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Open Access at Royal Holloway

View Royal Holloway's research outputs and researcher profiles


Open Access: an overview 

“Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.” (Suber, 2004) 

Open Access (OA) can be delivered in two ways, via OA publication and via OA repositories. 

  • The term “gold OA” is used to describe publishing an article in a full or hybrid OA journal. Hybrid journals have a mix of OA articles which anyone can read and articles which only journal subscribers can read.
  • Repositories, or green OA, can host different types of material, such as peer-reviewed papers, grey literature, theses and dissertations, and pre- peer reviewed and post peer reviewed items. Repositories can be institutional or organisational, which are affiliated with institutions and organisations, or subject, which collect items related to subject fields. At Royal Holloway, Pure is used to provide OA to research outputs.

Royal Holloway staff have also been providing their views about OA:

Dr Jessie Ricketts from the Department of Psychology explains why Open Access is so important for her publications.

Dr Gwilym Eades from the Department of Geography gives his views on the benefits of Open Access.

REF Open Access policy started on 1st April 2016. Are you REF OA ready?

Articles and conference papers published in journals, and accepted after 1st April 2016, must have the author's accepted manuscript deposited into Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance in order to be OA eligible for the REF.

The Research Support Team is here to provide support and guidance to enable outputs to gain increased visibility and discoverability via OA and to achieve REF OA eligibility.

Royal Holloway is a strong supporter of OA to achieve the College's research strategy, which is underpinned by policies, advocacy, support services for researchers and systems development.


The benefits of Open Access

  1. College OA Policies for research outputs and PhD theses:The Academic Board at Royal Holloway formally endorsed an Open Access Publications Policy for Royal Holloway in December 2009. This Policy has required researchers to submit a version of their research into the College's Research Repository since the 1 September 2010. Publications are submitted using Royal Holloway’s research information system, Pure. In submitting an item, researchers are assigning to Royal Holloway certain non-exclusive rights as outlined in the deposit licence. Publishers and/or copyright owners may also like to refer to the Institutional Repository Takedown Policy. The E theses submission policy requires PhD students to submit their PhD thesis to Pure.
  2. Opening up access: traditional journal subscription models meant that access was restricted to those who can afford to subscribe, belong to a subscribing organisation or who have internet access.
  3. Citation advantage and impact:

    Swan (2010) The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date: http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18516/:

    Studies finding a positive open access citation advantage = 27

    Studies finding no open access citation advantage (or an OA citation disadvantage) = 4
  4. International access and visibility : in September 2017, 236 College PhD theses were viewed via the British Library's Ethos e-theses service from countries including UK, United States, Australia and Spain.
  5. Increased access and discoverability : for collaborators, practitioners, researchers, public and research informed teaching. Publications appear on College staff profiles which are created using information added on Pure, and can be found via internet search engines. College authors will also benefit from articles being made OA by other authors so get the benefits both as creators and users of research outputs. 
  6. HEFCE REF Policy for Open Access: which states that for the next REF, articles and conference papers (published with an ISSN) accepted after 1st April 2016 must be deposited into Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance.  Please see the REF OA page for more information.
  7. Funders requirements including RCUK's Policy on Open Access : states that all peer-reviewed research papers that acknowledge RCUK funding submitted for publishing from the 1st April 2013 onwards, and are published in journals and conference proceedings, must be made publicly available through OA. For more information, including the APC application form, please see the RCUK OA page for more information. The 2016 return to RCUK shows that the College is achieving about 95% compliance with the policy.
  8. Opens up discussion and negotiation with publishers:  about publishing and subscription costs. Springer have created the Springer Compact deal allowing all authors from the College to publish OA in subscription journals that offer the Open Choice option.

Making research outputs OA

Authors should investigate adding the author's final version to Pure. This is the version with the final academic content but without the font, logos and typesetting of the publisher's version. Authors should first check the  SHERPA/RoMEO service which lists publishers and journal titles and their copyright agreements. Sherpa/Romeo information is also integrated into Pure. The 4 step guide provides an overview of how to make content OA by deposit into Pure.

Some publishers may also set an embargo period which will state that an article can only be made OA, a certain time after publication.

Staff in the Research Support Team check articles that are added on Pure and can provide advice to staff. If in doubt, please add the author's accepted version and make it "Closed" on Pure and email openaccess@royalholloway.ac.uk to ask for advice.

Support and Training

The Research Support Team are very happy to provide support and training to staff and students on Pure, and provide presentations and advice on OA including how to comply with the next REF  requirements and the RCUK Policy on OA. If you would like to arrange a presentation or an update, please contact Nicola Cockarill




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