frequently asked questions

Open Access - Frequently Asked Questions

Open Access is the free online availability of scholarly material with the ability to download, read, print and copy. As long as the authors are cited, there should be very few limitations on reuse.

Open Access is important as it allows maximum dissemination of research to a wide reaching audience. This can result in increased impact, heightened visibility of you and your research and more downloads of your outputs with the potential for an increase in citations. 

There are two main types of Open Access: Green and Gold. Most journals will offer both of these options and are known as hybrid publications.

Green Open Access is achieved by self-archiving or depositing an article published in a journal of choice into an institutional (UDORA) or subject repository, usually after an embargo period, with no payment of costs.

The Gold Open Access option allows immediate open access to the published article achieved by payment of a fee (an APC- Article Processing Charge) to the publisher.

As an institution we are fully committed to Green Open Access.

An embargo period relates to the amount of time applied to a journal article before it is made Open Access. Typically these can last from 6 months to three years dependent on the publisher. Until the period lapses, the article is restricted to anyone who has paid to access.

If you are looking for a comprehensive list of Open Access journals then the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the recommended place to look. Please also refer to our Open Access Resources page on the Support for Researchers LibGuide for more information.

A predatory journal is a journal which “actively solicits manuscripts and charge publication fees without providing robust peer review and editorial services” (Reference: Shamseer et al (2017) Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Medicine 15 (28). (Available online here as an Open Access article). The providers of predatory journals are looking to make a profit and will cut corners in terms of the accepted scholarly publication process in order to do this.

The term “predatory journal” was first coined by a University of Colorado librarian called Jeffrey Beall and he maintained a list of predatory journals up until last year when the list was pulled and is no longer available. It was, and remains a well-respected source of information about such journals and an archived version of the list is available at  These journals will appear genuine and promise everything that you would expect. The BMC article referenced above contains a list of characteristics of predatory journals which can be consulted if you are unsure. There is also a useful website at

Subject to any publishers' restrictions, authors are encouraged to deposit full text versions of journal articles or conference proceeding papers published since 1 January 2014.

Most funders will have specific stipulations regarding open access and open data and how your research is made accessible online. You can find out more about this by consulting our Funder Policies page on our Support for Researchers LibGuide. For further information, please contact Lisa McCabe or Helen Harrison in the Research Office who will be able to advise you further on funding and funding policies. All funders will state their requirements in their funding policies guidance.

Always check funder requirements prior to agreement. Check what your funder policies are on Open Access and open data. We do not have funds in place to support Gold Open Access publishing but most funders support Green Open Access. For support with funding grants contact UKREO.

There aren’t any funds provided by the University to support Gold Open Access. However, we are part of two schemes which can cover the full or partial cost of APCs. These are provided by Springer and Taylor and Francis and are only available for certain journal titles. Please see our Repository and Open Access Librarian for more information or consult our Open Access Agreements page on the Support for Researchers LibGuide.

The recommended place to upload your article is to UDORA. For information on how to do this please see the video on the LibGuide.

The recommended tool is SHERPA/RoMEO - a database designed by librarians to check publisher policies on copyright and repository archiving. If the information isn’t available here, then it should be available on the publishers’ website. For further support, please contact our Repository and Open Access Librarian or our Research Liaison Manager.

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