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Open Access & Institutional Repository: Introduction

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New UKRI Open Access Policy

The new UKRI Open Access Policy was announced on 6 August 2021. The policy applies to:

  • peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024

We have written a new introductory guide to help answer any questions, available from our Training for Researchers page.

We will share further guidance closer to the start of the policy, please contact if you have any questions.

Please note this is not the announcement of the next "future national research assessment exercise" (Research Excellence Framework, REF) open access policy. However, UKRI have made it clear that compliance with their overall open access policy will also ensure compliance for the next REF. 

Applying for Article Processing Charges (APCs) - UKRI & COAF

If you are funded by a UKRI Council (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) you can apply for your Open Access charges to be paid out of a block grant. We will not pay for any extra publication charges. Apply at the point of article submission to allow eligibility to be checked and funds allocated prior to costs being incurred.

From 27th November 2020, the Library will no longer approve applications to access funds to pay for publishing in hybrid journals (journals containing both open access and subscription content), unless they are covered by a ‘no additional cost’ transformative agreement with the publisher. We will continue to approve applications from UKRI funded authors to publish in fully open access ('gold') journals.

APC Application Form

Transformative Agreements: no cost to the author

Our transformative agreements and open access memberships provide open access at no cost to the author. 

Transformative agreements & memberships

  • Transformative agreements (TAs) are a way for publishers to transition their subscription journals to full open access. The costs of open access are part of an overall University of Southampton payment covering both subscriptions and open access publishing. The open access charges are part of the agreement: there is no additional open access cost when a paper is published.
  • Open access memberships and deals cover publishing costs in fully open access journals.

Please note that we do not have a central institutional fund for open access payments that fall outside of these deals; the University of Southampton supports open access via self-archiving your Accepted Manuscript in Pure.

In addition to these deals, we have discounts with the following publishers:

UKRI, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK funded corresponding authors are eligible for a 10% discount: please apply using our APC Application Form and we will cover the cost of the open access charge from the respective block grant.

We are no longer able to facilitate payments from self-funders via this agreement because approvals are binding and we are unable to ensure self-funders have sufficient funds to cover the costs

This is a Jisc agreement covering articles accepted after 10/11/20. End date: November 2022.

Authors associated with the University of Southampton receive 10% discount on APCs if they do not have a discount from another source.

University of Southampton corresponding authors are eligible for a 20% discount on the open access cost (APC) for SAGE fully open access journals.

Our Transformative Agreements page lists details of open access at no cost to the author in SAGE hybrid journals (those with a mix of subscription and open access content).

Applies to articles accepted for publication by 31/12/2022.

Please contact with any open access enquiries.

How can I find Open Access Material

Unpaywall, OA Button and CORE Discovery (in beta) are all Chrome and Firefox extensions that find legal open access copies of individual articles from both publishers and repositories. You can also paste an article DOI (the unique article identifier) into the OA Button and CORE Discovery search bars. Open Access Helper works the same way for iOS and Safari. Test them out with this article: (the article DOI is 10.1038/s41559-016-0002)

LibKey Nomad: part of our BrowZine subscription, LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that integrates with Wikipedia, publisher websites and PubMed to give you easy access to the full text of journal articles. If we do not have a subscription, LibKey Nomad uses data from Unpaywall to search for legal open access copies.

EndNote Click formerly Kopernio: a Chrome extension that finds articles from our library subscriptions and open access versions.

Google: if you find an article that is behind a paywall, try copy & pasting the article title into a search engine. If there is a copy in a repository it will often display on the first page of search results. 

Can’t find what you need?: if you can’t find a legal open access version, use the library interlibrary loan service and we will source a copy, often within 24 hours. Please do not spend your own money, or grant money, on journal articles

Articles can be made open access (OA) on the journal website (gold OA) or via institutional and subject repositories (green OA, often involving an embargo set by the journal publisher). Find out more about how to make your own work open access at

Both Scopus and Web of Science have a filter to select only Open Access articles. They predominantly display articles that are gold OA, not the many thousands of articles that are green OA via repositories and preprint servers. 

See this helpful blog post from the University of Southampton Digital Learning Team for further suggestions for finding copyright-free images.

Contact Us

For help or advice with any Open Access or institutional repository (ePrints Soton) query:


Journal article versions

Diagram showing that the submitted and accepted manuscript versions of an article are author owned, and the proof and final version of record are publisher owned

Created by the Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries, available under a CC BY licence 

Covid-19 Research

Coronavirus (Image by Felipe Esquivel-Reed, CC-BY-SA)

The University, UKRI, as well as multiple funders and all leading publishers have signed Wellcome's statement on 'Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' which follows the WHO recommendations for sharing research in public health emergencies.

University authors who are conducting research related to Covid-19 are required to:

  • make their research paper available as a pre-print including a clear data statement
  • share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible - including with public health and research communities and the WHO

This means that the interim results underlying papers should be made available but also the final, complete dataset once the project is finished is deposited.

The University's recommendation is that the pre-prints and data are best deposited in disciplinary relevant repositories in preference to ePrints Soton in order to maximise their exposure. The main pre-print servers for health, medicine and the bio sciences include medRxiv, SSRN and bioRxiv. ASAPbio maintain a list of reputable pre-print servers covering all disciples. Relevant subject data repositories can be found by searching

Accepted manuscripts and catalogue records for the datasets held elsewhere should still be deposited in our own institutional repository via Pure.

Researchers should not feel concerned about pre-prints counting as prior publication. All the leading scientific publishers have signed the statement to agree "that data or preprints shared ahead of submission will not preempt its publication in these journals".

Why Should I Make My Research Open Access?

  • Open Access makes your research available to far more people than a subscription-only journal article does. This increases the potential for people to find, access, use and cite your work. There is evidence that this can lead to an increase in citations of your work.

  • Open Access increases the potential for the public to engage with research, which is often paid for out of tax payer's money.

  • Your funding body may have a mandate which requires you to make your research available in an Open Access source.

  • The University of Southampton has a Open Access Policy which requires you to upload a version of your article into our institutional repository where possible.

  • REF2021 policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the REF2021, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (journal articles and conference proceedings) must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. This policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, and is expected to continue for the REF-after-REF2021.
  • Both publicity and manuscript embargoes can be handled in Pure without conflict between REF requirements and publishers’ restrictions, for more information see the box called, 'Dealing with press and publicity restrictions' at