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Open access explained

What is open access?

Open access publishing makes your research outputs freely available online. Your published research can then be downloaded, read and reused under certain licensing conditions.

Publishing your research in open access journals and books, or making outputs available through repositories, can increase both reach and impact.

Why is open access important?

There are many benefits of making your research open access through repositories and journal websites. These include:

  • increased visibility of publications
  • more citations and downloads than subscription articles
  • greater control over the integrity and re-use of your work
  • faster research dissemination
  • greater control over the integrity and re-use of your work
  • raised profile for author, funders and the University
  • minimises research duplication
  • access for all
  • can accelerate research and innovation

Does it affect peer review or encourage plagiarism?

Choosing an open access route does not affect the traditional peer review process. Some publishers also develop novel approaches, such as open peer reviews where comments are made visible to readers.

Some authors fear that wider availability of their work will increase plagiarism. In fact, it is more likely that plagiarism is recognised and exposed when material is freely available online.