Research, Publishing and PBRF

Find information on scholarly communication, management of research identity and publishing, copyright, Creative Commons and relevant contacts

Definition of Open Access

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

OA is a way of getting research to as many people as possible without the restrictions of traditional publishing eg. subscription only access, and the lengthy timeframes.

Levels of Open Access

OA is scalable, here is a pamphlet that sets out the degrees of OA, made available via CC from University of Iowa's guide

  • Total Open Access journals Peer-reviewed journals that do not charge readers subscription fees. These journals typically charge authors an "open access publication fee", some OA journals do not charge authors
  • Hybrid Open Access journals Increasingly peer-reviewed journals that charge readers a subscription fee are offering authors the option to make individual articles OA through an additional author fee, this allows readers without a subscription to have access to the article.
  • Self-archiving, sharing, or DIY Open Access Authors who publish articles often want to share and post their work for others to read. Authors do this through institutional repositories, personal websites, or in online communities. Self-archiving must be done with careful consideration of author agreements and copyright set in place by the journal that originally published the article.

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What is an institutional repository?

Institutional repositories are digital spaces for presenting and accessing an institution's staff and student research. The purpose is to make this research more accessible for more people. Find more information about institutional repositories at

Accessing institutional repositories

Can't access what you want online? Contact our Interlibrary loans team to see if they can source it for you.


Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) is a collaboration between several bodies to represent OA publishers. It is a reliable source. From its website you can access:

Visit the SPARC website for in-depth information on Open Access.

OA News via Google

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