Information Services

About Open Access

Find out more about Open Access journals and repositories, and the benefits of making your research open.

Open Access is a way of making research outputs more widely read, cited and used.

The University of Edinburgh supports its staff in making their research Open Access. There are two main routes to make your work Open Access:

  1. deposit a copy in an Open Access Repository (Green), or
  2. publish in an Open Access Journal (Gold)

Green Open Access is the University of Edinburgh's preferred route to take because it provides a level playing field where everyone can participate without having to rely on access to publication funds.

Open Access Archives (Green OA)

Open access digital archives (otherwise known as repositories) are online web sites where authors or their designated intermediates deposit scholarly publications for anyone to read. They are a mechanism for managing and storing digital content.

Repositories can be subject or institutional in their focus. Putting content into an institutional repository enables staff and institutions to manage and preserve it, and therefore derive maximum value from it.

Repositories use open standards to ensure that the content they contain is accessible in that it can be searched and retrieved for later use.

More information about how you can use UoE repositories:

Open Access Journals (Gold OA)

Open Access Journals make their articles available for free through charging for the publication services before publication, rather than after publication through subscriptions.

Open Access publication charges can be often included within the costs of research funding, so the money for access comes through the research funder, rather than through the library budget.

Of course, the initial source of the money is often the same (from government funding), but the economics of this model means that the overall cost should be lower. Peer-review is unaffected and is carried out in the same way.

There are a growing number of Open Access Journals, with a journal available in most disciplines. A list of the ones currently available is provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals

Some publishers like Elsevier, OUP, Blackwell, Springer and the Royal Society are now experimenting with hybrid journals, where the subscription version is still sold, but for a supplement - typically around £1500 (+VAT) each - an article can then be made freely available.

The Wellcome Trust and RCUK have provided money to cover these supplementary costs for the research articles it has funded. Other research funders may provide funds - please contact the Scholarly Communications Team for the latest information.

More information on Open Access policies and costs:

If you have any questions about Open Access, or want to learn how you can participate please contact:

Scholarly Communications Team
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3850 or (0)131 651 5226