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Open Access Resources

Freely available academic resources

Introduction to open access

What is open access for research publications? 

Open access is academic research that is published as digital, online, free of charge for reading, and free to reuse and share. Open access requires proper attribution of works to authors. Authors have several options when publishing academic research as open access:

1. Publish in a journal that makes the paper immediately freely available at the point of publication (gold open access). Some journals require payment of an article processing charge for gold open access publishing. Journals can be either fully open access or are subscription journals with an open access option for authors (hybrid).

2. Make a copy of your paper, usually the author’s accepted manuscript after peer review, freely available in an open access repository (green open access).

3. Choose to make early versions of the paper available (preprint).


Universal open and barrier-free access to research benefits all knowledge users, including academia, businesses, charities, policymakers, researchers and institutions without or with limited funding, and the wider global society.

Dissemination of research as open access helps to reduce research waste by making research openly accessible, increases exposure of a researchers’ work leading potentially to increased citations, offers access to a broader audience including those who cannot afford journal subscriptions, and situates the research across available literature.

If you are a funded author (e.g. UKRI), publishing your research open access with a CC BY licence will be a requirement. You should check the routes to open access suggested by your funder.

Solent University's Open Access Policy requires that researchers make applicable research outputs available under a CC BY licence.

Think.Check.Submit is a great resource for checking if you are publishing your research in the right area, particularly if you have been approached by a journal and want to check its veracity.

When publishing in open access journals, authors (or institutions) often retain the copyright of their manuscripts and the journal applies a Creative Commons licence (typically CC BY). This licence is the most liberal of the six Creative Commons copyright licences allowing users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, provided that they acknowledge you. Other licences may be selected (check funder/institutional requirements) but these are more restrictive: CC BY-ND (no derivatives, no modifications) and CC BY-NC (no commercial use). 

Pure deposit form


This guide "Publishing open access", reuses content from Open Access: a Primer from UKRN, created by Sally Rumsey, Carole Lunny, Bradley Kennedy, and used under CC BY-SA 4.0