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Open Access & Institutional Repository: About Open Access

About OA

Open Access (OA) means freely available to read (and reuse) by anyone with internet access​.

Making your journal articles available open access ensures that your work reaches the widest possible audience, and that it can be used and shared easily.

We have an Open Access Jargon Buster to help with some of the terms.

Please contact us if you have any questions:

Why publish your journal articles 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. 

  • 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 open access and 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.

  • REF 2029 open access requirements will be published in 2024.
    • UKRI open access compliant publications will be considered to meet the REF 2029 open access requirements without additional action from the author and/or institution.
    • Until new policies come into force, institutions should continue to follow REF 2021 open access policies: 
      • Authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (journal articles and conference proceedings) must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. 

Check your journal

Use our journal search tool to check if you can publish open access in your chosen journal without paying an Article Processing Charge (APC).

These publisher open access agreements are open to University of Southampton corresponding authors (visitors are not included)

  • Your University of Southampton affiliation must be stated in the published article
  • Use your email address
  • Search will find word match in title, publisher, or subject area (if provided by publisher)
  • Truncation/Wildcard symbol (*) can be used to search, for example, chem* will find over 200 included journals while chem on its own will only find 5 included journals
  • Please contact us if you have any questions:


We are proud to be the first UK institution to partner with SciFree, enabling you to check if a specific journal is included in a publisher agreement that offers open access publishing at no cost to the author.

Open Access options

You can make your work Open Access without paying a charge. The University of Southampton supports self-archiving, also known as repository (or green) open access. Your funder may have an open access policy with specific requirements.

Repository Open Access

You publish in a subscription journal and self-archive the Accepted Manuscript version of your article in Pure.  The Accepted Manuscript is the version incorporating changes from peer review but without the final publisher layout). Publishers may require an embargo meaning that your article is not immediately open access from our institutional repository, ePrints Soton (this does not apply if you have retained the rights to your Accepted Manuscript).

Please create a Pure record for your article even if you have published open access in the journal. The Pure record feeds your University publications page and our institutional repository

Publisher Open Access 

Your article is made open access on the journal website as soon as it is published with a Creative Commons licence..

Some journals are fully open access, and others contain a mix of open access and subscription articles - these are known as 'hybrid' journals. There is frequently a cost for publisher open access known as an Article Processing Charge (APC). Some fully open access journals do not charge a fee to publish – these are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)​​.

The University of Southampton does not have a central fund for open access, but we do hold block grants for articles in fully open access journals acknowledging UKRI, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK funding providing the cost is fair and reasonable. Please note any charge which costs more than £5,000 including VAT will require a University Financial Regulation Waiver.

We have Transformative Agreements for no-cost-to-the-author publisher open access, regardless of funder. Check if your chosen journal is included using our journal search tool.


Applying an Open Access Licence to your work

Creative Commons provides a suite of six open licences that provide a simple, standardised way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic work, ensuring proper attribution and making it clear how others may copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

If you are publishing a journal article, your funder may require a CC BY licence if the article is open access in the journal.

CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution licence)

This license allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. Attribution is given for a journal article by citing it as you normally would.

Find out more in our Creative Commons guide.


There are other licences available such as Publishers' own licences, the Open Government Licence or the University's Licences.

The University of Southampton has two licences, one for Thesis publication and the other for Accepted Manuscripts. The Accepted Manuscript licence is applied to articles that are not publisher open access or subject to a funder mandate.


Contact Us

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