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Open access publishing

What is open access?

Open access publishing means making your paper available to everyone in the world to download for free.

Open access publishing models

There are two main open access models:

1. Self-archiving ("green", University of Cambridge preferred)

  • Deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts in an OA repository
  • Publishers often set embargo (fixed period of time before the article can be made freely available e.g. 18 months)

2. Pay to publish ("gold")

  • Free access to final published versions of articles, immediately on publication
  • Publisher requires payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC)

Why do I have to make my paper open access?

Journal articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in a suitable Open Access repository within three months of acceptance, in order to be eligible for the next REF. Please read this short and very concise presentation on Open Access and REF 2021 to find out how you should do this as a University of Cambridge author.

How do I make my paper open access?

Upload your accepted manuscript to the University repository, Apollo, via Symplectic. The Open Access team (based at Cambridge University Library) will advise you how to make your paper open access, so that you comply with the relevant publisher journal and funder open access requirements.

They might be able to arrange payment of APCs for Research England and COAF (including the Wellcome Trust) funded papers from a block grant.

They will also deposit your paper in the University's institutional repository, Apollo, (or one that your funder specifies) and will give you a DOI for it.

Can I use the Royal Society of Chemistry's Gold for Gold scheme?

This scheme ended in 2016. 

Where can I find out more about open access publishing in Cambridge?

The University's Open Access website provides further guidance on making your papers open access.

The Scholarly Communication website provides information about open access including individual research funders' open access policies and fees.

Members of staff from the University's Office of Scholarly Communication gave a presentation on 'Sharing your research' (covering both open access and open data) on 19th April 2016.

See also the Chemistry Library Blog posts on open access and Chemistry Library Twitter account for the latest news on open access in Cambridge and beyond.

Open Research at the University

The University of Cambridge Open Research Position Statement summarises the University’s approach to Open Research. It sets out key principles for the conduct and support of Open Research at the University. The Statement can be found here: https://osc.cam.ac.uk/open-research/open-research-position-statement.