Open Access Week

It's International Open Access Week. Find out why OA is important to research.

What is Open Access?  

Open Access, put simply, is about making peer-reviewed scholarly research and literature freely accessible to anyone.    

It allows others to not only easily access research material from anywhere in the world, but also reuse and build upon the content, free of charge and free from restrictions of copyright and licencing. It applies to all forms of research including academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, reports, art and design images, chapters or even whole books. 

Generally speaking, Open Access research is either published in an OA journal; or submitted to a repository (electronic database or archive).  At the University of Wolverhampton we use a repository called WIRE, which stands for Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses. Items in OA collections are harvested by dedicated repository search engines, like OAIster, and Internet search engines, like Google, to make them accessible to anyone worldwide.


Why is OA important?   

The benefits of Open Access are many and wide reaching.  Open Access Benefits

In sharing their work researchers benefit from the greater reach which OA provides as it increases the visibility, readership and impact. This results in an improved reputation for researchers and their host institutions through increased citations and opportunities for collaboration. 

OA enriches the quality of students’ education as they can find a wealth of resource in repositories which can be used to help further their understanding and contribute significantly to their studies. Likewise it enables academics to find relevant literature for assignments.

OA significantly contributes to the expansion of knowledge and discovery- promoting innovation, creativity and development, from which all of society can potentially benefit.  In particular significant advancements have been made in the fields of science, business, government and policy making and for charitable organisations that without OA may not have been possible.

The cost of some non-OA journal subscriptions or pay per view articles can amount to thousands of pounds and there’s no refund if the article wasn’t what you were looking.  Open Access is therefore particularly beneficial for those in developing countries and for members of the general public conducting self-learning.

Research at WLV

We are very proud of our research profile at the University of Wolverhampton and strive to develop our reputation for globally recognised research outputs.  [In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 85% of our submissions we graded as ‘internationally recognised’ and 41% as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.]  WIRE receives thousands of article downloads per month, our most popular ever paper being ‘Trade Based Money Laundering: Exploring the Implications for International Banks’ receiving over 19,000 downloads.

Submitting to WIRE

All researchers at WLV are encouraged to submit their research to WIRE within 3 months of acceptance. It very simple to upload your work via the WIRE web form.  The University Library provides dedicated support to assist with any queries, contact

There will be a display promoting Open Access in Harrison Library during Open Access week. There will also be FEHW research drop-ins based at:

  • Walsall in WN Foyer on Monday 22nd October 13.00-14.30
  • City in MC Foyer on Wednesday 24th October 13.00-14.30

Whilst these drop-ins are predominantly aimed at researchers in FEHW anyone is welcome to ask our librarians questions relating to open access and open research.

Find out more 

For more advice about WIRE, Open Access and support for Researchers

Find out more about Open Access

Join the Converation #OAWeek