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Library News

Celebrating Open Research - Open Access Week 2019

by Anne Keddie on 2019-10-16T15:49:00+01:00 in Research and Graduate School | Comments

Open Access Week is an annual event to celebrate and share the potential benefits of Open Access and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

Open Research (also known as Open Science) is an umbrella term which describes the culture of sharing research outputs as early as possible in the research process. This is usually achieved by Open Access (OA). The principles are that outputs of the research we fund, including publications, data, software and materials should be accessed and used in ways that maximise benefits to health and society. Open Research can help drive innovation and can support researchers with developing solutions to tackle global challenges such as climate change, poverty, health and wellbeing.

Why Open Access is important

Open Access (OA) means that items of scholarly work are made available online, in a digital format, at no charge to the reader and with limited restrictions on re-use.The OA movement is a worldwide effort to make research available online for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay for access.

  • OA maximises the use of public funds: 

Peer-reviewed research is the product of your time,effort and public funds – at no cost to the publisher. Access is then sold back to you via institutional subscriptions, at great profit to publishers. Unfortunately, these subscriptions rates are increasing and libraries can no longer afford to provide full access. OA ensures that the work you produce is accessible to everyone.

  • Why this matters:

Engaging in open access ensures that you are compliant with funder mandates for open access as well as REF 2021 submissions. Publications submitted to the next REF must be OA. To ensure that your publication is eligible for the next REF, it must be uploaded to the Repository (UBIR) once it has been accepted by the journal.

  • OA maximises research impact:

With no barriers to access, your research is visible to everyone. This maximizes views and downloads and makes it possible for other researchers to quickly learn about and build on your work to make further advances


For the researcher there are 2 routes:

1. Green OA means publishing in any journal and then self-archiving a version of the article (subject to copyright transfer agreement) in an institutional or subject repository. The University of Bolton’s Institutional Repository is known as UBIR:


  • Currently over 1,900 items with two-thirds full-text, including journal articles, conference papers, poster presentations, reports, photographs and book chapters

  • All subject areas of the University of Bolton are represented, and selected student work is also included with the support of supervisors

  • Main outlet for open access at the University of Bolton

Green OA is where the:

  • published work is freely available via an institutional or discipline-specific repository,

  • version of work made available may be pre peer-review (pre-print, draft) or post peer-review (Author Accepted Manuscript or publisher's),

  • version deposited may be subject to a publisher's embargo,

  • article is made OA without payment of an APC

2. Gold OA means publishing in a journal that provides immediate free access to all of its articles on the publisher's website. The publisher usually charges an Article Processing Charge (APC) to authors/institutions/funders. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists Gold Open Access only journals.

Many journals now operate a hybrid model where only some of the articles are freely available to read but a subscription is still required to read the remainder. Hybrid journals will offer the choice of paying an APC in order to provide immediate OA from the publisher's website (Gold OA). Otherwise you can follow the Green route by publishing in the subscription part of the journal - and making your work Open Access through the Repository.


Beware of Predatory Publishers!

Predatory publishers exploit academics by taking money to publish their research online, without regard for quality, peer-review or scholarly standards. To spot a predatory publisher or journal consider the following:

Do your colleagues know the journal?

  • Speak to your colleagues or your Academic Librarian for journals you are unsure about.

    Is the publisher easily contactable?

  • The publisher should have clear, professional contact details including a business and email address

    Is the peer review and editorial process clear?

  • Peer review is crucial for maintaining the quality of journal publications. If the process is unclear or absent, this is a warning sign

    Do you recognise the editorial board? Do they belong to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

  • Are articles indexed in Discover or the databases you use or is the journal listed in our A_Z list of e-journals?


Fees and Payments
  • You should not have to pay upfront fees when you submit your manuscript to a publisher.

  • Is there an Article Processing Charge (APC) to pay if the article is accepted for publication? Many legitimate publishers/ journals do charge an APC.

Open Access (OA) journals
  • Follow the Think, Check and Submit checklist to choose the right journal for your research, or contact your Academic Librarian.


Find out more

These videos provide a great overview of Open Access and the Open Research movement. You can follow Open Access Week events on Twitter using the hashtags #OpenAccessWeek and #OAWeek and keep an eye on the @BoltonUniLib Twitter account too, as we'll be sharing some great Open Access resources across the week. 



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