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Open Access Publishing

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Benefits of Open Access 

Open access publishing has a number of potential benefits for authors. These include: 

  • greater impact of research through the widest possible audience
  • citation advantage, both in terms of quantity and speed of citations 
  • greater impact of research through ease of reuse and application by collaborators 
  • improved researcher and institutional reputation through improved quality of research 
  • compliance with funder and institutional policies 

It is important to take into account any national, institutional or funder policies that may affect what path you take when undertaking open access publishing. The Open Access page includes links to institutional and funder policies, particularly the University of Wolverhampton Open Access Policy.

Choosing Where to Publish 

When choosing who to publish with, there are a number of factors to consider, including how to assess the quality of a publisherGuidance is provided by the Library’s Liaison team on the publishing and sharing research pageThen Think. Check. Submit.  Checklists (such as https://thinkchecksubmit.orgare a useful resource when assessing publishers, and the Directory of Open Access Journals curates a list of high quality, peer-reviewed and fully open access journalsregularly reviewed for currency. 

Open access in book publishing is still developing and options can be more varied than in journal publishing. The OAPEN OA book toolkit provides guidance to book authors for all stages of the publication process. 

Once you have a publisher, you need to assess their open access options. The two major routes in open access publishing are green and gold open access. 

Gold Open Access 

At the University of Wolverhampton, gold open access is defined as when a publisher makes a research output freely available online immediately via their online platform which is also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. 

Open access journals and books can be fully open access or offer a selection of open and subscription content. The latter method of publication is often referred to as hybrid publishing. 

When investigating gold open access, you may see reference to an APC, or article processing charge. This refers to the fact that the cost of publication is charged to the author, rather than the reader. However, some publishers offer open access options that are completely free to the author. 

When publishing via a gold open access route, you will usually be offered licensing options, such as a Creative Commons Licence. If your research is funded, check your funder policy to ensure that you pick a licence with the correct permissions. You can also use Sherpa Juliet to quickly see if your chosen journal is compliant with your funder’s policies. 

WIRE is available to University of Wolverhampton authors for green open access. Open DOAR and the Registry of Research Data Repositories provide curated lists of subject repositories. Repositories provide metadata about publications that make them easier to discover and access, and will usually link to the published version of the paper. Depending on your licence you may be able to deposit a gold open access publication in a repository to ensure it is archived for the future. 

Other Types of Open Access 

You may also hear discussion of other types of open access, such as black, diamond and bronze open access. These are all variations on gold and green open access, normally graded on cost to the author, and the permissiveness of reuse licences. 


Author: Stuart Bentley, Scholarly Communications Librarian 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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