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Copy of Open Access (OA)

'Flavours' of Open Access

There are several pathways to achieving Open Access to your research: 



  • Publish in a fully Open Access journal.
  • This route may involve a charge but ensures immediate and permanent access to the work.  The publication cost, known as an APC (Article Processing Charge), is either covered by the author/s or their institution.  (See the 'Open Access Fee Support' box below to see if you are eligible to have your APC covered.)
  • Some researchers, intent on ensuring OA for their work, include anticipated APC costs in their list of funding requirements in grant applications.
  • A list of fully open access journals can be found on the DOAJ website.
  • Publish in a 'hybrid' journal. 
  • These journals are subscription journals that allow open access for individual articles on payment of a fee (APC).
  • This fee is payable by the author/s (WSU's eligibility guidelines for OA funding do not allow for publishing in hybrid journals).
  • Note: Some journal websites will refer to this option as Gold Open Access as the content is immediately available, but true Gold Open Access refers only to publication in a fully open access journal.



  • Publish in a subscription based journal with the full-text deposited into a trusted repository, ie: a publicly accessible database managed by a research institution (such as WSU's ResearchDirect.).
  • This route relies on publishers allowing an author to share an earlier version of the work, whilst the publisher maintains ownership of the final published version.  Here's how:
  • Save a copy of the 'author's accepted manuscript' (also called a 'post-print').  This is the version of the paper that has completed the peer-review process but has not yet been published (see this diagram). 
  • Submit this version to the Library's Research Engagement team.
  • The Research Engagement team will manage the publisher's copyright embargo on your behalf.
  • At the end of the embargo period (usually between 12-24 months) this version will become OA in ResearchDirect.
  • There are no fees for the author.
  • Information on publisher copyright policies and self-archiving permissions for each journal can be found via SHERPA/RoMEO.  Contact your School LIbrarian for assistance. 

OA resources

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is a community curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, peer-review, OA journals.

DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) is a digital directory of peer-reviewed OA books and OA book publishers; and OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) is a growing repository of freely accessible academic books. 

DOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) is an authoritative directory of academic OA repositories. 

SHERPA/RoMEO provides information on publishers' conditions for OA archiving, on a journal-by-journal basis.

SHERPA/Juliet provides access to information on funders' policies and requirements on OA publication and data archiving.

How Can I Share It? contains information on publisher guidelines, and a tool that allows you to enter the DOI of an article and then advises where and how the article can be shared. 

How Open Is It? enables users to compare and contrast publications and policies to determine how 'open' a publisher and/or publication is. 

Unpaywall is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox that provides access to research papers for free, by harvesting OA content from legal sources (such as institutional repositories). The result is an open database of over 25 million free scholarly articles.

Open Access Fee Support

Please note that there are only limited funds available

This includes funds for Taylor & Francis fully open access journals and the BioMed Central pre-pay membership program.

For eligibility criteria and to apply please visit the Open Access Fee Support website.

For further information and assistance, please contact the Library at

There are quality open access journals which do not impose article processing charges. A list of fully open access journals can be found on the DOAJ website. It is possible to filter search results to see those which do not charge fees.

You could then check where the journal ranks in its field using tools such as the Library’s Journal Finder, subscribed databases such as Scopus or Incites Journal Citation Reports, or the freely available Scimago website.

Alongside rankings, it’s worthwhile considering the journal’s audience, editorial practices, and dissemination – some open access journals just have not been around long enough to achieve a higher ranking.

As always, your School Librarian is available to assist you in assessing whether a particular journal is an appropriate publishing outlet for your research.

Open Research

Open Access to scholarly literature is now widely seen as desirable, and the movement has grown towards broadening the principles of 'openness' to encompass the whole research cycle.  

Open Research or Open Science advocates for making research more transparent, collaborative and efficient and seeks a transition towards sharing and developing knowledge through collaborative networks. 

The central theme is transparency throughout the research lifecycle, and this can manifest in a variety of ways: from providing clear accounts of the methodology used, making the data (and any derived results) available on the internet, conducting open peer-review, and collaborating and engaging with a wider audience (including the general public). 

The Open Definition sets out principles that define 'openness' in relation to data and content.  Other terms associated with this movement include:

Open Data - making raw data from research quickly available to anyone so they can interrogate it and re-use it.  (see Open Knowledge Foundation for more information, advocacy and training on global initiatives in open data) 

Open platforms, tools and services - can include open access to code and software, scientific equipment and instructions for use, and any other tools and services that promote efficiency in research. 


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