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Open Access at Cardiff

 What is Open Access?

Open Access is an alternative publishing model that enables peer reviewed articles to be freely available for anyone with access to the Internet to read, rather than limiting readership to subscribers only.  

It is seen as a way of opening up academic research to everyone to read and use.

A number of briefing documents and videos are also available which describe Open Access in more detail - you can find these in the external links section.



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Why should you make your work Open Access (OA)?

The research councils and other funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust are requiring their grant holders to ensure that all outputs from their grants are made OA.  They see advantages to society and the economy as a whole of making work visible to all researchers including those outside academic circles.  RCUK have made funds available to Cardiff University to pay for some Gold and Hybrid OA publishing - see below for details.  

HEFCE has indicated that it will require all outputs submitted to the post-2014 REF to be published on a OA basis.

The European Commission is likely to require OA for Horizon 2020 funded outputs.

OA publishing increases readership of your work.  It widens access to your work and may increase both its impact and citations.

Cardiff University staff members can find more information in this University Town Hall meeting presentation on OA (January 2013):

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HEFCE consultation on Open Access

HEFCE, on behalf of all four UK higher education funding bodies, began a consultation in July 2013 on the role of Open Access (OA) in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

HEFCE has proposed that journal articles and conference proceedings submitted as outputs to the next REF should be OA. As part of this proposal it has laid down its own definition of OA and the OA criteria REF outputs may be measured against.

HEFCE is considering:

  • whether its definition of OA and criteria for OA are appropriate;
  • the effect of publishers’ embargo periods;
  • the role of institutional repositories;
  • licensing requirements;
  • how to treat any exceptions submitted to the REF.

The consultation process is now closed as HEFCE considers the responses to its initial consultation paper. A final policy will be announced in Spring 2014.

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 Support for Open Access at Cardiff

Gold/Hybrid route

Funds from RCUK and the Wellcome Trust to pay for the Gold and Hybrid OA routes are managed by RACDV. The University has taken out membership subscriptions in order to reduce the charge for individual authors. We have discount agreements for the following publishers: BMJ, Inderscience, Royal Society, Sage/Routledge, Taylor & Francis. Further details are in this flyer:


If you are a grant holder, check the conditions of the grant and where applicable apply to RACDV for funds. Remember to consider how to pay for for OA publishing in your grant applications in future.

Green route

Resources and Guides

Cardiff University has prepared a number of resources and guides (accessible only to Cardiff University staff) to assist researchers in making their work available in an OA format - these include Open Access and Self-Archiving Journal Guides by School and a suggested letter template to use when contacting publishers.

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University contacts for further information

  • Please email for more information about the RACDV OA Publishing Fund. 
  • If you would like further advice on ORCA please contact
  • The University's copyright team is available at
  • Your Subject Librarian will also be able to assist you with queries.

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 External Links

Peter Suber's brief introduction to OA publishing and Peter Suber's very brief introduction to OA publishing

Research Information Network Introduction to Open Access

Publishing Your Research: Understanding RCUK's Open Access Policies: video from the publisher Wiley

Open Access Explained!: video from

Society of Biology Authors' guide to UK funders' OA policies

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Resources for Authors

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

OAPEN: publishing platform and library of academic OA books with a focus on the humanities and social sciences

OpenDOAR: directory providing a list of OA repositories from around the world and search screens to search either the contents of all these repositories or to find repositories by country or subject area

SHERPA RoMEO database: lists publishers' policies on OA

SHERPA JULIET database: lists funders' policies on OA

SHERPA FACT database: tool to help researchers check if the journals in which they wish to publish their results comply with their funders' requirements for open access to research.

OAPEN Guide to Creative Commons (CC) Licensing for Humanities and Social Science Monograph Authors: includes FAQs

Open Access Directive issued by the White House in the US