Open Access Stories

The experiences of University staff using the Repository are listed below:

When did you first publish your work Open Access?

I’ve put quite a few papers into the University repository, USIR (Green Open Access) after they have been accepted for publication and I published my first Open Access paper in the International Journal of mental Health Nursing in January 2014 (under Gold Open Access)

Do you have a preference between green and gold?

I’ve published the majority of my papers by Green Open Access because I am conscious about money (article processing charges can be high) and I have no problem placing my work in USIR so long as it has been accepted by the publisher. For the purposes of the REF we are obliged to submit our work to USIR and I do trust that staff responsible for USIR will make the necessary checks regarding copyright etc.

I do wonder about how USIR fits with the more common database searches used by the majority of our PG students, undertaken as part of their studies. That said, I have had enquiries about a couple of my papers soon after they were available in USIR.

As I said earlier, I’ve also published using the gold route because there was University funding available to do this and perhaps because I feel that more people will access my work if it is Open Access particularly when it is featured within an internationally renowned journal.

What support did you receive from the University to be able to successfully publish in Open Access?

Support from The Library staff has been good, they have delivered sessions on Open Access and updated us (academics) on the advantages as well as the challenges of using it. I do feel unclear about the next REF and the part that Open Access will play, although I do know that it will it will have a much bigger part. In terms of getting my work published as an open access paper, I received excellent support for using the gold route from The Library/USIR staff, who gave me advice on which forms to fill in and the licence options to choose.

What advice would you give to colleagues who are new to Open Access in your subject area?

I personally feel more comfortable publishing in a traditional journal that offers Open Access as opposed to a pure Open Access journal. If you are considering publishing in a purely Open Access journal then choose carefully and make sure they have a rigorous peer review process in place. For your own reputation and for the reputation of the University choose a journal that demonstrates transparent quality control in terms of the papers they accept.

What would you see as the key benefits of Open Access publishing for you?

My work is more accessible to a greater audience. I’ll hopefully receive more citations, and that people use the work in a way that benefits others. Much of my work has focused on giving voice to people who are often not heard, having papers published not only promotes the projects we are involved in, but it also helps to bring the voices of other to the professional, and sometimes public, arena.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

We’ve got to make sure more of our papers are available via Open Access, whether in Open Access journals or traditional journals with an open access option. USIR must be our first port of call and we should make good use of it getting our achievements acknowledged by a much wider audience. The University gives us time and/or money to conduct research, write for publication and present at conferences and in return we should support Open Access through making good use of USIR and wherever possible in reputable journals providing open access.

When did you first publish Open Access?

Our first OA publication was the poly-CINS paper published in December 2013 in the Journal of Applied Crystallography. We went the 'Gold' route and paid the publisher from the Open Access funding scheme here at the University.

Why did you choose this particular OA publishing route?

Publishing Open Access means that the full paper is available for free download to any researcher in the world - given the popularity of the Journal, this would widen the access of the work, and allow individuals (such as PhD students and industrial researchers) to have full access to the work, which being a new spectroscopic method, should be of interest to a broad range of researchers.

What support have you received from the University to guide you through the Open Access process?

The support provided from the University has been excellent - I hardly had to do a thing other than to request OA publication, source price and deliver a manuscript to the repository - ten minutes of effort! Everything else was handled for me. Easy!

What advice would you give to colleagues who are new to Open Access in your subject area?

Do it... you won't regret it. Not only does OA open up your work to casual browsing (people who might have to log on to institutional library accounts or ATHENS can just click and read!) but, I believe, it makes a statement to your research community and the wider world that you believe in your research enough to invest valuable resources in making it available to all! Of course, if you are funded by a research council such as EPSRC, then the University handles all the money stuff for you. Heartily recommend this route!

What would you see as the key benefits of Open Access publishing for you?

Open Access opens the doors for serendipitous citation - casual browsing and free access (immediately, without logins) allows the maximum number of browsing researchers to read and consider your work.

