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Open Access: What is open access?

What is open access?

Overview

Main principles of open access

Spurred on by the development of the Internet, the 'open' movement emerged in the 1990s. Influential statements, including the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003), and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access (2003), were subsequently released. These statements set out the criteria for open access publishing. Publications must be free to read at the point of access and only minimal restrictions on their re-use must be in place.

In the UK, a report written by Dame Janet Finch, Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications (2012), heavily influenced the release of the Research Council's policy on open access the following year. In 2014, the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) announced its own  'Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework.'


The benefits of open access

Open access publishing benefits both the research community and the general public. No university can afford to subscribe to all the journals that are of interest to researchers. Access costs are also a barrier to those based in industry, the charity sector, and in developing countries. Others argue that publicly-funded research should be publicly accessible.

Benefits of open access include:

  • increased visibility of research
  • higher citation counts
  • greater public engagement
  • accelerated opportunities for collaboration
  • avoidance of de-duplication of research
  • fairness and accountability

For further information see our guide Open access: a guide for busy researchers.


Open access at Bath

In line with other UK higher education institutions, the University of Bath supports the open access movement. The University therefore requires that peer-reviewed research publications produced by academic staff are made openly available via the University of Bath’s Research Portal.

These pages will help you do this quickly and easily.

University of Bath Open Access Mandate

The University of Bath Open Access Mandate states that all new peer-reviewed journal articles and published conference proceedings should be deposited in Pure, in full-text form, within three months of the publisher's acceptance date. Compliance with this mandate will mean that you are also meeting REF open access requirements.


How to comply

To ensure that you meet the University's open access requirement, follow these three easy steps: Keep, Upload, Contact graphic

  

 your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)

  • An AAM is the corrected manuscript following peer-review but which hasn't been copy-edited by the publisher. It is often a Word document, LaTeX file, or PDF
  • Whether you are the sole author, a co-author, a postgraduate, or a professor, you will need to keep this version of your journal article or conference proceeding

 

 the AAM to Pure as soon as it is accepted for publication

  • When the publisher sends you an acceptance notification, log into Pure, add basic publication details, and upload the AAM.
  • The AAM must be deposited within three months of the acceptance date
  • Library staff will add extra bibliographic details and ensure compliance with publisher requirements
  • You are now compliant!

 

 the Open Access Team for help or advice

  • E-mail openaccess@bath.ac.uk
  • Call us on 01225 385114 / 384676 (ext. 5114 / 4676)
  • Visit the Open Access Team on level 4 of the Library

 

All researchers must follow the above steps for their work to be considered for the next REF. See our Open Access and the REF pages for more information.


University of Bath open access documents

Typically there are two routes to making your publications open access. These routes are commonly referred to as Green and Gold open access.

Green Open Access

  • outputs are published in the traditional manner but a version of the work is archived in an open access repository, such as Pure
  • the permitted version is normally the author accepted manuscript (AAM) however publishers are increasingly stipulating which versions can and can't be uploaded to repositories
  • this route involves no fee to the publisher
  • publishers often require an embargo (typically 12-24 months) be put in place before the research becomes freely accessible via the repository
  • if you want to check whether the journal that you want to publish in has an embargo period or any other notable licensing requirements then use SHERPA RoMEO to find out about your publishers' conditions for open access archiving.

Unless you choose the Gold route to open access, the University of Bath Open Access Mandate requires that the Green route is followed by all staff publishing peer-reviewed journal articles and published conference proceedings. This requirement is in place because these outputs must be openly available to be eligible for the next REF. For further information, please visit our pages about REF open access requirements.

We have also produced a guide to self-archiving which you may find useful.

