Open Access

Open Access makes research freely available on the internet to anyone with an interest in your work, increasing usage and raising your profile.

Open Access publishing

       Open Access logo
"Open Access has the potential to make scientific communication more efficient and effective, creating benefits for researchers, universities and society in general. Open Access also means that outputs can make a greater impact in the research community and beyond." Stephen Pinfield, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield Information School  


Raising your profile

Did you know that Open Access can significantly raise your profile by removing the barriers to accessing information and making knowledge freely available to all?

  • Open Access can increase the number of readers and citations to the article.

Case Study

Ray Frost, a chemist at Queensland University of Technology in Australia deposited around 300 of his papers in his institutional repository.

Data from the Web of Science shows that from 2000 to 2003, citations to his papers were averaging about 300 per year. When Frost started putting his articles into the institutional repository, citations increased, with the latest count being 1200 in one year.

More information on this case study is available from OASIS. For more information about how Open Access can increase citations, visit PLOS Biology and The Open Citation Project.

  • Open Access material is free to download and view.

This increases the potential readership of an article or book chapter many times compared to traditional publication in a journal where the full-text is restricted to subscribers

Case Study

A search on Google for 'chronolinguistics' finds research published by The University of Nottingham’s Peter Stockwell first in the list of results. The paper published in Nottingham Linguistic Circular may not be widely available to other libraries in its published form. However, anyone in the world can easily search for and find this research without the need for any subscriptions. Search engines like Google will search and find papers that have been uploaded to institutional repositories, increasing the potential readership.  

"I like putting my work out because it gets almost instant comment and discussion from the broad academic community of researchers and students all over the world." Professor Peter Stockwell 
  • Open Access reduces barriers to access and increases visibility for the researcher

No research institution can afford all the journals its researchers may need, so articles may be losing research impact.

Libraries are finding it increasingly difficult to subscribe to new titles or retain titles and reduced subscriptions leads to reduced visibility of your research.

For more information, see Scientific Journals International. The Open-Access Movement: Dysfunctional practices in the journal publishing system, 2010.

  • Open Access can increase your international visibility

Research can often be limited to its country of publication. Typically, in the UK subscriptions may be taken for UK-published journals; in Australia to Australian-published journals; in the USA to US-published journals and so on. Developing countries find it even more difficult to subscribe to a wide range of journals. Open Access material however can be easily found using search engines, is free to download and therefore has more worldwide impact.

  • Open Access can help multi-disciplinary research, inter-institutional and inter-sectoral collaborations

Increased access and visibility can result in more awareness of individuals and their research interests, bringing researchers together in collaborative environments.

Nottingham ePrints 

Did you know that the University has a repository where you can deposit or self-archive your published articles and conference papers? 

Visit Nottingham ePrints, a digital archive of research papers from The University of Nottingham authors.

Student making notes

Why should you deposit?

Making material openly accessible through a repository allows it to be found by internet search engines. This increases readership, use and impact, and results in earlier and more frequent citations.

How do you deposit?

Depositing is easy. Full instructions are available on the Nottingham ePrints website.

Your submission will be checked and, after a few days will appear in the public archive.

It’s that simple. But if you need assistance don’t be afraid to ask your faculty librarian.

Does your publisher allows you to deposit your article?

Many do. The University runs a website that lists the policies of over 700 publishers from around the world. Visit RoMEO to find out whether your publisher will let you deposit your article before or after peer review, and/or the publisher’s PDF of the final version.

Are you a PhD student?

If so, don’t forget you will be able to put your completed thesis online in just the same way through Nottingham eTheses.

Would you like to do more with your articles?

Typically agreements between authors and publishers hand over copyright exclusively to the publisher. The author may not even put a copy on his or her own website. But it is possible to negotiate non-exclusive agreements that will allow greater freedom to the author and still safeguard the rights that the publisher needs. If you would like to do this, take a look at the Copyright Toolbox where you will find advice and sample wording for non-exclusive agreements.

For more advice, ideas and information visit SPARC Europe.    

Mandates and Funding

Did you know that both the University and research funders mandate Open Access and that the University has a fund that can help you with the costs?

Research funders’ mandates

For more information on the HEFCE REF Open Access policy please visit the Open Access publishing pages

As a condition of grant, many research funders require authors to make their research outputs available through Open Access.

The UK Research Councils (RCUK) publish guidance on the distribution of research outputs, and individual Research Councils have also released their own more detailed policies.

The Wellcome Trust has a policy on Open Access which requires grant holders to submit an electronic copy of final manuscripts of research papers to Europe PubMed Central (ePMC).

Find out about your research funder's Open Access policy by searching JULIET for your funder.

Student studying in the library
Student studying with microscope




The University of Nottingham’s Open Access Policy

The University’s Open Access policy has been revised in line with recent developments from RCUK, HEFCE and EU requiring research outputs to be available in an open access (OA) form as a condition of funding. The revised University policy promotes deposition in the Nottingham ePrints repository as the preferred and default option. This represents a commitment to "green" OA (archiving within an institutional or discipline repository), rather than "gold" OA, (where additional payment is required to publish in a journal and make the article openly accessible). This approach ensures cost effective, wide dissemination and compliance with funder mandates and future REF requirements.

All research papers (including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and similar material), where copyright allows, should be made available in an open access form upon publication. All academic staff are required to make their research outputs open access wherever possible through the University repository:

  • All research papers including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and similar material, either in the form of the author's final manuscript or the formally-published version, where copyright allows, should be deposited in the Nottingham ePrints repository upon acceptance for publication or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Where it is not possible to deposit an open access version of the full-text of the paper, a record of the publication should be created in the repository with a link to an externally held version.
  • Where external funding is available to meet the costs of open access article processing charges, researchers should take advantage of opportunities to publish their work with immediate open access upon publication.

Open Nottingham 

Did you know that educational resources from the University are available worldwide?

Open Nottingham is a programme of work encouraging increased use, reuse and publication of Open Educational Resources (OER) by staff and students across the University. It aims to improve the understanding of the impact that OERs have on teaching and learning, and measures the effectiveness of open resources to promote individual academics and Schools. The University has had an OER presence since the launch of the U-Now website in 2007.

The Open Nottingham programme supports the University’s commitment to social responsibility and excellence in education. It also contributes to internationalisation: fostering the spread of knowledge without borders.
Student accessing resouces

How to find Open Nottingham resources:

The University has a number of services to help staff and students to:

For more information about Open Nottingham email the Open Learning Support Officer, Steven Stapleton.

Manuscripts and Special Collections 

Did you know that there is a wealth of online material from our own University collections available for all to use?

Here are just a few things you can do:

Image of a proof of DH Lawrence’s short story Odour of Chrysanthemums    
Proof of DH Lawrence's Odour of Chrysanthemums 
Image of an extract from the 19th century diaries of the 4th Duke of Newcastle.    

Extract from the 4th Duke of Newcastle's diary 




There are many other resources freely available on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Archives are a rich resource for research. To find out about archive collections elsewhere in England and Wales, visit the Access to Archives website.

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Find out more

To find out more about how Open Access can help you visit the  Open access publishing or email library-open-access@nottingham.ac.uk 

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