Open access is the process of making your research freely available, enabling as many readers as possible to find and use it regardless of economic circumstances. Open Access (OA) scholarly literature is digital, online, free of charge, and often subject to less restrictive copyright and licensing than traditionally published works, for both users and authors. (Peter Suber)
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.'
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:
For further information see our guide Open Access: a guide for busy researchers.
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.
Keep, Upload, Contact.
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.
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 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.
Attribution (CC BY)
Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)
Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
Although many open access policies focus on journal articles, it is also possible to publish books and book chapters openly. UKRI and the Wellcome Trust include monographs and book chapters in their open access policy requirements.
The OAPEN Foundation has launched a new open access (OA) books toolkit for researchers and academic book authors. The toolkit is a free-to-access, stakeholder-agnostic resource that aims to help authors better understand OA for books, increase trust in OA book publishing, provide reliable and easy-to-find answers to questions from authors, and to provide guidance on the process of publishing an OA book.
The toolkit was created in collaboration with Springer Nature and The University of Glasgow and has been written by a global and diverse group of stakeholders from the academic community and scholarly communications organisations.
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.
Please visit our Meeting Funder Requirements pages for more information about the UKRI Open Access Policy for Monographs, Book Chapters and Edited Collections - and how to access the funding available to publish open access.
Wellcome Trust's open access policy includes 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.
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:
Directories of open access journals, books, repositories, policies and mandates:
Tools to find open access publications and theses:>