Gold Open Access

  • an Article Processing Charge (APC) is paid to the publisher who then makes the final, published version of an output freely available on the journal's website
  • there is no cost for the reader to access the work and no embargo is required
  • the work should have a licence that allows maximise reuse, such as a CC-BY licence (see our OA licensing tab for further details of Creative Commons licences)
  • this route to open access is available via journals which only operate a Gold model for publishing their articles
  • alternatively, many journals which continue to operate the traditional subscription based model also allow authors to pay for their papers to be made openly available; these journals are known as 'hybrid'

Some funders, including the Research Councils and Wellcome Trust, prefer their funded authors to choose this route. Subsequently they provide funding to cover the cost of these fees. Please see our pages on funder requirements and paying for open access for further information.

When publishing your research openly you will need to consider what licence to use. Your publisher may ask you to select from a number of options if you are paying for your work to be made open. If you choose to self-archive your work your publisher may require that a particular licence is used when it is made available via a repository.


Creative Commons Licencing

 

Creative Commons licences are the most common licences applied to open access research outputs. These licences allow authors to retain copyright as well as enable others to copy, distribute, and re-use the work without requesting permission each time.

Please be aware that funders, including the Research Councils and members of the Charities Open Access Fund, require certain licences to be selected when publishing your research through the paid route. For further information a please see our pages on funder requirements.

A brief description of the six Creative Commons licences can be found below. Additional information can be found on the Creative Commons website.

 

The Licences

 Attribution (CC BY) 

  • works can be copied, redistributed, remixed, tweaked, and built upon, even commercially
  • users must credit author for the original creation
  • this is the most accommodating of licences offered

  Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

  • works can be remixed, tweaked, and built upon, even commercially
  • users must credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms
  • as derivatives carry the same licence, commercial use is allowed of them

Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)

  • works can be redistributed, for both commercial and non-commercial reasons
  • they must be passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author

Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

  • works can be remixed, tweaked, and built upon non-commercially
  • new works must acknowledge the author and be non-commercial
  • new works do not have to license their derivative works on the same terms

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • works can be remixed, tweaked, and build upon your work non-commercially
  • new works must credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • works can be downloaded and shared as long as the author is credited
  • works can't be changed or used commercially
  • this licence is the most restrictive of the six main licences

Open access book publishing

Although many open access policies focus on journal articles, it is also possible to publish books and book chapters openly. Further information about open access monograph publishing is available from the OAPEN project. The Library’s Open Access Team can assist you in making the right publishing choice for your work if you are considering pursuing this route. Your options will depend on whether or not you have already published your book.

 

  • I’ve already published a book/ book chapter. How can I make it open access?

Many publishers allow the self-archiving of author accepted manuscripts. This means you can upload a version of your work to Pure. Often, a single chapter can be deposited and made openly available after an embargo period. The Library’s Open Access Team can advise you about different publisher policies. Please contact openaccess@bath.ac.uk for more information, and see our pages [Link] on uploading content to Pure.

 

  • I’m going to publish a book/ book chapter. What open access publishing options are available to me?

Increasingly commercial publishers are offering the option to pay to make your book openly available. Open access fees can range from £2,500 to £9,000 depending on length, number of colour illustrations, and so on. Examples of commercial publishers which offer open access monograph publishing include: Cambridge University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Routledge, Springer, Policy Press, and Ubiquity Press. It is also worth considering university and scholarly society presses as a way to publish your book openly. Examples of university presses which offer open access monograph publishing include UCL Press, University of Huddersfield Press, Cardiff University Press, and White Rose University Press.


Funder requirements

Currently monographs and book chapters do not fall under the scope of UKRI's open access policies. Please visit our funding pages for more information.

Wellcome Trust's open access policy does, however, include monographs and book chapters. Funding is available for the cost of making monographs open and authors should apply directly to the Wellcome Trust for reimbursement of the costs.

For more advice, please contact openaccess@bath.ac.uk.

Below is a selection of tools to help you find open access publications.

New ways to locate open material are appearing all the time so this list should not be considered comprehensive.


Research outputs produced by University of Bath researchers, including open access publications, are available via the University's Research Portal:

CORE provides access to millions of scholarly outputs from hundreds of repositories:

Subject repositories:

Directories of open access journals, books, repositories, policies and mandates:

Tools to find open access publications and theses:

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