Open access is a publishing model in which publications are made freely available online. Often the end user will also be given additional rights to reuse the work e.g. through a Creative Commons licence. In academic publishing we most often think of open access in the context of journals, but other types of publications and creative works can also be made available in an open access form.
Open access is part of the wider concept of Open Research (also known as Open Science). The Leeds Trinity University Position Statement on Open Research describes how the University supports and promotes Open Research.
Open access publications are accessible to a wider audience which brings a number of benefits:
There are a number of different types of open access:
If your research is externally funded, it's important to ensure that you comply with your funder's open access policy. You may be required to make any research outputs resulting from your research project available in an open access form. Use the JISC Sherpa Juliet service to check funders' current policies.
The open access policy for the next REF has not yet been produced so researchers should continue to follow the REF2021 guidelines until the new policy is available:
The Library subscribes to journal packages from a number of publishers. In addition to providing access to the subscribed journals, some of these contracts also cover the costs of article processing charges, allowing researchers to publish open access for free. These agreements are known as transformative (or read and publish) agreements. The terms and conditions of each agreement vary, so there may be restrictions on which of the publisher's journals are covered, or there may be a limit on the number of articles that can be published each year. We currently have transformative agreements with ACM, Elsevier, SAGE, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley.
To publish in a journal covered by a transformative agreement, you should submit your article following the usual procedure for the publisher (check the publisher's website for details). If your article is accepted for publication, the publisher will identify the article as eligible under the transformative agreement. They will ask you to confirm that you would like to publish open access and then alert the Library who will approve publication of the article. Further details on publishing under transformative agreements can be found in a guide published by JISC.
The Research Office has a small budget to cover article processing charges where funding is not available via a transformative agreement or other source. For more information please view the Policy and Procedure for Payment of Article Processing Charges.