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Open Access at Aston: FAQ- General Open Access

General Open Access Questions

What is open access publishing?

Open Access (OA) publishing promotes the sharing of research freely and openly to all readers through unrestricted access to publications, principally journal articles, on the internet. 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.


How is open access related the Research Data Management?

The UKRI/ RCUK Policy on Open Access states “All papers must include … if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.”  For more information on Research Data Management see the Library's RDM LibGuide.


What is Green open access?

Green (also known as free open access) is when authors self-archive their research outputs in an institutional and/or subject repository.  Green open access is the preferred route for all Aston researchers. Authors should deposit their accepted manuscript in Aston Publications Explorer via Pure, and these will be made freely available after an embargo has elapsed (where applicable). See these instructions explaining how to deposit/upload. Green OA forms the basis of inclusion for the next REF in 2021.


How can I check if a journal allows Green open access?

You can email and we will be more than happy to check for you. You can also check journal archiving policies using SHERPA/RoMEO.  


What is Gold open access?

This comprises immediate open access of a journal article on the publisher's website, usually in exchange for an Article Processing Charge (APC). Gold OA journal articles are normally published under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence 3.0 or 4.0 (CC BY).


I want Gold open access– who will pay my APC?

For Aston-based corresponding authors/principal investigators, Library Services administers and advises on payments for APCs from two budgets:

  • The UKRI (formerly RCUK) budget for articles from research funded by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC.
  • The institutional budget for a number of 'gold-only' articles from other research projects or unfunded research.  NOTE - this fund is currently "on hold".

You should refer to the process detailed here and/or contact for questions regarding your eligibility.