Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open access refers to the provision of free, immediate, online access to research, which is also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

For those who wish to explore the concept, a good introduction is provided by Peter Suber.


Open Access Benefits

Benefits of Open Access

There are 2 routes for authors to publish their work as open access:


  • Author publishes in open access journals, hybrid journals, open access books
  • Publishing tends to involve paying a fee (‘article processing charge’ APC)
  • The research output is made available immediately to anyone and they do not need to pay a fee to access it


  • Author deposits a copy of their article (usually the author accepted manuscript or post-print) in an institutional or subject repository (e.g. WIRE)
  • There is no cost to the author or funder
  • The research output is made available after an embargo period

More information on how to publish gold open access

Your funder may also have specific open access requirements. Check Sherpa Juliet for details of funders’ conditions for open access publication.

You can check the Directory of Open access Journals to see if a journal is open access.

Open Access policies

The University of Wolverhampton’s commitment to OA is outlined in its Open Access Publications Policy (Word doc 46k). The policy also details open access requirements for complying with REF21.

Funder Open access policies

Many funders require funded published outputs to be made open access. A number of individual funder requirements can be found below. Remember to check the terms and conditions of your grant to make sure you are complying with your funder’s OA policy.

Research Councils (UKRI)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Science and Technology facilities Council (STFC)

EU Horizon 2020

Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Wellcome Trust

More funder OA requirements can be found on Sherpa Juliet

Copyright and licenses

Open access content is made available under various copyright licences, which define how material can be used, shared and adapted. Licences may be determined by authors, publishers or funders.

Most open access publications are made available through Creative Commons licences. There are six main licences which specify the conditions for sharing, using and adapting works, details of which can be found on the Creative Commons website.

You can check publishers’ open access conditions, including licences, on Sherpa Romeo or on the websites of individual journals.

Your funder may have specific licensing requirements which will need to be applied when you share your research outputs. Check your funder’s licensing requirements on Sherpa Juliet.

What is Open Research?

Open research (also known as ‘open science’) refers to the principle of all aspects of the research process being open and accessible. This includes results, data, protocols and other aspects of the research process. Open research is collaborative, transparent, reproducible and publicly available, and embodies the principle that research brings most benefits the more widely it is shared.

The University’s Open Research Statement provides aspirational best practice for researchers, who aim to benefit from using more open methods of research, by providing guidance on open access, open data, open platforms and open research processes.

Information on open research produced by Vitae.

Both the university’s Open Access Publications Policy and Research Data Management policies support the principles of open research.

Further information and Support

For further information and support with open access, please contact the Scholarly Communications Team:

We can offer one-to-one support to assist with any open access needs.  To book an appointment contact us at the e-mail address above.