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Open access literature is digital, online, free to read and free of many licensing restrictions. It provides access to research publications that would otherwise require institutional subscriptions to journals. Open access can be more than making research available to read, as it also allows others to re-use that research.

What are the benefits of Open Access publishing?

Open access benefits authors by making their work easily accessible and therefore more likely to be read and cited. It benefits society by making research available to everyone, and it makes unpublished works and out of print items easy to obtain.

Many of our funding bodies now require that research outputs produced as a result of their funding are made available via open access.

The image shows eight benefits of open access: More exposure for your work; Practitioners can apply your findings; Higher citation rates; Your research can influence policy; the public can access your findings; Complaint with grant rules; Taxpayers get value for money; Researchers in developing countries can see your work

 

Alternative text to the image above for accessibility: Open access image

Oxford University’s policy on Open Access 

The University has a policy of open access (OA) for publications arising from research in order to ensure the widest possible access to its world-class research and to have a greater potential for impact.  

Access to Oxford’s published research, for everyone, from everywhere, will help to highlight the excellence of its research, attract scholars and students, foster collaboration, enhance public engagement with research and maximise the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic impact of research”. 

You can read the University's Policy on Open Access.  

The University's Open Access website has information about funder requirements (UKRI, Wellcome and others) and what you can do to make your publication open access. 

Ways to achieve Open Access 

  • Publish in a fully open access journal/platform that makes the article immediately open access (the ‘gold route’) 
  • Publish in a journal covered by a Transformative Agreement (also sometimes known as a Read & Publish deal) 
  • Publish in a subscription journal and make the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available on publication with no embargo (the ‘green route’). 

Act on Acceptance 

Whichever you choose, the University asks researchers to Act on Acceptance and deposit the accepted manuscript in the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) for the REF, for preservation, dissemination and a comprehensive record for Oxford. This needs to be done within 3 months of acceptance through Symplectic Elements. All academics and researchers should have an account automatically created, but if one hasn’t been set up for you, please fill in a Symplectic new user request form. If you have problems logging on, email the Symplectic team.

How to Deposit your accepted paper

Follow our guidance How to deposit your work in Symplectic

Instruction documents are available within the help section of Symplectic and on the University of Oxford Research Support pages (accessible via SSO)

FUNDER-SPECIFIC GUIDANCE: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO? 

Research Council UK Block Grant (UKRI) 

If you have an award from UKRI or one of their councils, such as MRC (Medical Research Council) or the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), you must follow their open access requirements when publishing research acknowledging the funding.

If you submit for publication before 1 April 2022 you must follow the existing Research Councils’ policy on open access and supporting guidance.

If you submit for publication on or after 1 April 2022 you must follow the new UKRI open access policy. 

Any questions?

Email UKRI Open Research: openresearch@ukri.org

Visit the UKRI policy pages

Read the Oxford UKRI FAQs  

Wellcome Trust

The new Wellcome Open Access policy came into effect on 1 January 2021. The policy applies to all primary research funded in part or whole by the Wellcome Trust (WT). 

Find out more about:

Any questions?

Read the Wellcome Trust FAQs

Other  funder open access requirements

Most major research funders now have a requirement for outputs to be made open access. By accepting a research grant, you are required to provide open access to the publications arising from the funded research. 

In all cases, you should check whether your funder has an OA policy and whether you need to include OA costs in your grant application. Check Sherpa Juliet.

The Open Access Oxford team supports Oxford authors in understanding the key funder requirements and how to comply. If you don’t comply with your funder’s policy, your existing grant may be partially withheld, and you may not be eligible for future funding.

For further information on how to meet funder OA requirements please see the Oxford Open Access website.  

In addition to publications, most funders require that the supporting research data should be made available open access wherever possible, so others can use it and build on this knowledge. Please go to the Research Data Oxford Webpage for advice on good working practices for research data management and sharing.

Additional Resources 

Staff with MORU affiliations should read the MORU guidance: 

Open Access and Wellcome Policy at MORU

Staff with KWTRP affiliations should read the KWTRP guidance:

KWTRP OA Publication Submission SOP

Where to go for help

For help with your decision-making about open access to your publications you are very welcome to email the Open Access Enquiry team: openaccess@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

You can also seek advice in person from the Subject Librarians in the Bodleian Libraries.

You may also find it useful to attend one of the regular, free iSkills workshops.

 

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