Open Access Publishing: Leicester Policy

This page explains what open acess publishing is, outlines the University policy and provides links to a frequently asked questions section. You will also find guidance on what to do and links to information on the open access policies of research funders.

What is Open Access (OA) literature? 

Open access literature is digital, online and available free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. In most fields, scholarly journals do not pay authors, who can therefore consent to OA without losing revenue. OA is entirely compatible with peer review. OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature.

There are two primary vehicles for delivering open access to research articles:

  • OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain un-refereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both. The University has an open access repository, Leicester Research Archive (LRA), which is run by the Library.
  • OA journals perform peer review and then make the contents freely available. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space. OA journals often charge a processing fee on accepted articles in return for making them available via the internet for free.

Open Access at Leicester

The University has joined a growing number of UK institutions in adopting an open access mandate for research publications. 

Academic staff are now required to submit their research publications to the open access, externally-accessible, Leicester Research Archive (LRA) via the internal Integrated Research Information System (IRIS). Research students are required to submit an e-copy of their thesis to LRA in order to graduate.

This policy applies to all publications by staff from 1 January 2006 onwards, although staff are welcome to submit items published earlier than this. Staff may also submit items published when they were employed elsewhere.
This submission requirement is in addition to any specific requirements made by research funders, as a condition of receipt of funding.

The LRA includes full text versions of publications where publishers' copyright rules allow it (or the bibliographic reference otherwise); IRIS will only store bibliographic references.

This policy will:

  • enhance the visibility of Leicester’s research, increasing usage;
  • assist with compliance of research funders’ open access policies and their open access audits;
  • showcase Leicester’s research to potential collaborators and prospective postgraduate students;
  • ensure the long term preservation of publications.

How do I find out about the open access policy of my research funder?

A growing number of research funders require grant holders to comply with their open access policies. In these cases, submission to LRA via IRIS may be in addition to submission to other archives.

What do I do next?

Submissions to the LRA must now be done directly through IRIS:

  1. Log onto the IRIS system with your University ID. 
  2. In your publications list click on the full text tab for the publication you wish to submit. 
  3. Upload the file and grant the license. This will send the publication to the archive managers. The archive managers will check the text and contact you once the item is live on LRA.

The Library will do the work of archiving for you - all you need to do is submit your work on IRIS. They will check the format of the file, check copyright issues and make the publication available. For more information on submitting publications please visit the LRA website. If you encounter any issues, contact the archive managers at, ext: 2310.

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Who to contact

Research Support Office Contact details

Tel - (0116) 252 2759

Fax - (0116) 252 2028

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Department-specific contacts