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Open Access publishing for Aston authors: Welcome

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) publishing allows your research outputs to be made freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. It promotes the sharing of research and knowledge and has significant social, economic and scientific benefits. Open Access is part of the wider Open Science movement.

There are two types of OA: Green (free) and Gold (paid) - further information on making your research open access can be found on this OA LibGuide tab.

In addition to the REF OA policy, many research funders have OA publishing requirements relating to discoverability and accessibility. This includes UK Research and Innovation the European Commission, the Wellcome Trust and other members of COAFThere are also developing compliance requirements in relation to Research Data Management (RDM) - see the RDM LibGuide for detailed information on this aspect.  

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Six reasons why it's time to embrace Open Access publishing

  • Academic benefits: OA publishing benefits individual HE researchers and their institutions through enhanced citation rates and research impact - OA means your research gains wider visibility and usage.


  • Social benefits: OA publishing means research is more easily available to charitable, NGO and private sector research communities globally.  It also increases understanding by the general public in areas such as science and medicine. 


  • Aston's Policy: To ensure that Aston is able to meet these requirements, our OA Policy and Code of Practice (inc. Guidanceis that all journal and conference publications should meet the same levels of OA compliance.  OA also feeds into Aston's Forward 2020 aim of "developing ... research conversations everywhere." (Aim: 02.06)


  • Funder requirements: HE funding bodies, notably UK Research & Innovation (UKRI - the new body combining HEFCE and Research Councils UK), the European Commission, and the Wellcome Trust & other members of COAF, now mandate for OA publication of journal articles and conference papers. 
    • Note: There are developing compliance requirements also in relation to 'Research Data Management' (RDM) - see the RDM LibGuide for detailed information on this aspect.


  • REF 2021: UKRI/HEFCE requires that all such outputs accepted for publication from April 2016, and that are submitted to the REF 2021, comply with their OA requirements in relation to discoverability and accessibility.  Therefore, to be included in the next REF researchers need to publish OA via either the Green or Gold route. 


  • Government policy: OA publishing is all about sharing research freely and openly to all readers online.  Free access to research outputs has significant social, economic and scientific benefits, and forms part of the Government’s commitment to transparency and open data. 

Contact the Open Access Team

For help and advice on the open access publishing process, please contact the Open Access and Research Repository Specialists at  For specific green open access advice, please contact Leigh Stork, ext.4956. For gold open access advice, please contact Malcolm Horne, ext.4506.

For advice on Aston Research Explorer and self-archiving/depositing your publications in PURE, please contact  

For general advice on Aston Research Explorer, please contact Paul Jones in Aston University's Research and Knowledge Exchange office, ext. 4443.

For information on the benefits of OA publishing, please contact your Information Specialist in the Library. 



News and Events

The next training events for Open Science (Open Access/Pure, Open Data, & Researcher Profiles) will be on:

  • Hands-on training in Aston Data Explorer and Pure
    • Tuesday 12 February 2019, 2-3.30pm in Room MB525b
  • Online Researcher Profiles and Promoting Your Data and Publications
    • Thursday 14 February 2019, 2-3.30pm in Room MB525b

Contact to book your place.

Content updates

Library Services are committed to maintaining the content of this LibGuide in light of all new policy developments. If you notice any inaccuracies, please contact us