Open Access

'Open access' aims to make the findings of academic research available electronically, immediately, without charge and free from most copyright or licensing restrictions.

Governments and research funders - nationally and internationally - have recently encouraged a move towards open access. This has developed from a view that the freedom to access and use research outputs has considerable benefits for authors, researchers, funding bodies and the wider higher education sector.

Following approval by the Research, Knowledge Exchange and Consultancy Committee (RKECC), the University has adopted an Open Access Policy which applies to all new research outputs:-

The key features of the Open Access Policy are:-

  1. Academic staff are required to deposit the metadata (brief details - title, year of publication, etc) for all scholarly research outputs into the institutional repository, ResearchSPAce. Login here to self-deposit items.
  2. RKECC’s annual review of Schools’ research activity only considers research outputs that have been registered in ResearchSPAce.
  3. The Open Access Policy incorporates the HEFCE Policy for Open Access in the Post-2014 REF, which comes into effect from 1st April 2016. HEFCE require authors to deposit the 'post-print' version of all scholarly journal articles (and conference papers with ISSNs) into ResearchSPAce no later than three months after acceptance for publication, otherwise these outputs will be ineligible for submission to the post-2014 REF. In cases where a publisher agreement does not permit open access, articles will be stored in ResearchSPAce under “closed access” arrangements.
  4. Academic staff are required to deposit “other” scholarly research outputs (images, book chapters, video recordings, etc) into ResearchSPAce where possible. A number of exceptions are made in the Policy, for example in relation to restrictive publisher agreements or concern about loss of income. This requirement only applies to outputs which have been published, disseminated, or made publicly available.
  5. For new journal articles and conference proceedings (with ISSNs), academic staff need to forward acceptance letters or emails to for collation as evidence of compliance with the HEFCE Policy for Open Access.

Frequently asked questions

For more information, please see the document below: