How can I publish my work as open access?

To make your work open access, choose either the 'green' or 'gold' route (subject to publisher or funder policies).

The peer review and publication process remain the same for both routes, and you should continue to publish in the most appropriate journal for your work. 

However, the University strongly supports 'green' open access, and encourages all UoB researchers to self-archive published and unpublished work in the University of Birmingham Research Archive (UBIRA), wherever possible.

 'Green' open access (free self-archiving)

You are encouraged by the University  to self-archive your work in the University of Birmingham Research Archive (UBIRA).

This is the 'green' route to open access and is free for authors.

To go 'green':

  1. Check your publishers’ policy regarding 'green' open access self-archiving, by checking Sherpa Romeo.
  2. Deposit the accepted version of your publication (PDF format), into UBIRA using Pure.
    • The accepted version is also known as the authors final manuscript, or post print.
    • It is the version after peer review and before final publisher formatting or copy-editing.
    • This version may need to have an embargo added when deposited (depending on the publisher policy).You can find a full list of publishers that permit self-archiving on Sherpa Romeo.
  3. Ensure your publication is linked to the grant using the ‘Projects’ link in Pure.

You may not be able to self-archive if:

  • You are publishing in a fully open access journal, (e.g. PLOS One), and are not able to have the work accepted for publication without paying an Article Processing Charge (APC).
  • Your chosen publisher policy does not permit self-archiving.
  • Your funders open access policy is not compatible with your chosen publishers’ embargo period. In these cases, you may need to go down the 'gold' open access route instead.

 'Gold' open access (paid to publisher)

'Gold' open access journals

You can pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish in a journal that is fully open access and has no subscription fees – this is one of the 'gold' routes to open access.

Subscription ‘hybrid’ journals

You can pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish an individual paper as open access in a journal that otherwise restricts access to subscribers - this is the hybrid 'gold' open access route.

If your funding agency requires open access to your publications, this route may allow you to publish in a journal that is otherwise restricted.

However, you may find that the same publisher also permits a 'green' OA route allowing you to self-archive compliantly for free.

To go 'gold':

  1. See if your publisher has a 'gold' paid open access option, by checking the Sherpa Romeo database.
  2. On acceptance to the journal, complete the University APC request form.
  3. Your request will be reviewed, and if accepted, the APC may be paid through the University open access budget. Provisos on the use of the budget are:
    • It must be a peer-reviewed research article (as opposed to a review or letter etc)
    • The output should usually be published with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY). More information on CC licences can be found on our copyright pages.
    • The University of Birmingham must be acknowledged or given as the institutional affiliation.
    • Any grants must be acknowledged in the article as the funder.
  4. On publication, you are encouraged by the University to deposit a copy of the final PDF of your 'gold' OA publication into the University of Birmingham Research Archive (UBIRA), using Pure.

Publisher membership schemes

We have a number of institutional membership schemes with publishers to make the 'gold' open access process easier for our authors.

When your article is accepted, your chosen publisher may notify you of our membership.

Funders and open access

You may need to make your work open access to be compliant with your funders open access policy.Funders with open access policies include RCUK, Wellcome Trust, NIHR etc.

REF and open access

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) requires all published articles and proceedings submitted to the post-2014 REF to be open access.

Copyright and open access

You are strongly advised to read the terms of any Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) you sign when publishing your work, as most publishers require you to transfer copyright to them as part of the publication process.

The CTA will usually state if the publisher will allow you to self-archive using the 'green' open access route, and if any embargoes are required.

If you have chosen the 'gold' (paid) route to open access, you will usually be required to select an additional licence for the publication to state the terms it can be re-used.

Open access publications often use a Creative Commons (CC) licence, and funders often specify a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY). Authors retain their moral rights and must be credited.

 Deposit to Pure

Use Pure to self-archive your accepted final manuscript in the University repository (UBIRA).

Meet University, funder and REF requirements with Green open access.

Deposit to Pure

 APC Request Form

Apply for central funding to pay publisher article processing charges (Gold open access).

APC request form

Contact us

Email: Digital Assets team

Telephone: 44 (0)121 414 3918