Contemporary open access (OA) dates back to the 1990s although the idea of open access to scholarly journal articles can trace its origins back a further 50 years or so.
The contemporary open access movement strives to make research publications (but especially peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers) available globally, for free, to anyone, at their point of access. This is made possible by the increasing ubiquity of computer and telecommunications technologies. The unacceptable inflationary costs of traditional print models of scholarly journal publishing have given tremendous impetus to alternative contemporary open access publishing modes in recent years.
An open access journal article or conference paper can:
Other research outputs (such as research data) can also be made available using an open access model.
Watch a YouTube video on 'Open Access Explained!'
Researchers who publish using an open access model benefit in many ways:
Watch a YouTube video on the 'Benefits of Open Access'.
From 1st April 2013 the University receives a block grant to help fund APCs (Article Processing Charges) for the open access publishing of RCUK funded research; the University also receives money from the Wellcome Trust to pay APCs for publishing refereed journal articles arising from Wellcome Trust funded research grants.
Together these block grants constitute the University of Aberdeen Open Access Fund.
The University encourages use of the Green route for OA publishing. However, if your research is funded by either of these grant awarding bodies and needs to be published using the Gold route for open access (i.e. immediate open access availability on publication) you may obtain funding for your APCs by completing the Article Processing Charges form below.
Please read the accompanying guide "Paying Article Processing Charges" before completing and submitting the form.
The University benefits from a number of other deals which can be used be used where Gold open access is needed. These schemes are listed below - please note that there is no requirement for your research output to be funded by external funders to take advantage of these deals.
SAGE Choice and Sage Premier Schemes
Our Scottish Higher Education Digital Library SAGE agreement allows authors based at this University to a discounted Article Processing Charge of £200 for publication of articles on the publisher’s Open Access model.
The Library has a pre-pay account with BioMed Central (BMC) to pay the open access publishing costs for Wellcome funded research. For more information and to access this account please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal Society of Chemistry Journals – ‘Gold for Gold’ Credits
As part of our journal subscription service the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) provides the University with a number of credit vouchers which can be used to secure open access publication of papers published in RSC journal titles at no additional cost. More information on the RSC vouchers within the 'Gold for Gold' scheme is available from email@example.com.
The library has a pre-pay account with Wiley. Authors can now select University of Aberdeen when submitting to a Wiley Open Access journal or opting for Online Open to qualify for a discounted APC charge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Taylor & Francis
If you choose to publish open access in a Taylor & Francis Open Select journal you will be asked to contact the library who will place your order at a discounted rate. For further information please contact email@example.com.
University of Aberdeen Researchers who have an article accepted for publication in a participating Springer hybrid journal will be able to publish their article open access at no extra cost under the Springer Compact Agreement. The agreement between Jisc and Springer will initially run as a pilot from 15th October 2015 until Dec 2018. Please note that it does not apply to fully open access titles. Please select University of Aberdeen as your affiliated institution when submitting your article for publication. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There is currently a trial scheme available with IoP. It does not provide a point of purchase discount on the Article Processing Charge (APC) itself – instead it gives the library a refund of 90% of the pre-VAT APC to use as a discount against the following year’s IoP journal subscription costs. If an IoP APC is paid it results in a discount being applied to next year’s library subscription costs. For further information please contact email@example.com
Submissions to Bentham Open Publications from authors affiliated with the University of Aberdeen are now eligible for a 50% discount on open access charges. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Some publishers will automatically place your article on open access from the publisher’s own website after a set period (the embargo period) following the publication of your article. They may also deposit it in a subject based repository such as Europe PubMed Central (formerly UK PubMed Central). There are no charges for this. An embargo period may be 6 or 12 months or some other period of time.
If you rely on this OA route and your research has been funded by a funding body which has a strict OA policy on how and when your research output must be made available, then you should ensure that the publisher’s policy complies with your research funder’s mandate. This is dealt with further under Gold OA below.
Automatic OA, however, is still limited. But you can make your own research open access now. There are two ways to do so, and they are known as Green and Gold OA. The University's preferred route is to make research outputs Green OA wherever possible.
As indicated, this is the University's preferred approach for making your research outputs open access. Also known as self-archiving it involves no costs. Green OA (self-archiving) allows an author:
For example, a version which can often be self-archived in a repository is the author’s final peer-reviewed MSS, as submitted to the publisher (incorporating referees’ comments). Although, it will not contain the publisher’s final formatting and other features associated with the Version of Record, it is nevertheless a valuable surrogate for the Version of Record. Access to it hugely benefits the researcher and the scholarly community.
The version which an author may deposit in a repository will be stipulated by the publisher’s copyright policy, or in the licence agreement which an author signs transferring copyright to the publisher for publication. As suggested under Gold OA, publishers often provide this information on their websites.
Or the SHERPA/ROMEO website contains information on many publishers’ copyright and licence to publish policies.
This means that an author pays the publisher to make a journal article or conference paper fully OA as soon as it is published. Essentially in return for an Article Processing Charge (APC) Gold OA gives access to the publisher’s “Version of Record” from the day of publication:
Details of what each publisher allows can be found in any Instructions/Guides to Authors available on the publisher’s website; and/or in the licence agreement you sign with the publisher to publish your article. Or the SHERPA/ROMEO website contains information on many publishers’ copyright and licence to publish policies.
Funder mandates, from such bodies as Wellcome and RCUK, are strict policies on publishing papers from research funded by the body concerned. You should ensure that you understand, and fully comply with, any funder mandates and their requirements if you are a recipient of a grant from any funding body, and your grant leads to published research outputs. Check the terms and conditions of your grant.
You can also find details on the funder policies of many research funding bodies and agencies on SHERPA/JULIET.
The four main UK higher education funding bodies, including the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), have recently announced their policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
The policy requires that, in order to be eligible for submission in the next REF, all journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN number that have been accepted for publication on or after 1 April 2016 must be publicly accessible through an institutional or subject repository within 3 months of acceptance for publication.
The policy does not apply to monographs or other long form publications, to non-textual outputs, research data, conference proceedings published with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or publications that must remain confidential for security or commercial reasons.
Institutional repository (AURA); deposit through PURE
Subject repositories - arXiv; PubMed Central
Within 3 months of acceptance for publication
Where embargo applies, deposit must be made and metadata must be discoverable within 3 months of acceptance for publication
Acceptable embargo periods;
final author' version or 'post-print' which can be replaced with the final version at a later date
Open Access Information sessions March/April 2015:
Any output that falls within the scope of this policy and is submitted to the post-2014 REF but does not meet the requirements without a valid exemption will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed.
The REF open access policy formally applies to papers accepted after 1 April 2016. The funding councils expect institutional compliance much sooner than that, so we are asking for accepted manuscripts from 1 April 2015.
If you need to publish using Gold OA please read the "Paying Article Processing Charges" guide before submitting the Article Processing Charges Form: