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Open access explained

Types of open access

There are two ways to make your outputs open access:

  • Green open access: publishing in a traditional subscription based journal and uploading to an open access repository such as White Rose Research Online
  • Gold open access: publishing in an open access or hybrid journal, or with an open access monograph publisher

Your funder may have specific open access requirements.

Many journals use a "hybrid" model. This keeps subscription access but gives authors an option to pay to make articles openly available. The hybrid model attracts criticism for charging authors and subscribers at the same time. A new academic publishing proposal, Plan S, doesn't allow this.

Check your funder’s open access requirements on Sherpa Juliet.

Green open access

Green open access makes your research outputs freely available through an open access repository. No payment is incurred by you or your funder.

To follow this route, you should deposit your outputs in Symplectic (the University publications database).

The version you should deposit is the author accepted manuscript: this is the final peer-reviewed version of the paper that has been accepted for publication. Publishers typically retain copyright to the final typeset version, which is why this cannot normally be used.

Link your output to any applicable funding and the Library can help you comply with your funder’s open access requirements.

The Library will check for any publisher embargoes and apply them. Your output will be openly accessible on White Rose Research Online once any embargo has expired.

Gold open access

Gold open access makes research outputs openly available on the publisher's website at the point of publication.

You can choose to publish in a wholly open access journal, or a subscription journal with an open access option (hybrid journal).

You, your funder, or the University, usually pays for gold open access through article processing charges (APCs).

Find out more about what funding is available for APCs.

Even if you choose the gold open access route, you must still record the research output in Symplectic.