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Open Access: How do I do it?

Open Access for Articles

Options for journal articles (and some conference proceedings) include:

Fully Open Access Journals / Platforms

These are journals or platforms where all the content is Open Access. Therefore Open Access Publishing (Gold OA) is the only option with these journals. 

Fully Open Access journals often make their money through charging authors Article Processing Charges, although some are funded by Universities, funders or are self-organised groups that do not charge authors.

These journals and platforms have the same scholarly standards as traditional journals.  However, beware of predatory journals, which do not follow these standards. 

DMU has a small fund to support Open Access charges for articles in Fully Open Access journals and platforms. 

Hybrid / Subscription Journals

These are journals or conference proceedings which charge a subscription to read the majority of their content. 

Open Access Publishing (Gold OA) route

To use, the Open Access publishing (Gold OA) route with these journals, you pay an Article Processing Charge and they will make your individual paper Open Access.

Please note many funders will not cover the Open Access costs for publishing in hybrid / subscription journals.  DMU's Open Access fund will not cover these costs either.  

However, Jisc has negotiated agreements with several publishers of hybrid/subscription journals, whereby subscribing institutions can also publish Open Access without any charge to the author.  You can see which of these agreements DMU has signed up to here.

Self-archiving (Green OA) route

Alternatively, you can use the Self-archiving (Green OA) route.  Check your funder's requirements, or those of the REF (if you don't have external funding), and that the journal's Self-archiving policy allows you to meet those requirements. Contact if you need any help.

You can use DMU's Open Access Repository, DORA, to self-archive your article.

Open Access for Books / Monographs / Edited Collections

If you are publishing a book, monograph or edited collection from funded research, your funder may require you to make it Open Access.  Check your funder's requirements.  There are a variety of models and approaches for making these long-form publications Open Access:

Book processing charge (BPC) 

A fee is charged by the publisher in order for the eBook to be made open access. Fees can vary from £4,000 - £15,000. If your funder requires your book to be Open Access, they will often cover this fee, but do check the details carefully.

Examples: Colleagues at the Universities of Derby and Vermont have created this very useful dashboard of publisher policies and prices for Open Access publishing


A version of the ebook is made open access or freely available at no charge to the author; the free access is subsidised by other revenue sources, such as sales of other e-formats, print sales, and/or library membership fees.

Examples: OECD, Open Book Publishers, OpenEdition, Open Humanities Press, Punctum Books

Library consortium (‘’Institutional crowdfunding’’)

Libraries pledge a fee towards making a collection of books open access, covering some or all of the costs between them. Once enough libraries have confirmed participation and the target amount is achieved, the collection is made open access.

Examples: Knowledge Unlatched, Transcript, COPIM

Institutionally subsidised university presses

Some universities subsidise the publication of Open Access monographs through their university press.  DMU is currently exploring options for DMU Press to be used for this purpose.

Self-archiving (Green OA) for books

Some publishers will allow the deposit of the Author Accepted Manuscript of a traditionally published monograph into an institutional repository, such as DORA. This deposit is often subject to a longer embargo period than an article might be, and may not meet the maximum embargo permitted by your funder. However, if no funder requirements apply, it is a useful way to provide no cost access to research that may go out of print.

Example: Edinburgh University Press

Open Access for Chapters

If you are contributing a chapter from your funded research to an Edited Collection, and the Edited Collection is not Open Access, your funder may require you to make the individual chapter Open Access.

Open Access Publishing (Gold OA) for chapters

Many publishers will make individual chapters Open Access on payment of (the equivalent of) an Article Processing Charge. The amount may depend on the size of your chapter. If your funder requires Open Access, they will normally cover this cost.

Examples: Brill, CUP, SpringerNature

Self-archiving (Green OA) for chapters

Some publishers will allow you to deposit an agreed version of your chapter on an institutional repository, such as DORA, with an embargo period.  Always check that the embargo period doesn't exceed that allowed by your funder.

Examples: Bloomsbury, CUP

If your chapter is not externally funded, we would encourage you to deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript on DORA, if your publisher permits.

Copyright, Licensing & Open Access

What is copyright?

Copyright exists automatically from the moment an original work (such as a journal article) is created. The author or creator is granted rights protected by law that limit the ways that work can be reused by others (such as copying or selling it). Copyright is often held by an individual author, but can be shared among co-authors, and employers will usually own the copyright of their employees’ work.

Why is copyright important for Open Access?

Publishers may ask you to sign over copyright or specific rights to them.  This can hinder access and reuse (including by yourself).  To ensure open access to your works, you need to retain copyright.  You can then apply a Creative Commons licence to allow others to access, download and re-use your works.

How do I apply a licence?

An Open Access licence tells people what you, as the copyright owner, allow them to do with your paper.  Creative Commons licences are the most widely used.

CC BY Licence detailsCC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) is the most used (and, to some, the only 'real' Open Access) licence.  It is the licence usually required by funders.  It allows anyone to access, download, re-use and re-purpose your paper.

How do I retain my copyright?

Retaining copyright to the final published version

If you use the Open Access publishing (Gold) route, this will normally include retention of copyright by you, as the author(s), to the final published version. The publisher will usually require you to sign a 'Licence to Publish' (LTP), which allows them to do what they need to do to publish and promote your article.  Be aware, though, that some LTPs, while seeming to include author copyright retention, actually limit what you can do with the article.  Always choose a CC-BY licence, as this provides the maximum access and re-use possibilities to everyone, including yourself.

Retaining copyright to the Author Accepted Manuscript

Many funders are now requiring authors to include a 'Rights Retention Statement' (RRS) to their Author Accepted Manuscript. This might apply only if you use the self-archiving (Green route), or the funder may require this even if you are using the Open Access publishing (Gold) route.  The statement asserts the author's rights to apply a CC BY licence to the Author Accepted Manuscript, effectively meaning that you retain copyright to that version.  Be aware, though, that some publishers may ask you to sign an agreement that contradicts the RRS, and signing this would put you in breach of contract with your funder.