Research-Open Access

Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge to everyone with an internet connection, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.

What researchers need to do?

University of Oxford’s Open Access Policy is to ensure the widest possible access to its world-class research. Oxford researchers are asked to deposit their work into the university’s repository ORA (Oxford Research Archive), to boost research visibility, for digital preservation, to meet REF 2021 Open Access policy and to provide a comprehensive record for Oxford.

When you have had a paper accepted for publication, please Act on Acceptance by depositing the accepted manuscript into Oxford’s local repository, the Oxford Research Archive (ORA) within 3 months of the date the paper is accepted.

It is mandatory to do this for journal articles and conference papers (in publications with an ISSN) accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 onwards, if you would like to submit them to REF 2021.

The University also asks that you create a record for all other publications.

To find out how to deposit the papers you’ve had accepted for publication:

Guidance Document 2 Minute Video Guide

In order to deposit your papers, you’ll need to log in to Symplectic Elements (Single Sign-On access). You should have an account automatically created, but if you don’t, please complete a Symplectic new user request form. If you have problems logging on, contact the Symplectic team.

Take into account the Open Access requirements set by your funder.

Do they have an OA policy? Do you need to include OA costs in your grant application? Check Sherpa Juliet.

Have a plan of when and where you want to publish and how you want to make your publications Open Access.

Ways to achieve Open Access

There are two main routes: green and gold.

Green: Publish your article in a subscription journal and self-archive a copy of the accepted manuscript in Oxford’s institutional repository, the Oxford Research Archive (ORA), or in a subject repository such as EuropePMC, ArXiv, SRRN. The manuscript is made freely available (after the embargo period set by the publisher). No fee is charged.

Gold: Publish in an open access journal or a “hybrid” journal with an OA option. You pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make the item available immediately on the publisher’s website. The OA option means there are no subscription fees for libraries or individuals to read the article. You can use this route where the publisher embargo on green is longer than your funder permits. If you do take this route, make sure you include the costs in your proposed budget. Or in the case of UKRI and Wellcome Trust/Charity Open Access Fund, apply for funds from the Block Grants they provide to the University.

For help with your decision-making about open access to your publications, do seek advice from the Open Access Enquiries team.