What is open access?
Open access simply means that anyone with an internet connection can read your research without the frustration of hitting a subscription barrier or a publisher paywall.
Why should you make your research outputs open access?
Open access has many advantages:
- your work is likely to be read by a much broader audience, including those who cannot access subscription journals
- your work is likely to attract more downloads and ultimately more citations
- you will comply with the University's open access mandates
- if your funder requires open access, you will have complied with that too
How can you make your research outputs open access?
You can make your work open access in two ways:
You can submit to a journal that makes your work immediately available for free from the publisher’s web site after peer review and acceptance. Many journals now provide this service (you can find a list here). The publisher may charge you or your funder an open access fee or `article processing charge’ instead of relying on a library subscription. This is called Gold open access. Leicester has an open access fund to help researchers whose work is supported by the Research Councils or the Wellcome Trust to publish via Gold open access if they choose to.
You can publish in a traditional subscription journal and make a copy of your manuscript available in an open access repository. Most publishers are perfectly happy for you to do this subject to certain permissions. Your manuscript may be held under embargo for a period of time before it is made freely available to the public, thus protecting the publisher’s business model. This is called Green open access.
What are open access repositories?
Open access repositories are databases of full-text and bibliographic records of research outputs produced by staff and doctoral students, including journal articles, book chapters, books, working papers, conference papers and theses. These repositories may be based around a single institution like Leicester Research Archive or they may be organised at a subject level, like the arXiv (physics) or Europe PubMed Central (biomedical and life sciences).