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Open Access

The benefits of Open Access

Benefits for researchers

  • If more people can read your work, they are more likely to cite it (information on how Open Access affects citations can be found here).
  • Most research funders require outputs arising from research they fund be made available on an Open Access basis.
  • More people having access to your research, means more opportunities to form new research collaborations.
  • Greater control over what you and other people can do with your own research outputs (subscription-based publishing often requires you to sign away all copyright in your outputs, limiting what you can do with them).

Benefits for readers and wider society

  • Those outside of academia have greater access to research such as practitioners, policy makers, charities, small businesses and independent researchers. 
  • Smaller institutions and institutions in developing countries have access to research that they otherwise would not have been able to afford.  For some example case studies on how access to research has directly benefited institutions and projects in developing countries click here
  • Ensuring that those who actually provide the money for publicly-funded research (i.e. tax-payers) have access to the outputs they have funded.
  • To put this into context, if you are not a member of an institution that is able to pay subscription charges, to purchase a single journal article will usually cost around $30.

Benefits for the university

  • Greater public visibility of the breadth of research being undertaken at the university.
  • Greater accessibility of research could potentially attract new research students, or help kick-start new collaborations.