Gold open access refers to outputs made freely available, in perpetuity, via the publisher.
Paid open access is the model of gold open access where the author(s) must pay an article processing charge (APC) to the journal/publisher in order to make their final published article freely available in perpetuity. This encompasses fully open access journals where the journal only publishes gold open access, or hybrid open access journals where it is optional whether to pay for gold open access or publish via the standard subscription route. You may need to publish via gold open access if you have funding from one of the UK Research Councils, The Wellcome Trust, some UK medical charities, the European Commission and others. These requirements are summarised here.
Paid gold open access is different from 'free access' or 'open archive' initiatives that publishers may apply to certain articles or journals. These free access and open archive labels are not perpetual and the journal/publisher is legally able to put them behind a paywall whenever they wish. Additionally, you cannot self-archive these versions in a repository and authors and readers are limited as to how they can reuse these outputs.
Authors wishing to publish their outputs with gold open access should always choose a Creative Commons licence (preferably a CC BY) and retain copyright.
As part of our transformative/ read and publish deals with a range of publishers, Aston corresponding authors with current employment contracts or who are current students have access to a range of free or reduced APCs for original research and review articles (invited reviews, editorials, book reviews etc. are not included).
for further details on any of these schemes or author/article type/journal eligibility.
|Publisher||Hybrid Journals Included?||Pure Gold Journals Included?||Publisher Website||Notes|
|ACM||Yes||Yes||ACM Publications List||Includes conference proceedings|
|AIP||Yes||No||AIP Journal List||Consortium cap|
|De Gruyter||Yes||No||De Gruyter Journal List||Consortium cap|
|IoP||Yes||No||IoP Journal list|
|OUP||Yes||Yes||OUP journal list|
|Microbiology Society||Yes||Yes||Microbiology Society Journal List|
|Portland Press||Yes||Yes||Portland Press Journal List|
|RSC||Yes||No, 15% discount||RSC Journal List||Yearly cap|
|Sage (incl. IMechE & RSM)||Yes||No, 20% discount||SAGE Journal List|
|Springer||Yes||No||Springer Journal List||Excludes Nature & BMC titles|
|Taylor & Francis||Yes||No||T & F Journal Info||Consortium cap; journals with APCs above £3000 excluded|
|Wiley (incl. IET journals)||Yes||Yes||Wiley Journal List||Consortium cap, RESTRICTED FROM 1 JULY 2021|
Cambridge University Press will give Aston University corresponding authors a 20% discount on APCs from 1 Jan 2021
Wiley offers a 25% discount to Aston University corresponding authors after the yearly consortium cap has been reached. Aston authors who wish to use this discount when paying for gold open access themselves should contact email@example.com
The Excel Spreadsheet below contains a searchable list of the nearly 8,000 journals that Aston corresponding authors are entitled to free gold open access with from 1 January 2021. Note that some Read & Publish deals have yearly caps, and the allocation may run out before the end of the calendar year. Publishers may also add or remove titles without prior notice. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure if your article is eligible or not.
Aston has funds from UKRI to pay APCs for research and review (but not invited review) articles arising from research directly funded by the UK Research Councils: AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC. Grants that are current, or no more than one year past the award end date, are prioritised. We will not pay APCs from the RCUK block grant for RCUK grants awarded prior to 1 April 2013.
Note that publications arising from UKRI funding from Research England, Innovate UK or the UK Space Agency are not eligible for RCUK open access block grant funds.
To request gold open access via the RCUK block grant:
If open access publication costs are already included in your research grant, or can be reimbursed, you should use that as a source for payment of any APCs related to that grant. At Aston, this applies primarily to European Commission (H2020 etc.) and Leverhulme grant holders.
If you do not have any research funding and the journal you wish to publish paid open access in is not included in any of the above Read & Publish/ Transformative deals, then you will need to arrange payment of the APC from alternate sources. The Institutional Open Access fund was closed in November 2019. The Library can not pay APCs for any articles that do not have RCUK funding. Please refer to Aston's Interim Open Access Policy for further information.
The Library is not responsible for any open access fees incurred without our knowledge or approval.
Diamond open access is a model of open access where a journal is completely open access, yet does not levy an article processing charge (APC). More than 70% of open access journals fall into this category. Diamond open access journals exist across the academic spectrum and reputable journals provide the same level of peer review and editorial oversight as traditional subscription or gold open access journals.
The Open Library of Humanities also publishes a number of diamond open access journals across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
Unfortunately in open access publishing there are publishers who exploit the Gold open access route to publication. These are predatory publishers with no academic credibility and often have fabricated editorial staff and/or journal names that closely resemble well-known reputable ones. These publishers frequently solicit submissions via spam emails and may offer to waive APC fees initially before charging numerous additional fees (submission, page, review, expedited service, withdrawal, etc.).
Examples of publications in predatory journals can be found here:
If you are considering publishing in a journal that is new to you, or that you think may not be entirely legitimate, please get in touch with us to discuss your concerns before agreeing to publish or pay any fees. You can also use Think, Check, Submit to help you choose which journals to publish in.
Please note that Library Services will not pay any APCs for articles submitted to known predatory journals.
Are you an editor for a traditionally published subscription journal? Or have you and like-minded colleagues ever thought about starting up an open access journal? If so, take a look at the following resources for some information on initial steps to get started!