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Open Access: a guide for researchers

Routes into Open Access

A guide for Academics interested in Open Access and identifying how to make their research available via Open Access

Submitting your paper to Open Access

Green Open Access

  1. Submit your paper to a subscription based journal
  2. The paper goes through the peer review & acceptance procedure
  3. Upload the paper to a Open Access Repository (e.g. Maynooth University Institutional Repository (MURAL))
  4. The Repository will make the necessary copyright checks
  5. The article will be freely available to anybody searching the repository and via Google searches

Gold Open Access

  1. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists Gold Open Access Journals
  2. Select a Journal and submit your article for acceptance & peer review
  3. If accepted you may be asked to pay a Article Processing Charge (APC)
  4. The article will be made freely available on the journals website

Pre- Registration of Research

When you preregister your research, you're simply specifying your research plan in advance of your study and submitting it to a registry.

Types of Open Access

Green Open Access- (self-archiving) as soon as is practical after publication, the author deposits a pre-print (pre- peer review), or the actual published article, in an institutional repository to be freely used by anyone. Green Journal Publishers  are those which allow self-archiving. The author can also self-archive other material such as a peer reviewed conference paper or monographs.

Gold Open Access- The author or the authors institution pay a fee (Article Processing Charge) to the publisher when their paper is accepted for publication. The article is then available free to those accessing the Gold OA Journal. Some Gold OA Journals do not carry author fees for example "The Public Library of Science" (PLOS).

There are also Hybrid OA Journals which provide Gold OA to those authors who pay a fee to publish on the Journals website.

Toll Access- The author submits their paper to a publication and the publisher makes the article available for a fee through their website or via a academic database.

Bronze Open Access- Free to read on the publisher’s webpage but without a license permitting free re-use of content

The most common form of OA seems to be ‘bronze’. This may have implications for research; the lack of a license permitting the free re-use of an article’s contents can substantially restrict the impact of the data therein, for example by preventing other groups from conducting further analyses.

For more check out this recent article in Nature:

‘Bronze’ open access supersedes green and gold: Publishers can deny access to the majority of open-access articles at their discretion.

Registered Reports

Registered Reports: Peer review before results are known to align scientific values and practices

Depositing Pre-Prints & Post Prints to a OA Repository

Ideally its best to deposit the Post Print of your paper but this may be restricted by your publisher. You can check the Sherpa/Romeo guide which aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies .


Funding Gold Open Access Publishing

Maynooth University does not currently fund Article Processing Charges (or Book Processing Charges).  You may be able to fund these charges as part of your research grants.

APC's can vary hugely between different publications.

Not all Open Access Journals charge APC's and may be funded by other means.

Some deals have being agreed with publishers to waive APC's on certain titles, details here 

Journal Information Sources (human based, free & open)

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

SciRev (Scientific Review Process)

Responsible Journals (Responsible Editorial Policies)

Transpose (Database of Journal Policies)

FOAA (Fair Open Access Alliance) Breakdown of Publication services & Fees 

Plan S Open Access Policy

Top Factor  A new journal metric is being introduced that will rank academic journals based on their commitment to research transparency and reproducibility, rather than traditionally used citation counts. 

Journal TOC's Scholarly Journal Tables of Contents (including Open Access Journals)