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There’s an incredible amount of scientific research conducted at universities and institutions around the world. Historically, the findings of this research have been published in scholarly journals. However, access to this research is typically restricted–granted only to those who are granted permission via their university affiliation, or by purchasing access to individual articles. This is fundamentally problematic, for many reasons

  • Governments provide most of the funding for research—hundreds of billions of dollars annually—and public institutions employ a large portion of all researchers.
  • Researchers publish their findings without the expectation of compensation. Unlike other authors, they hand their work over to publishers without payment, in the interest of advancing human knowledge.
  • Through the process of peer review, researchers review each other’s work for free.
  • Once published, those that contributed to the research (from taxpayers to the institutions that supported the research itself) have to pay again to access the findings. Though research is produced as a public good, it isn’t available to the public who paid for it.
Open access publishing is a solution to these problems. Open access literature is defined as “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” The recommendations of the Budapest Open Access Declaration—including the use of liberal licensing (such as CC BY)— is widely recognized in the community as a means to make a work truly open access.


Open access policy

University of Plymouth Open Access Policy

University of Plymouth researchers must create a record for all their University affiliated research outputs and deposit an appropriate version of each publication via their Elements profile. To align with the REF 2021 OA policy, all journal articles and conference papers published between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2018 must be deposited within 90 days of publication and those accepted for publication from 1st April 2018 must be deposited within 90 days of the date of acceptance.

See Library guidance and support for research

Open vs Closed research

Creative Commons

Creative Commons Licensing Explained - Open Educational Resources -  Byrnes-Quanbeck Library at Mayville State University

Search for free content in the public domain and under Creative Commons licenses. Learn more about CC licenses here.