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    Open Access

    Understanding Open Access – definitions, benefits and requirements

    Open-access (OA) literature is:

    • Digital
    • Online
    • Free to access (including for those who do not have personal or institutional subscriptions to journals)
    • Free of most copyright and licensing restrictions to enable it to be re-used and built upon. The Creative Commons licensing system is often used to enable this.

    As well as being Harper Adams University’s policy many research funders and the REF have a mandate that research outputs, including research data, must be available open access and increasingly with the most liberal re-usage rights, meaning with a  CC-BY licence.

    JISC explains the Benefits of Open Access.

    Making your research open access

    Routes to Open Access

    Gold Open Access – the publisher version of a publication is immediately and permanently freely available for anyone with internet access to read or download from the publisher site at the point of publication. This normally involves paying an Article Processing Charge (APC).

    Green Open Access – a version of a publication is freely available via a Repository such as our institutional repository or one designated by the funder of the research (such as Europe PMC) The version of the paper is normally the ‘Accepted manuscript’ so it includes amendments after peer review, but not publisher formatting. Some publishers insist on an embargo before the manuscript can be made available, but increasingly funders are stating that embargoes are not acceptable, so do make sure you are aware of their requirements first.

    Options for Open Access publication

    Before starting to write your paper you need to check that you are able to meet the necessary Open Access requirements

    To use the Gold route to Open Access the costs of publishing need to be paid, but this is the most effective and straightforward way to meet REF and funders’ requirements.

    Possible means of achieving this are:

    • Cost into grant applications when the terms of the grant permits it.
    • Take advantage of learned society discounts.
    • Consider editorships of suitable journals that come with reduced publication charges.
    • Talk to collaborators on the manuscripts to see if they have publication funding available.
    • Take advantage of the ‘Read and publish’ agreements which the Library has with Elsevier, Wiley and Taylor & Francis which have already paid for article processing charges. Read the Sources of funding page to learn more.
    • Publish in an Open Access journal without APCs known as platinum or diamond open access.
    • Apply for Harper research funding.

    Using the Green route to Open Access is a free alternative

    • You must ensure that you follow the relevant guidance when using this route to ensure that your output is eligible for the REF and meets any research funder’s requirements. Make sure you are aware of them before you submit an article.
    • Please send a copy of the accepted manuscript to Professor Dawn Arnold as soon as it is accepted.

    Research Funders’ Open Access Policies including the REF

    • For the REF exercise currently the accepted manuscript must be deposited in the Repository within 3 months of acceptance and the publisher enforced embargo should be less than 12 months. These requirements are likely to be made stricter in the future and may reflect the forthcoming UKRI Open Access Policy.
    • The new UKRI Open Access Policy applies to journal articles which receive UKRI funding submitted after 1 April 2022
      Either the article must be free and unrestricted to view and download from the publisher immediately on publication with a CC-BY licence
      deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record, where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of final publication. The deposited version must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a CC BY licence. A publisher-requested delay or ‘embargo period’ between publication of the Version of Record and open access of the deposited version is not permitted.

    Open Access Harper

    You will find open access versions of most of Harper's research from the past 5 years in the Harper Adams University Repository.

    It is hosted by GuildHE Research and managed by the Library. Approximately 2000 downloads are made from the Repository each month by people throughout the World so it is an effective way of increasing access to Harper research.


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