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Open Access FAQs

1. How did the concept of Open Access come about?

  • Researchers publish research in subscription-based journals. Publishers charge expensive, often prohibitively so, subscription charges for institutions to access these journals. There are many institutions in the UK and around the world that cannot afford or are struggling to keep up with institutional subscription charges.

  • Obtaining rights to re-use and build on research is often made more difficult by confusing and varying publisher policies.

  • A significant proportion of research can trace funding back to the public, yet the public are often priced out of accessing research outputs.

  • Open Access principles seek to respect the role of publishers in disseminating research whilst making outputs more accessible, searchable and re-usable.

2. Open Access is just for REF, so I don't have to worry if my output isn't being submitted to REF, right? 

  • Incorrect! The Open Access Policy of the University has been in place since 2014 and requires researchers to comply with OA requirements irrespective of REF submissions.

3. What is the difference between Green and Gold OA?

  • Green OA is free of charge. The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) must be added to Pure within 3 months of the accepted date. The AAM will usually be embargoed for a certain period of time as dictated by the publisher before being made publically available via Pure. That way the publisher can make money from their subscription charges, but the public should still be able to access the article content for free via the AAM after the embargo period ends.

  • Gold OA usually involves paying the publisher an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make the article open and accessible to everyone immediately upon publication. Occasionally APCs will be discounted or waived by publishers where the University has a deal in place. Check on the right-hand side of this guide for the latest deals and discounts. APC charges vary by journal and can range from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds per article. A small minority of journals do not charge any APCs for Gold OA because they over their costs in other ways.

4. I would like some guidance on how to add my research outputs to Pure so I can make sure they are OA compliant. How do I access this guidance?

5. How will being OA compliant help me?

  • Researchers are busy, but there is evidence that OA publications, both Gold and Green, improve citation rates by a significant amount. This is due to not needing journal subscriptions to access articles. Increased citations help boost your H-index.

  • You will be complying with University policy. 

  • OA is a requirement of many funders. Even if you are not currently being funded by a grant, showing previous compliance when applying for new grants is desirable.

6. OA costs money, and I don't have any. What do I do?

  • Incorrect! Being OA compliant is most often free of charge (Green OA), although there are paid options (Gold OA). Publisher statements can be confusing in this regard. Some publisher websites seem to suggest that the only way to be OA compliant is to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). This is because publishers are businesses that want to maximise their income from APCs. Most publishers support Green OA, which involves the author depositing the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) into a University repository (such as Pure) within 3 months of acceptance.
  • It can take some digging to find out what publisher policies are regarding free of charge Green OA. Because it is a free of charge option, it is not usually as prominent on publisher websites. A useful service that aggregates thousands of publisher policies is SHERPA Romeo. Anyone can search SHERPA Romeo by journal name, keyword or ISSN to find what the journal publsihing policies are. For any questions about using SHERPA Romeo or about a specific publisher, please contact the Pure Research Outputs Team via
  • Free Gold OA: Gold OA often requires payment of an APC, but there are options to publish Gold OA for free:
    • The University currently has deals with 9 major publishers comprising approximately 9000 journals where our academics can publish Gold OA for free if they meet the criteria. Click to view the list of publishers, journals and criteria.
    • Some journals are able to offer Gold OA for free because they cover their costs in a different way. For example, the journal may be attached to a scholarly society or may be attached to a university that covers their costs. These journals are rare, however you can contact to see if there are any in your field.
    • Some journals offer APC waivers in certain circumstances. This should always be discussed with the journal before submission.
  • Other options: 
    • Your School may be able to pay APCs for Gold OA articles, however this should always be discussed with your School's Associate Dean of Research, Innovation and Knoweldge Exchange before submission. Otherwise you may be invoiced for an APC with no way to pay. 
    • If you are a UKRI funded staff member/student/KTP Associate and you are publishing UKRI-related research in a journal, there are very specific criteria that must be met. View this page for more information and to apply to the University of Huddersfield UKRI OA Block Grant, which can be used to pay for the APCs of UKRI-funded research. 

7. Does OA apply to all my research outputs?

  • Currently the University OA policy only applies to journal articles, review articles and conference articles published with an ISSN, unless you are subject to the terms of a funded grant. However, the policy also states that academics should add all other types of research output to Pure as soon as possible after acceptance.

8. What about books and book chapters?

  • It is possible to publish books and book chapters OA with some publishers. This is not required by the University currently, but you may wish to investigate OA options when publishing as it is one of the ways the University can show a commitment to Open Research principles. If your book or book chapter is the result of UKRI funding, please see the new UKRI OA Policy page.

9. I am having trouble uploading my Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to Pure. Who do I contact?

  • Contact the Pure Research Outputs Team in Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange via

10. I am having trouble accessing Pure. Why is this?

  • Pure must be accessed via Parallels (Staff UniDesktop), a VPN connection, or on campus due to data protection.

11. The corresponding author of my article is overseas or at another UK institution. How do I get a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)?

  • Please email the corresponding author and ask for the AAM. This should be a Word document or pdf with the final text after all changes have been made as a result of peer review, but before publisher typesetting. As you have three months from the date of acceptance, this should be long enough to receive a response.

12. What are Creative Commons licenses and which one do I need to choose?

  • There are 6 types of CC license. The University has a preference for CC BY, but this is not a requirement (unless you hold a grant from certain funders such as UKRI). The decision on which one to choose must be made by all co-authors to decide what is the most appropriate for the research. CC BY is the most open of the 6 options. CC BY-NC-ND is the most restrictive. Most publishers will only offer 1 or 2 of the 6 options. You can read more about the CC license types here (scroll down the page after clicking on the link), but if you need advice on which one to choose for your publisher agreement, or you would like to find a journal that offers a specific CC license, please contact the Open Access Manager in Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange via or contact us on Microsoft Teams: 01484 256 796. 
  • Funders have their own OA policies so it is important to check what any applicable funder policies are regarding license types before agreeing anything with the publisher. For example, UKRI requires a CC BY license if the University's OA Block Grant is being used to pay the APCs. If you would like to discuss funder OA policies and compliance, please contact the Open Access Manager in Research and Enterprise via or contact us on Microsoft Teams: 01484 256 796.

13. There are research outputs on my Pure profile that I did not add...where did they come from? Does that mean I am not responsible for adding my outputs to Pure?

  • Pure is connected to Scopus. Sometimes Scopus will alert us to relevent outputs that are not in Pure and we can import them. 
  • The University is not in control of the algorithm Scopus uses to identify outputs. The algorithm may identify outputs too late for Open Access compliance. Also, not every output will be indexed in Scopus.
  • This is why the University's Open Access policy states that academics are responsible for adding their own outputs to Pure as soon as possible after acceptance.


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