Green Open Access

What is Green OA?

Green open access (also known as self-archiving) refers to the practice of making a version of an author’s published work freely available in an institutional or subject repository. There are no charges for authors to make their work open access via the green route.

Self-archiving policies

When depositing your research in a repository it is important to check the publisher’s policy on self-archiving. Details of self-archiving policies can be viewed on the Sherpa Romeo website or on most publisher’s websites. In general most publishers will allow authors to archive the author’s accepted manuscript- this is the version that has been accepted for publication before any formatting or typesetting of the document by the publisher. For more information about manuscript versions see the guidance on which version of a paper you can deposit in WIRE.

Embargo periods

Publishers may also require access to the manuscript to be restricted for a period of time (known as an embargo period). The embargo period gives the publisher the opportunity to reap any financial benefits from the publication of journal articles/book chapters before the articles are freely accessible within a repository. Journal embargo periods can range from 6-12 months from the date of publication of papers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines, to 24 or sometimes 36 months in the Arts and Humanities and Social Science disciplines. The embargo length required by journal publishers can be found by checking the Sherpa Romeo website.

Other publication types like book chapters will usually have an embargo period for self-archiving as well. These currently range more widely than journal chapters. Check your publishing agreement to see what embargo period your publisher has set.


Publishers may stipulate whether the self-archived paper can be shared under a licence and if so what licence may be used. Note that if your article has been created through funded research, it is important to check that the licence offered by the publisher will allow you to meet funder requirements. Sherpa Juliet allows you to easily check funder policies.

More information on licensing is available on our Open Access webpage.


Institutional repositories

An institutional repository is an online archive where the research publications of the institution’s researchers are housed. At the University of Wolverhampton WIRE provides access to the research outputs of its researchers. Researchers can deposit their papers in WIRE via their Elements profile and those who do not have access to Elements may use the WIRE form. Guidance on how to deposit your research to WIRE can be found on the WIRE webpage.

Papers deposited in WIRE will be shared under a creative commons licence by default. If the publisher policy stipulates a different licence is used, we will apply that instead. If you have an agreement to use a different licence to that stated in publisher policies, please let us know.

The scholarly communications team will check the submission to ensure compliance with the publisher’s self-archiving policies and will apply any required embargo to the manuscript. The team may get in touch with you if it is not possible to archive a research output or if an incorrect version of a paper has been supplied.

Researchers may also deposit any research outputs that have been published Gold open access in WIRE. Where a paper has been published with a Creative Commons licence, we are allowed to hold a copy of the published version in the repository.

Depositing journal articles and conference proceedings in WIRE is the open access route that the university recommends for compliance with the current REF open access policy. To ensure your outputs comply with the REF policy please deposit the accepted manuscript in WIRE within 3 months of the date of acceptance for publication.

Subject repositories

A subject or disciplinary repository is a digital archive for research in particular subject areas. Like institutional repositories they provide free access to papers. Examples of subject repositories include PubMed Central for biomedical and life sciences, CEDA document repository for the environmental sciences, REePEc for Economics, and E-LIS for the library and information sciences. You can search for subject repositories relevant to your discipline on OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) or via the list on the Open Access Directory.

Academic networks

Many researchers share their work via academic social networking sites like ResearchGate or These sites are not repositories and do not check the material that is deposited with them to ensure it complies with publisher copyright policies. It is important to note that depositing work in these networks does not meet institutional, funder or REF requirements for making research open access.

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