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Library Guides

Researcher Support Library Services: Open Access Journal Articles

Understand the routes to publishing Open Access that will meet your funder, REF and university Open Access policies throughout the development of your paper.  Consider whether your publisher's copyright policy complies with funder policies.  Library Agreements with publishers increasingly offer the Gold route to non-funded authors.

Open Access options for articles explained

Gold Open Access means immediate OA on the publisher's website following payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher.  Gold papers are immediately accessible to all readers and not behind a paywall.  Gold papers should also be published under a CC-BY Creative Commons open licence allowing for liberal re-use of the work, without seeking permissions, which can increase efficiencies in development of future research.  Authors retain copyright and attribution rights.  

UoP receives a limited allocation of APC funding from UKRI for grant holders only.  When this pot is spent, Green is usually a viable option to satisfy funder requirements.

For non-funded research, the university is investigating Read & Publish deals combining the subscription element of journal access with the publication charge.  Our current agreements can be found below. For 2022, there is also a small amount of money for ECRs/PGRs for specific publishers.

As per the University's Open Access policy, all publications (green or gold) should be deposited in Pearl.

Apply for UKRI APC funding

From 1 April 2022, UKRI have introduced criteria as to which journals are eligible for compliant use of the Block Grant to pay APCs. Check if your journal is eligible for the URKI Block Grant payment of APCs

Read & Publish agreements

ECR and PGR Gold route for Frontiers and MDPI

Creative Commons and copyright for authors 

Deposit your Gold article to Pearl via Pure

Green Open Access usually refers to an author publishing in a paywalled (subscription) journal in the traditional way.  The publisher's version is not openly available.  Instead, the Accepted Manuscript (the version of work accepted for publication, having gone through peer review but not yet typeset/formatted by the publisher) is deposited in an Institutional Repository.  The Library will check for any publisher embargo periods.  After the embargo has elapsed, this version is then openly accessible to all and discoverable via various harvesting tools.

The Green route to Open Access is a requirement of the REF policy with a further caveat that manuscripts should be deposited within 90 days of acceptance (this is often prior to early online publication).

The policy landscape is changing and current publisher embargo periods may not be compliant as Green routes in future.

Deposit your manuscript to Pearl via Pure

Copyright Transfer Agreements and publisher sharing policies

Are you permitted to share your work via the Green route?  Is your publisher adapting to the new funder Open Access policies on immediate OA and author rights retention? 

Check your publisher's Green open access policy

Discovery of your Green Open Access outputs

More people will discover your Open Access outputs, even the green ones with an increasing array of Open Access finder browser extension tools and and new database functionality to identify repository versions during the course of a typical literature search:

Promoting & discovering OA outputs

The Library is actively pursuing new business models for access to journal subscriptions that include a publishing element to these agreements.  These new deals have been developed by publishers in conjunction with, and in response to, funder requirements that journals should move away from paywalls and become more open.  This potentially opens up routes to Gold for non-funded authors.

In addition, for 2022, there is a small amount of funding available for PGRs and ECRs to use with specific publishers.

Read & Publish agreements

ECR and PGR Gold route for Frontiers and MDPI

 Current funder policies on Open Access and guidance for UoP grant holders:


UKRI     Wellcome     EU     NIHR

[Contact the Library if you are funded but your funder is not listed here

Open Access is changing...


Plan S banner



Plan S is an initiative for open-access publishing launched in 2018 by 'cOAlition S', a consortium of national research agencies and funders. To find out more about how Plan S will affect open access publishing for Plymouth researchers over the next few years, view our guidance on Plan S & Funder Policies.

One of the exciting new routes to OA that Plan S is helping to facilitate is through transformative agreements (also known as Read & Publish agreements), through which researchers at participating institutions can publish Gold OA at no extra cost to themselves. Find out more about these agreements:

Read & Publish agreements