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Open Access at Aston: Welcome

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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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 and Repository Guidance (see below) is 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


  • REF 2021: UKRI/Research England 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

To schedule group or 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