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Open Access at Cardiff


What is Open Access?

Open Access enables scholarly work to be made available free of charge to anyone with access to the Internet to read and re-use.  

There are two main models for Open Access publication, known as Gold and Green. For further information see: What is the difference between Green Open Access and Gold Open Access?

For briefing documents and videos which describe Open Access in more detail, see the external links section.





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Cardiff University's Open Access Publications Policy

Cardiff University has now ratified a policy to guide researchers and students on our approach to Open Access. The policy is available in English and Welsh.

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

Jisc video - How is Open Access important to UK economy and society?

  • Compliance with funder mandates

RCUK and other funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust require their grant holders to ensure that all outputs from their grants are made OA.  RCUK, the Wellcome Trust and and the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) have made funds available to Cardiff University to pay for some Gold and Hybrid OA publishing - see How do I make my research Open Access? for details.  

HEFCE requires that all journal articles and conference papers submitted to the post-2014 REF be Open Access - see HEFCE policy on Open Access for details. 

The European Commission requires OA for Horizon 2020 funded outputs.

  • Increased readership

Maximising access to your research increases its visibility and readership. 

  • Acceleration of research and increased impact

The more people view your work the higher the impact, both within the research community and on society as a whole. 

  • Increased citations

Making your work freely available can increase citations and improve the speed at which your work is cited. 

  • Value for publicly funded research, maximising the scope for innovation and growth

The Finch Report concluded that "the principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable" - view The Finch Report (opens as PDF).

For further information on the benefits of open access, see the RLUK and SCONUL briefing (PDF).  



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HEFCE policy on Open Access

HEFCE mandates that for the post-2014 REF, all submitted journal articles and conference papers accepted for publication 1 April 2016 onwards should be Open Access. The full policy can be viewed on HEFCE's website. Where a higher education institution (HEI) can demonstrate that it has taken steps towards enabling Open Access for outputs outside the scope of this definition, credit will be given in the research environment component of the post-2014 REF. Therefore, Cardiff University strongly encourages authors to comply as soon as possible.

In order to comply, authors are required to upload the post-prints of their papers to ORCA, our institutional repository, within three months of acceptance, as well as make their outputs Open Access via the Green or the Gold route. Funding for Gold Open Access is currently available for any RCUK, Wellcome Trust or Charity Open Access Fund funded research outputs. See the REF section of our Open Access decision chart for step by step advice. Alternatively, further information is available in the following guides: 



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How do I make my work Open Access?

Open Access decision chart

Gold/Hybrid route

If you are RCUK, Wellcome Trust or COAF funded and wish to publish via the Gold or Hybrid route, central funds are available to pay the APC (Article Processing Charge). For information on how to access these funds, please see our FAQ.

If the publication arises from another grant funder, then check their Open Access policies – they may provide funding for Gold Open Access payments.

The University has entered agreements with a number of publishers to benefit from discounted APC’s (Article Processing Charges). For further information, see the following document:



Green route

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 Open Access guides / journal Open Access policies by subject

Cardiff University has prepared a number of resources and guides (accessible only to Cardiff University members) to assist researchers in making their work available in an OA format.


Cardiff University members can also view Open Access and Self-Archiving Journal Guides by subject.

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University contacts for further information

  • Please contact the Open Access Team for further advice and guidance via or 029 2087 0965
  • 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

Open Access Explained!: video from

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

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