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Open Research at Aston: Open Access

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.


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 UK medical charities. 

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Aston Publications Explorer

Aston Publications Explorer is Aston University's repository for our OA publications, including student theses. It makes Aston's research outputs freely and easily available to everyone, benefiting both our researchers and readers worldwide. You may also be interested in Aston Data Explorer for Aston's research data and Aston Research Explorer for broader information about Aston's research work, including research staff profiles, awards, projects and research groups.

Publications in Aston Publications Explorer are indexed by both mainstream search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc) and specialised academic search engines such as Google Scholar. 

Useful Tools for Authors

  • SHERPA-RoMEO presents a summary of permissions normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.
  • SHERPA-FACT is a tool to help researchers check if journals comply with their funder's requirements for Open Access to research.
  • Creative Commons licence information

Finding Open Access Publications

Millions of journals articles are now freely available online because of OA publishing, whether as Gold (immediate OA), or as Green (archived in a repository). Use the following search tools to find OA publications which may not be available via our subscriptions:

  • Aston Publications Explorer (Aston University's repository)
  • Google Scholar (search engine)
  • CORE (open access aggregator)
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
  • BASE (academic resource search engine)
  • EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) is a British Library service to access theses produced in UK Higher Education Institutions.

There are also three extensions that you can install on your browser to help you easily find OA versions of articles:

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