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Open access publishing process

There are a number of different open access publishing models. You will need to understand how they differ and the terminology used to ensure you adhere to the REF, funder and University policy requirements.

Options for open access publishing

You can make your output open access through various routes:

  • open access journals
  • “hybrid” subscription journals with an open access option
  • open access books
  • open access repositories

The first three options are known as Gold open access. This usually incurs fees known as article processing charges (APCs) or book processing charges (BPCs). Funding may be available.

There are a growing number of open access journals in most disciplines. A list of the journals is currently available in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Check the Directory of Open Access Books for more information about open access book publishers.

Making your output available via a repository is known as Green open access, and is free to you and your funder.

Outputs deposited in Symplectic (the University publications database) are made open access through White Rose Research Online.

Find out more about the different types of open access.

Publishing terms explained

The two most common publishing terms you will need to understand are:

  • author accepted manuscript (AAM)
  • embargo period

The author accepted manuscript has been through peer-review and been accepted for publication. It is the last version you submit to the publisher.

It does not usually contain publisher formatting such as branding, journal name, and page numbers.

An embargo period is a delay required by a publisher before your output can be made open access. You must still deposit your output via Symplectic, but it will not be made available online through the repository until the embargo has expired.

HEFCE sets maximum permitted embargo lengths as part of REF eligibility. This is something you may wish to consider when choosing where to publish. The Sherpa Romeo service provides information on embargo periods for most journals and publishers

When depositing your outputs you should tell us if you know your publisher requires an embargo that exceeds 12 months (REF Main Panels A and B) or 24 months (REF Main Panels C and D). Use the comments box on the deposit screen in Symplectic to do this.

Research and Innovation Service will contact the author or their School/Faculty to gather more information in order to see if the output meets a permitted policy exception.