The last couple of years have seen many changes in open access possibilities at the University, for Open Access week, I will give you a round up of the options that may be open to you.  Throughout the post, there are links to sources of further information.

The University has an institutional repository called WestminsterResearch.  Outputs can be added by all researchers through the Virtual Research Environment (VRE).  It aims to be a showcase of research outputs from the University, with as many as possible being made openly available, removing the cost barrier for many.

We make outputs openly available through open access in two ways, either they are published under gold open access by the publisher, usually under a Creative Commons licence.  Or, they are published in the normal way by publishers who charge their readers to access them, but we then archive an earlier version, known as the accepted author manuscript.  This is the version after any changes based on peer-review, but before it is formatted for final publication.  The green option is available for many journal articles and some book chapters.

Green Open Access

If you haven’t used the VRE to add your outputs before, there is a quick start guide available.  In order to benefit from open access simply create an output record in the VRE and attach a copy of the accepted author manuscript for journal articles and book chapters.  For journal articles, this should be done within 3 months of acceptance and attach a copy of the accepted author manuscript (AAM).  The repository team will check publisher policies, and apply any required embargo, before making the record live in WestminsterResearch.

Gold Open Access

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Gold open access is often referred to as the ‘author pays’ model of publishing (rather than the traditional ‘reader pays’), but in actual fact there are many gold journals that do not make a charge. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a listing of reputable gold open access journals, and details whether or not they make an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the author.

Transformative / Transitional Agreements

Some publishers are working with universities and other producers of research to change the publishing model.  One way they may do this is through a transformative agreement.  The agreements we can benefit from at Westminster fall into two categories:

  1. Discounted APCs in return for the subscription the library pays to access their content.
  • Taylor & Francis, currently offer a 75% discount (you would still need to apply for APC funding, see below, to pay the remaining 25%).
  1. Read and publish deals, which mean we can access and read their content, as well as publish through gold open access in return for a single subscription cost. Link through to see which titles are included and how to access. You do not need to apply through the University.
  • Sage (including IMechE Journal Collection and the Royal Society of Medicine Collection)
  • Springer Compact (a limited number of titles – see link)
  • Wiley (currently only available for reseaech funded by UKRI, Blood Cancer UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, Versus Arthritis, or the Wellcome Trust, but open to all from 1 January 2021)

Paying for Gold Open Access to Journal Articles

The University has a limited Article Processing Charge (APC) Application Fund to pay Open Access costs for journal articles. All applications are subject to the approval of the College Research Director and budget constraints, as the fund is very limited.

The Institutional APC Fund’s primary aim is to enable academic freedom to publish in the context of ensuring wide readership and impact for research. If the most appropriate place to publish is a gold, fully open access journal, then the fund will enable this

Please email us at repository@westminster.ac.uk for help or further information.

Nina Watts
Repository and Open Access Manager

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