Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open access refers to the provision of free, immediate, online access to research, which is also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

For those who wish to explore the concept, a good introduction is provided by Peter Suber.

In the image below are the main benefits of open access publishing, which are the results of making your research available to a wider audience.

Open Access Benefits

Routes to Open Access

There are 2 routes for authors to publish their work as open access:


  • Author publishes in open access journals, hybrid journals, open access books


  • Author deposits a copy of their article (usually the author accepted manuscript or post-print) in an institutional or subject repository (e.g. WIRE)

More information on how to publish gold open access

More information on how to publish green open access

Your funder may also have specific open access requirements. Check Sherpa Juliet for details of funders’ conditions for open access publication.

Funded researchers can apply for payment of gold open access charges.

You can check the Directory of Open access Journals to see if a journal is open access.

Open Access policies

The University of Wolverhampton’s commitment to OA is outlined in its Open Access Publications Policy. The policy also details open access requirements for complying with REF21.

Funder Open access policies

Many funders require funded published outputs to be made open access. A number of individual funder requirements can be found below. Remember to check the terms and conditions of your grant to make sure you are complying with your funder’s OA policy.

Research Councils (UKRI)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Science and Technology facilities Council (STFC)

EU Horizon 2020

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Wellcome Trust

More funder OA requirements can be found on Sherpa Juliet

Copyright and licenses

Open access content is made available under various copyright licences, which define how material can be used, shared and adapted. Licences may be determined by authors, publishers or funders.

Most open access publications are made available through Creative Commons licences. There are six main licences which specify the conditions for sharing, using and adapting works, details of which can be found on the Creative Commons website.

You can check publishers’ open access conditions, including licences, on Sherpa Romeo or on the websites of individual journals.

Your funder may have specific licensing requirements which will need to be applied when you share your research outputs. Check your funder’s licensing requirements on Sherpa Juliet.

Supporting open access

As part of our commitment to supporting a transition to an environment where immediate open access is the norm for research publications, the University Library has memberships in the following schemes that increase the number of open access publications:

Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals is an independent index of open access journals. Inclusion in the directory requires that journals and their publishers meet a set of principles of transparency and best practice, meaning that titles in the directory are working towards a common goal. The directory covers journals of all disciplines.

The financial support of the University Library contributes to the continued operation of the directory, but also allows the directory to expand, through provision of greater support to applying publishers and journals.

Wolverhampton Law Journal is listed in the DOAJ and editor Dr Metka Potocnik talks about the process in a blogpost from Open Access Week 2020.

Open Book Publishers

Open Book Publishers publish open access monographs at no cost to authors, as costs are met by community support through subscriptions and sales. They will take submissions from any discipline but particularly Humanities and Open Sciences.

The sponsorship of the University Library contributes to the publication of up to 40 open monographs, edited collections, textbooks and critical translations per year.

As an added benefit, staff and students of the University can access all electronic formats of monographs published by OBP, and can get discounts on printed versions of the monographs.

Further information and Support

For further information and support with open access, please contact the Scholarly Communications Team:

We can offer one-to-one support to assist with any open access needs.  To book an appointment contact us at the e-mail address above.