Open Access Publishing and Research

  • Open Access (OA) is all about giving free, unrestricted online access to the outputs of publicly funded research so that they are openly available to the public, industry, indeed anyone who is interested throughout the world. Open Access material can be in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, and increasingly, theses, books, and research data. If a journal article or other research output is Open Access it means that, by the consent of the author or copyright-holder, it can be freely accessed by anyone in the world using an internet connection. 

    At Oxford Brookes we have an Open Access policy (internal access only) which generally supports Open Access publication for all research outputs and we make our Open Access research available through our institutional repository, which is called RADAR (Research Archive and Digital Assets Repository).

  • Here are some steps to take to publish your research as Open Access:

    1. Choose a journal, conference proceeding, or publisher that allows Open Access publishing before submitting the research output for their consideration. If you would like help identifying an Open Access publication or publisher please contact Scholarly Communications at
    Please note that there are two main routes for Open Access publishing: 

    • Green: this means depositing the final peer-reviewed version of the research output in a institutional or national repository such as RADAR which can then usually be accessed by the public after a specified embargo period. This route is generally free for the author(s).
    • Gold: this means allowing the public immediate free access to the publisher's version of the output. Publishers recoup their costs through a number of mechanisms, but mostly through the author(s) paying an Article Processing Charge (APC). If you want to apply for funding from Oxford Brookes to pay for an APC, please follow the procedure described on the Open Access Fee Requests page.

    2. Add the details of the research output to the CRIS (Current Research Information System - also known as 'Converis') and also upload the version of your manuscript that was accepted for publication by the publisher after peer-review (sometimes known as the 'accepted manuscript' or 'postprint') and evidence of the acceptance date (e.g. an email from publishers that states full acceptance and includes a date the email was received). To help you with this we have made step-by-step and videos guides on How to add outputs to Converis for REF 2021.

    3. The Scholarly Communications Team will then:

    • Check the record on the CRIS for accuracy and add or request any further information.
    • Check with the copyright permissions database SHERPA and/or the journal or publisher's website for the Open Access allowance (e.g. the length of embargo that should be applied).
    • Add the Open Access version of the research output to RADAR and make it publicly available (while respecting any embargo that may apply).

    If you have any questions please contact Scholarly Communications at

    Below are some key points from HEFCE's  Policy for open access in Research Excellence Framework 2021:

    • Journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN number that were accepted for publication after April 1st 2016 must be published as Open Access to be included in REF 2021. 
    • The acceptance date is what matters, not the publication date. The acceptance date is "as given in the acceptance letter or email" from the publisher.
    • Relevant outputs must be deposited in an institutional repository (for Oxford Brookes staff, this will normally be RADAR) as soon as possible after acceptance and in any case no longer than three months after the acceptance date*.
    • The version of the output that must be deposited is the "author's accepted and final peer-reviewed text" (sometimes known as the 'accepted manuscript' or 'postprint'). Please note that a version of the output that is provisionally accepted before peer review is not considered as the accepted manuscript.
    • Any outputs that should meet the Open Access requirements but fail to do so will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in REF 2021.

    * Hefce will not be enforcing the requirement of deposit within 3 months of acceptance until April 1st 2018, though the deposit will still need to be within 3 months of the publication date until that time.


    Research funders increasingly require that the publications that come from the research they fund are published as Open Access:

    Researchers can use the SHERPA/FACT (Funders & Authors Compliance Tool) to check if a journal that they want to publish in complies with research funders' requirements.

    Not sure which journal to publish in? Contact Scholarly Communications at