Research and Knowledge Exchange

Open access

The University of Edinburgh and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences are committed to making their research outputs fully and freely available through Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the unrestricted online access to scholarly research like journal articles and conference proceedings, but also other scholarly works like book chapters and monographs. Making your research Open Access increases readership, citations and reputation and reduces barriers to collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. 

The two routes to Open Access publishing

There are two routes to open access publishing. Traditionally, “green” means access provided through repositories to author's accepted manuscripts; and “gold” means access provided to the final published version of papers in journals. In recent times, however, the meanings have developed beyond this original use and may be used in the following ways. 

Green route

Green refers to the route whereby the author, after peer review and as part of the publication process, deposits the author's accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository. The author's accepted manuscript is the version of the paper as it was accepted for publication, with the peer review comments implemented, but before typesetting and copyediting. This version will be made Open Access after the embargo period set up by the publisher has been respected. This is the route that HEFCE has adopted for Open Access. For more information on the policy, please visit the section REF policy for Open Access

Gold route

Gold refers to the route whereby the author, after peer review and as part of the publication process, pays the journal with whom the work is published to make the item available without further payment or subscription from the reader. Usually this also allows the author to deposit the work in an institutional repository or elsewhere as they see fit.

The University and the College have a strong preference for the green route to Open Access wherever possible.

For further information on Open Access, research funders' policies and costs, visit the University of Edinburgh Open Access site.  The University of Edinburgh has signed up to open access membership schemes with publishers, they can be found here

PhD and MPhil candidates can submit their thesis using PURE. More information in the Scholarly Communications page.


Contact details

Veronica Cano

College Open Research Coordinator

  •  Work: +44 (0) 131 650 4398
  •  Email:

Room B.07, 55 George Square