Publishing Support

Open Access, Pure, Edinburgh Research Explorer and Researchfish

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the unrestricted online access to scholarly research.  Open Access articles can be freely accessed and downloaded by anyone anywhere in the world regardless of whether they pay or have access to an institution who pays for the journal, provided that the copyright of the authors is clearly visible.    This is good news for the researcher with no means to purchase the article, but it does mean that authors need to be proactive in sharing links to articles published in hybrid journals via social media – if someone doesn’t have access to Regional Environmental Change, why would they look for articles? 

Research outputs are made available via our repository.  The University of Edinburgh uses Pure, this feeds through to the public facing Edinburgh Research Explorer.  It’s important to keep this updated as researchers’ profiles appear within the top four items in a Google search of their name so in many cases will be the first point of reference for prospective students or collaborators.

Our School procedure is for authors to e-mail as soon as the manuscript is accepted, we will then create the Pure record and contact you if we need any further information. 


The Open Access policy applies to all research-active staff within the School of GeoSciences who are authors on a journal article or conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) accepted for publication.


The University has been given a pot of money by UKRI to pay Open Access fees – this can be used for articles published in solely Open Access journals for which there is a mandatory fee. 

If the article is published in a hybrid journal, the University asks that we follow the ‘green’ route and enable the article to comply with Open Access by enabling the accepted manuscript to be made available following an embargo period.  However,   there may still be some publication fees by following the ‘green’ route, e.g. page or colour charges, the money can be used to pay this.  Please contact

Plan S

Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.  This poses a challenge for the publishing companies and their journals who currently charge publication fees to publish in their journals (including Open Access fees ranging from £1600-£3000), and subscription fees – essentially charging twice or ‘double-dipping’.   Plan S has been devised to counter this practice. 

Glossary including what exactly are Gold and Green Routes?

Gold Open Access - the final published version, formatted by the publisher, is immediately available to everyone upon publication.

Green OA - the accepted manuscript can be made available usually following an embargo period.

Hybrid Journal - a journal which offers both Gold and Green routes e.g. Nature, Regional Environmental Change, Geoforum.

Open Access Journal – a solely Open Access journal – usually requires a fee on acceptance that can be waived if it can be shown a researcher has no means to pay it – e.g. Environmental Research Letters  

DOAJ - A list of Open Access journals the Directory of Open Access Journals

Pure – The University’s repository, this feeds the public facing ....

Edinburgh Research Explorer – The University’s portal, this is soon to be replaced, in preparation for the new portal please take a moment to check your current profile and update – everything will be carried over to the new portal. 

ORCIDA universal identifier and a unique way for researchers to eliminate name ambiguity and accurately connect authors to their works, projects and institutional affiliations throughout their career.  Registration is free and easy, once you have your ORCID ID you can link it to your Pure record, with the next version of PURE you can also migrate research outputs to ORCID, details to follow.   


Researchfish is the system used by many funders (including the NERC, AHRC, EPSRC, Wellcome Trust and Cancer UK) to collect and evaluate the outputs and outcomes of your research projects.

In preparation for the 2021 submission, the response code checking exercise will run during November -  December 2020 , exact dates to be confirmed.  Please check your PURE/ Edinburgh Research Explorer profiles to ensure that your outputs are linked to their relevant projects – if any are not please contact

The submission window itself will run from the 1 February - 4pm 11 March 2021.  Award holders must log into Researchfish during this time and complete and save their submission.   Please do this as soon after 1 February as possible, if there are any system blips we need time to fix them!  Any issues at all please e-mail

Edinburgh Research Explorer

New Edinburgh Research Explorer Portal

The University is moving to a new public-facing research portal.  The new Edinburgh Research Explorer will be made publicly available from Monday 23 November 2020.   Details can be found here:  

What should l do?

Information will continue to be drawn from Pure and everything will be carried over to the new site.  This change is an opportunity for you to update your profile to ensure the most up to date information is displayed.  Until the public launch on 23 November, the new ERE is only accessible to UoE staff.  Of course you can update your profile after the new portal goes live but in the next few weeks you can choose to log-in to the new ERE, see how your new profile looks and make any edits in Pure should you wish to do so.

New Features

The new ERE has some additional features.  Please look at the above links for more information and guides.  New features include::

  • Research Fingerprint – this you can edit or turn off altogether in your profile.
  • Network Map – this is meant to display a map of your research connections around the globe.  The data is generated from the external author affiliations in your research output records in Pure.  Unfortunately because of a variety of factors such as whether the author’s affiliation has been included or whether the affiliation is correct within the DOI used to import the output, there is a strong chance that the map will not accurately reflect all of your connections. This is a systems error that will be addressed over time but to which there is no ‘quick fix’.  Until we have a way to address this, we have chosen to switch off this maps feature by default for staff profiles in Geosciences, (you can turn it back on should you wish to do so, there is a user guide on the above website that shows you how).   The Network Map only takes from outputs published within the past 4-5 years so locations linked to older outputs will not display.  Please note that we cannot respond to individual requests to fix specific maps or specific records, at this stage if you turn on the map and it is not correct we strongly suggest leaving it switched off on your profile.

Information Events

The Research Information Systems team will be holding six live virtual “Town Hall” events on Microsoft Teams to present the new ERE.  These sessions will include a Q&A section.  Please do try to attend one of these.  Information is available at:

What should I do next?

  • To learn more about the new ERE visit the website
  • Using the instructions on that site to view the new portal, check how your new profile displays and make any edits in Pure if you wish to.
  • Read about the new features - Research Fingerprint and Network Map.  We suggest keeping the maps feature turned off, but you can turn it back on if you wish.
  • Consider attending one of the information sessions to learn more or to take part in the Q&A.

Useful links: 

Pure Login     

Link to Projects or Facilities

Add Profile Information - Photo/ Biography/ Current Research  

Add Activities

Add Press/ Media Coverage 

Record Datasets 

Create CV

Further Reading

Open Access

Research funders’ Open Access policies:

Open Access Fund:

Plan S:

Responses regarding COAlition S’ Proposal of Plan S:

The University of Edinburgh’s Response:

Wellcome Trust:


Taylor and Francis:

British Academy:

Regional Studies Association:



Questions?  E-mail