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Open Access and how it can benefit researchers

Open Access literature is the online, free and immediate availability of research outputs in digital form, free of restrictions imposed by licensing and publisher copyright agreements. Peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds can all be made Open Access.

By making your research outputs Open Access, you not only make them freely available to those unable to pay substantial journal subscription charges, but you maximise their visibility: Open Access publications and data are quickly and easily discovered through searches on internet search engines. This ease of discovery, in turn, leads to greater uptake, use and citation of research outputs.

There are two routes to making your work Open Access:

  • Publish your work in an Open Access journal. There is an online Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) for consultation. To date, there exist around 3,300 OA journals, some of which require authors or grant funders to pay a fee to cover publication costs.
  • Deposit your work in an institutional or subject repository. Almost all UK universities have their own institutional repository, and the deposit process usually amounts to simply uploading the article file to the repository webpage and inputting the basic article data like title, author, journal details, keywords. Institutional repositories have staff that can help with the deposit, but your library will also be able to help you out in this process, too. If you have any questions specifically pertaining to journal copyright, please consult the RoMEO service which lists publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies.

If you are the recipient of European FP7 funding, the ERC requires that you make your publications and data resulting from your research available in an institutional repository. If your institution does not have a repository, you can upload it to the OpenAIRE repository.

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© Copyright CRC, University of Nottingham Page reviewed: 10-Sep-2010