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Open Research

What is Open Access?

Open Access is about making research publications freely available, enabling the results to be read and built on by anyone.

Making your outputs Open Access maximises the public benefit and helps you to increase your readership, raise your profile. and increase your impact.

Without Open Access, your research outputs will only be available to readers with access through their institution, or who pay for a copy or a subscription.

Making your work Open Access: Green Open Access (Self-archiving)

The most common way to make your work Open Access is to make the final peer-reviewed manuscript (also known as the author's accepted manuscript) of your work available on SHU's institutional repository SHURA.  This is known as Green Open Access or self-archiving.

  • There are no costs to readers to access the final peer-reviewed manuscript on SHURA.
  • There are no costs to authors.
  • Most large publishers allow self-archiving of journal articles and conference papers, but their policies differ.  
  • Your publisher may require the manuscript on SHURA to be subject to an embargo period.  For example, the article will not be available until 12 months after publication.
  • The final published version of your manuscript will only be available to readers who have access through their institution or who pay a fee or subscription.

How to self-archive your work

If you are a member of staff or a doctoral researcher at SHU, you can use Elements to deposit your research outputs on SHURA.

When you deposit your outputs on SHURA, the library will check the journal's policy and apply any required embargo.

You may wish to check a journal's self-archiving policy as part of choosing where to publish. SHERPA RoMEO can help you to find a journal's policy.

Making our work Open Access: Gold Open Access

Gold Open Access is when your  publisher makes the final published version of the manuscript Open Access on their website.

  • The manuscript will be available immediately to everyone on publication
  • There are no costs to readers to read the final published version
  • Publishing Gold Open access usually requires payment of a fee known as an Article Processing Charge to the publisher by the author, their funder or institution.
  • Some journals are fully open access, which means all articles are Gold Open Access.
  • Many subscription journals offer you the option to make your article Gold Open Access on payment of a fee.
  • Some publishers offer this option for monographs or chapters.

How to publish Gold Open Access

Research whether Gold Open Access is possible in the journal you are considering publishing in:

  • is the journal a fully open access journal?
  • is it a subscription journal which offers an option to publish Gold Open Access?

If you want to publish Gold Open Access, investigate the costs involved for your chosen journal. 

The library has several transformative deals (also called read and publish deals) with publishers which eliminate the cost to SHU authors in some or all of that publisher's journals. The Library also has deals with some publishers which reduce the costs.

Find out more about the Library deals with publishers and getting funding for Gold Open Access

Make sure you have funding in place before committing to Gold Open Access.

It is important to be aware that some journals and publishers operate an exploitative business model (sometimes known as ‘predatory’) by charging Article Processing Charges without providing proper editorial and publishing services, such as peer review.  The journals therefore lack academic rigour and credibility. Make sure you choose where to publish carefully.

Further information and help with Open Access

The Library's web pages about Open Access provide more information.  For example about funder's Open Access requirements, the Open Access requirements for the next REF, and the SHU Open Access policy.

If you have any questions about Open Access, please contact the Library Research Support Team:


Call: (0114) 225 3852