Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Access

Introduction to open access publishing and a guide to finding open access resources

Open access publishing

Staffordshire University recommends green open access.

Green open access:

  • Allows authors to enjoy the advantages of both traditional journal publishing and open access
  • Allows authors to publish without having to rely on access to funding for article processing charges (APCs)
  • Is effective
  • Is sustainable

Green OA involves making a version of the research paper available through a repository as an OA paper and publishing in a journal with no direct cost to the researcher; however the publisher is allowed to embargo the final version of the article to enable the publisher to recover costs through journal subscriptions. 

Staffordshire University recommends that authors deposit the author-final copy (Post print) of their work in STORE (STaffordshire University Online REpository) whenever possible.  In order to see if and how a journal or publisher supports green open access, you can use SHERPA/RoMEO, a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.  If a journal or publisher is not listed on SHERPA/RoMEO you are advised to contact the publisher and check their policies on open access.

Check research funders' open access policies through SHERPA/JULIET

What version of an article can be uploaded into a repository?

The publisher of the article will specify which version can be uploaded (if any). This could be:

  • Pre-print: This is the original draft, prior to publisher’s corrections. Pre-print versions do not normally meet funder requirements. 
  • Post-print: This is the corrected version of the draft, but not the final published version. Also known as the Author’s Manuscript or Accepted Author Manuscript
  • Publisher’s Version or Published Journal Article or Version of Record: This is the final published article
  • SHERPA/FACT (Funders' & Authors' Compliance Tool) is a tool to help researchers check whether or not the journals in which they wish to publish their results comply with their funder's requirements for open access to research.can be used to check the policies of journals regarding OA for articles they publish 

Staffordshire University OA Mandate

Some benefts of Open Access

  • Increased visibility of publications
  • Research disseminated faster
  • Increased citation and impact
  • Compliance with funder & REF requirements
  • Raised profile for author, funders and university
  • Enhancing your reputation in the research community
  • Attracting potential collaborators
  • Sharing knowledge from publicly funded research

Some OA terms and definitions

Article Processing Charge (APC):  an APC is a fee paid to the publisher to make an article free at point of access.  The cost of publication is moved from the reader via subscriptions to the author via the APC.

Creative Commons:  Creative Commons is a nonprofit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. The preferred licence for research funders is the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.

Attribution CC-BY: you can share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix a work for commercial purposes as long as you attribute the work

Attribution CC-BY-NC: you can share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix a work for non-commercial purposes as long as you attribute the work.

Embargo period: a length of time that publishers can make authors wait before they are allowed to make their material open access. The length of embargo periods varies, embargoes of between 6 months and 24 months are common. Once any embargo period has elapsed, deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download. See SHERPA/RoMEO for publishers copyright and self archiving policies.

Finch Report: a working group was established and led by Janet Finch. The remit of the group was to develop a sustainable model for expanding access to the published research and its results in 2012. The report is widely known as the Finch Report

Gold open access: involves paying the publisher through research funds allocated by a University or research institution. The payment, known as an Article Processing Charge (APC) covers overheads such as peer review and marketing.  The benefit is immediate publication in an OA journal.  To achieve OA compliance most funders require the use of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY).

Hybrid Journal: this refers to a journal where only some of the articles are open access.