Open access

OA (Open Access) aims to make academic research outputs available electronically, immediately, without charge and free from most copyright or licensing restrictions.

OA content is often published under a Creative Commons licence, e.g. CC BY. This means the creator of the content should still be credited for their work.

OA can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.

Recent years have seen a major global movement develop to minimise access barriers, encouraged by the opportunities that internet technologies bring.

It is felt by many that publically funded research should be easily available, not only to other researchers but also to members of the public. This belief is being reflected in grant conditions specified by various funding bodies, notably the Wellcome Trust and most of the Research Councils in the UK (UKRI). These bodies are stipulating that individuals in receipt of research grants must deposit their research results in freely available research repositories, either discipline based or institutional.

It is also a requirement of Research England (formerly HEFCE) to make sure that from 1 April 2018, outputs deposited in research reposoitories immediately or no later than 3 months after acceptance for inclusion in REF 2021.

Research repositories, also known as open archives, may include theses, research papers, conference papers and books. Research articles can be deposited as pre-prints, post-prints or both. These repositories should comply with the OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) protocol so that documents can be located from any internet access point.

The Open Access reading list provides links to the key research repositories.

Subject repositories are organised around a discipline so will contain research material from a number of different institutions.

The Open Access reading list provides links to the key subject repositories.

Institutional archives contain research material which will normally have been self-archived by the individual researchers involved, e.g. the University of Bedfordshire repository. Universities across the world are setting up their own repositories so that the output of their researchers can be made available to anyone.

Please follow the guidance provided on in.beds to set up your account and submit your research to the institutional repository via the University's Research Management System RMAS.

Directories exist to facilitate access to all repositories wherever they are based and whatever the subject.

The Open Access reading list provides links to the key directories.

Tools exist in order to search these Open Access repositories. The major examples are provided on the OA reading list.

There are a number of plug-ins (alternatively known as web browser extensions) which you can drag and drop onto your toolbar. These will identify search results where there is an OA full-text available. They are easy to use and work very well with Google Scholar and other large search engines and databases. Click on the links to EndNote Click and Unpaywall to find out more, and to install the browser extensions.

The other main vehicle for reducing the barriers to research results has been the introduction of online open access journals. Unlike the traditional system of financing journals, the costs are not paid by the reader (or the library) thus maximising access. An important point is that peer review is maintained.

Thousands of open access journals are available via DISCOVER and the Library Catalogue and via the reading list.

Books are now starting to be published in open access schemes, particularly in humanities subjects.

Links to OA book directories are listed on the reading list.

Many universities make theses and dissertations freely available and OATD provides a searchable index. You can find the University of Bedfordshire Institutional Repositories on the reading list.

Ethos is the collection of theses held by the British Library.

Wiley OnlineOpen and Springer Compact Open Access (OA) publishing

The University of Bedfordshire is participating in both the Wiley OnlineOpen and Springer Compact Open Access agreements.  This enables academics and researchers to publish in the participating journals at no cost to the author as the Article Processing Charge (APC) is paid for as part of the journal collection subscription paid for by the University.

How to publish Open Access with Wiley OnlineOpen

Full details from Wiley available here.

UoB authors can publish OA in 2 ways:

  • In hybrid Wiley journals (branded as OnlineOpen)
  • In fully OA Wiley journals (new agreement announced to include Gold OA journals)


  • Your manuscript must have been accepted on or after 2 March 2020
  • You must be the corresponding author
  • Instructions on how to publish in any of Wiley's fully gold Open Access journals is here. You can check the full journal title list here (spreadsheet download).
  • Instructions on how to publish in any of Wiley’s hybrid (subscription) journals that offer OnlineOpen is here. You can check the full journal title list here (spreadsheet download).
  • Wiley also enable you to check the open access availability for a specific journal, by using their Author Compliance Tool.

How to publish Open Access with Springer Compact

Full details here

University of Bedfordshire is participating in the UK Read and Publish (Springer Compact) agreement.  This enables UoB staff and researchers to publish articles open access - at no cost - in more than 1,850 Springer hybrid journals (spreadsheet download).


  • You must be the corresponding author
  • Instructions on how to publish in Springer Compact is here

If you have any further questions or need support submitting your publications, please contact: or or your Academic Liaison Librarian

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