Are there any other comments you’d like to make?

I can't stress how helpful and efficient the Open Access repository staff have been in this process - all the heavy lifting is done for you! This is a real bonus for busy researchers such as myself.

Which route have you used to publish Open Access, Green, Gold or both?

Gold via a publisher and Green through USIR.

Why did you choose to pay go Gold and pay an article processing charge to the publisher?

Normally, even with a funded project I wouldn't have the funds to pay for open access, though this might change with new expectations by NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) and other funding bodies. However, the university paid for 2 high-profile articles which were central to the REF. I put everything on USIR, but mostly the final version or the author accepted version as too many changes are made between the final submitted version and the version that is actually published.

What support have you received from the University to guide you through the Open Access process?

The provision of funds for the substantial Open Access fee was important, but equally important was the support and explanation offered by the USIR Team. When the journal replied with various options - the impact of which was not obvious to me, they explained these and recommended which option was usually selected.

Although repeating everything from SEEK onto USIR can be a pain, at least USIR is available. I link to this from other sites such as and ResearchGate.

What advice would you give to colleagues who are new to Open Access in your subject area?

Choose the papers carefully, since the fees can be substantial (sometimes $5,000). If unsure, get advice from the repository staff. Timing is important. Apart from the REF (and other) deadline for lodging papers into Open Access, knowing as soon as the paper is accepted - and sometimes during the submission process - that Open Access will be sought smooths the bureaucratic process in the publishing houses.

What would you see as the key benefits of Open Access publishing for you?

  1. Meets the requirements of funding bodies
  2. Makes papers accessible to a wider international audience

When did you first publish your work Open Access?

I co-authored a journal article with a colleague from Edge Hill University. At the acceptance stage in March 2014 I read the copyright agreement sent to me by my editor. I noticed an option for Open Access, knowing it could maximise exposure of work. I contacted the Arts and Media Library team who told me about the internal fund for supporting Open Access.

What support did you receive from the University to be able to successfully publish in Open Access?

The internal Open Access support enabled me to make the article fully available immediately after publication. The Arts and Media support librarian was able to refer me to the USIR team for help and advice.

Do you have any advice to give to colleagues who are new to Open Access in your subject area?

Think about Open Access at the start of the writing process and definitely by the editing stage, this gives you an early opportunity to discuss Open Access options with your editor. The inclusion of images, particularly for the arts, can delay the editorial process

What would you consider the key benefits of Open Access publishing to be?

Dissemination of your ideas and perspectives in my field and increases your visibility as a scholar and author both internally and externally. Open Access of your work may increase your visibility in relation to your performance indicators and will enable you to return to the next Research Excellence Framework.

Philip has been a committed user of Open Access for some time, he has around 90 papers in the University repository, USIR. He adds his work to USIR because the University Open Access policy states that all research should be deposited here and this behaviour help Philip to comply more easily with the recent HEFCE Open Access policy for REF. Where possible he uploads his author accepted manuscript (AAM) which most publishers will allow to be made Open Access.

Philip has also received funding from the Open Access Support Fund to make one of his papers Open Access via the publisher by payment of an article processing charge. The paper was co-authored with a colleague from another institution, they came to an agreement about how to pay for the charge and it was paid equally between the two institutions.

His biggest motivation for making his work Open Access is the frustration experience by Philip and his students when they cannot locate a free version of something they would find valuable, “Open Access helps people from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve their personal ambitions through education and breaks down the restrictions which are often imposed on some sectors of society.”

My school has a policy to monitor and evaluate our research outputs in preparation for the next REF. The policy requires Health Sciences researcher to put our work into USIR. Where possible I upload the author accepted version of my paper which can usually be made Open Access with an embargo, the USIR team check the policy of the publisher for me.

I publish Open Access because it increases readership of my work and hopefully citation too. My research can be quite technical but some the less technical work is of real interest to the community who don’t necessarily have subscriptions to the journals I publish in, Open Access helps them to access this.