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Open Access at Aston: 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 Research 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 further information.  

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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. 

News and Events

It’s International Open Access Week, 21-25 October 2019, .  And to boost awareness for Aston authors/researchers the Research Services Team in Library Services are offering the following 45-minute training sessions in MB525b.

•             Wednesday 23 October, 2-2.45 : Online researcher profiles

Are you interested in learning how to increase your online presence, the discoverability of your publications and the role open access publishing plays in this? If so, come along to this presentation plus Q&A session to learn about the features and benefits of online researcher IDs and social networks (with Malcolm Horne).

•             Thursday 24 October, 2-2:45 : Setting up your Pure profile and adding content

Are you new to Pure or need a reminder on how everything works? Come along to this training session to find out how to make best use of Pure to highlight your teaching, research and academic achievements (with Leigh Stork).

•             Thursday 24 October, 3-4 : Pure drop-in surgery

Following the Pure training, we will be having a drop-in surgery for those who know how to use Pure but have questions or issues that need fixing (with Leigh Stork).

Please contact  to book your place – we look forward to seeing you soon.


To schedule one-to-one training on Pure or to discuss any questions you have about open access, contact! 

Contact the Open Access Team

For help and advice on the open access publishing process, Aston Research Explorer or Aston Publications Explorer (our repository) please contact the Open Access and Research Repository Specialists at 

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


For questions on using Pure, please contact 


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