in making your work available for others to reuse. CC0 enables you to waive any claim you might have to copyright protection in the work. It follows that others will be free to reuse your work in any way they choose without seeking permission, without acknowledging you as the author and with no other formalities. If the CC licences are equivalent to “some rights reserved,” CC0 is equivalent to “no rights reserved.”

By applying CC0, you are placing your work in the public domain to  the fullest  possible extent. CC0 can be especially appropriate for research data sets as it maximises the opportunities for  other researchers to test and reuse your data.

When not to apply a CC licence

If your work has commercial potential then a Creative commons licence may not be ideal as, essentially, you are making it available to everyone free of charge. Once granted, a CC licence cannot be withdrawn from someone who is already reusing your work under the licence. It follows that you need to think carefully before attaching a CC licence to your work.

Further details on Creative Commons can be found at


How can I check if the journal I want to publish in is reputable?

Think. Check. Submitis an easy-to-use checklist that researchers can refer to when considering whether a journal can be trusted. Only If you can answer "yes" to all or most of the questions should you consider submitting your work.  

The Think, Check, Submit website also has other relevant information



You could also consult this list - but it was last updated in 2016 Beall's List of Potential Predatory Journals