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Open Access explained: Open Access

Want to know more about open access? Find out what it is and what it means for you

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About Open Access

Open access simply aims to allow everyone free electronic access to published peer-reviewed research.

Open access journals started in the sciences, but have become much more widespread across all disciplines. There are also further levels of open access which relate to the usage of less restrictive copyright licences.

Making research outputs available open access may also increase the readership and number of citations. 

Government policy has encouraged the development of open access publishing and other open access initiatives. 

Many of the larger funding bodies have now issued their own open access policies.

As open access becomes a reality, journal publishing is in a transition period, moving away from traditional publishing where journals are paid for by subscriptions by institutions and individuals to other open access publishing models. The main types of open access journal publishing are:

• Green open access publishing requires time not money. Journal publishers usually embargo free open access to articles for a period of time. If articles are published in a repository, this method is sometimes also called 'self-archiving'.

• Gold open access publishing requires money not time. Article Processing Charges (APCs) are paid by authors or institutions to allow immediate publication of articles in gold open access journals.

Research England has introduced requirements for researchers submitting research outputs to the REF 2021

If you want to find out more you can read the full open access policy which is contained within the final version of the REF Guidance on submissions (PDF)

Newman's policy on open access publishing (PDF) encourages the use of green open access publishing for Newman researchers.

Journal articles that have been accepted for publication after 1st April 2016, published in a journal with an ISSN

Conference proceedings that have been accepted for publication after 1st April 2016, published in a journal or conference paper with an ISSN

You need to deposit your research in Newman's repository.

To give us time to process your request you need to tell us within 2 months from the date your research was accepted for publication. This will give us enough time to complete the process within 3 months and will make sure your research complies with the REF Open Access policy .

We have made this process straight forward for you by creating some easy to use online forms. For more information, including links to the online forms go to our Depositing your research page

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Repository glossary

Acceptance date

The date your research output was accepted for publication by the publisher. You should keep a copy of any correspondence from the publisher confirming your research has been accepted, we will ask you to send us a copy of this when you deposit your research.

Article Processing Charge (APC)

A fee which publishers charge for covering publishing costs such as those associated with editorial peer-review processes. A consequence of payment of an APC is gold (immediate) open access.

Authors accepted manuscript (AAM)

Also known as a post-print, this is the version of your research which has been accepted for publication, after peer review but without printers formatting. You should keep a copy of this version in MS Word format and submit it to the repository as soon as possible after acceptance.

Closed Deposit

Some publishers article-sharing policies allow authors to post copies of their articles in repositories subject to an embargo period. During the embargo period, the metadata of the article can be made available. This is known as a closed deposit. The REF Open Access policy allows for closed deposits, as long as the article itself is made available at the end of the embargo period.


Copyright exists to protect the rights of the person(s) who has created a work and ensure they receive due recognition for their contribution. Copyright gives the holder power over how the work is used, distributed and adapted for a set period of time. It is part of a group of rights which protect intellectual property.

Creative Commons licenses

Creative commons licenses allow authors to assign different levels of re-usage.

Allows others to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon your work, even commercially as long as the credit you with the original creation. This is recommended for the maximum dissemination.

Allows others to remix, tweak and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Allows other to reuse the work for any purpose including commercially, however it cannot be shared with others in adapted form and credit must be provided to you.

Allows others to remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially, and although new works must acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to licence derivative work on the same terms.

Allows others to re-mix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under identical terms.

Allows other users to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can't change them in any way or use them commercially.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

The DOI is a unique identifier for content assigned by a registrations agency (the International DOI foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the internet. The publisher assigns a DOI, you will be asked to provide it, provided one has been assigned, when you deposit your research.


If your research is embargoed then it cannot be accessed online until the embargo period has ended. If you are depositing your research via the green (self archiving) method of open access then it is likely the publisher requires an embargo period. For the REF there are maximum embargo periods for each panel. You should check that the journal you wish to publish in will allow you to comply with these timescales.

Panels A and B: Maximum embargo period of 12 months

Panels C and D: Maximum embargo period of 24 months


Gold open access journals charge Article Processing Charges to publish articles open access immediately with no embargo period. If your funder mandates you to publish gold open access Newman may be able to get help with the costs. For information on your options including the relevant form visit the Open access publisher off-setting discounts for Newman researchers page on the intranet.


Green open access journals usually embargo or delay the publication of articles for a period of time. Green is also called 'self-archiving' if it relates to publishing via an institutional repository.

GuildHE repository

Newman's repository of choice which is shared by other GuildHE members. You can search the repository to look at research produced by Newman authors

Hybrid journals

A journal where some of the content is published gold (immediate open access) and some content is only available via subscription, or individual payments for specific articles

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)

Now known as Research England

Institutional repository

An online archive of an institutions scholarly outputs

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number)

An ISSN is a unique eight-digit number used to identify a print or electronic journal. A journal may have more than one ISSN (one for print and one for online). You only need to deposit your research in Newman's repository if the article or conference proceeding you are submitting has an ISSN


A requirement from your research funder to follow their policy on open access


Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve an information source. In the context of open access repositories the metadata of every deposit describes the research output. We will input this information in the repository on your behalf to create a record in Newman's repository.

Off-setting agreements

Institutions can pay to subscribe to journals and publish research if an Article Processing Charge (APC) has been paid for gold (immediate) open access. To try and offset the spending of institutions on journal subscriptions against APC costs some of the journal deals in which Newman participates include APC discount vouchers. For more information, and to apply for a discount you should visit the  Open access publisher off-setting discounts for Newman researchers page on the intranet.

Open Access

Open access aims to allow everyone free electronic access to published peer-reviewed research. You can find out more about open access on our Open access explained page


A unique identifier for each researcher which makes it clear this is the same researcher through name changes and changes of institution. Newman does not have a subscription ORCiD, but you can register individually on the ORCiD website. Some research funders require researchers to have an ORCiD identifier. When you submit your research you should always include details of your ORCiD identifier, even if you have supplied it previously for another piece of research.


Each Unit of Assessment is assigned a panel under which it will assessed. The panel you are being assessed under also determines the maximum embargo period permitted if you are self-archiving (green open access). 

Panels A and B: Maximum embargo period of 12 months

Panels C and D: Maximum embargo period of 24 months

PDF version

A copy of your research in PDF format. We require you to deposit your research as a Word version rather than in PDF form. This is because we need to ensure we create a full text searchable PDF rather than an image PDF type otherwise the research output would not comply with REF requirements. We may also need to add a publishers statement at the beginning of your research output to comply with publishers requirements.

Post-print version

Also known as the authors accepted manuscript, this is the version of your research output which has been accepted for publication, after peer review but without printers formatting. You should keep a copy of this version in MS Word format and submit it to the repository as soon as possible after acceptance.


A version of your article before peer-review. It is not the final version of the article and has not been agreed for publication. 

REF (Research Excellence Framework)

The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It is administered by Research England, which was formerly the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).


A searchable open access electronic storage facility, in the case of Newman's repository a place to store research outputs. Our repository is shared with other members of the Guild HE Research community.


Also known as green open access, it involves you depositing your research in a repository (usually an institutional repository) and does not require you to pay an Article Processing Charge.  In such cases journals usually mandate an embargo or delay the publication of articles for a set period of time. 

SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research and Preservation and Access)

An organisation which is involved in projects relating to repositories and open access. They provide search tools for searching a number of repositories at one time.They also provide a number of tools related to open access policies and copyright licenses.

Enter your funder and the ISSN or title of your chosen journal and you will get a summary showing ticks and crosses indicating whether their open access and copyright policies are compatible. There are also links to publisher and funder full policies. Use SHERPA FACT.

Search for information about your research funder's open access and copyright policies. Use SHERPA JULIET.

Search SHERPA REF for information on whether your journal complies with Research England's open access policy regarding the embargo periods which apply in different REF panels. Use SHERPA REF.

Search SHERPA ROMEO for your publisher, or by journal ISSN or title and you will get a summary of publisher and journal copyright and open access policies. Use SHERPA REF.

Submitted author manuscript

The author's draft version that has been submitted to a journal for peer review. Also known as a pre-print.

VoR (Version of Record)

This is your final published version of an article containing the publishers copy edits and layout. Unless the article is appearing in a fully open access journal this version is usually not permitted to be placed in an institutional repository.

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ORCiD iD logo

Why not set yourself up with an ORCiD iD? Once you have registered you will get a unique number which identifies you as a researcher. It's free and easy to register