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Open Access

Paths to open access

If you wish to pay an Article Processing Charge to make a journal article available on an open access basis immediately upon publication (Gold open access), you will need to indicate your wish to do so at the point of replying to the acceptance of your work by the publisher. Note that not all publishers offer open access. 

Ask for the invoice to be sent to you, rather than the library. This just means that we're not being inundated with lots of invoices for open access fees that we don't know anything about. Once you have received your invoice, please forward by email the following information to the Repository team:

The library will then arrange for payment of the open access article processing charge (APC). Please note: these funds are available to make work open access and are not intended to pay for other publication charges (e.g. colour and page charges). However, in some circumstances we are able to pay additional publication charges, as long as an open access fee is being paid as well.

We receive block grants in order to pay for articles reporting on research funded by the following groups of funders, with that funding acknowledged in the article itself:

Research Councils UK:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • Medical Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council

Selected members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (i.e. COAF - Charity Open Access Fund):

  • Arthritis Research UK
  • Bloodwise
  • Breast Cancer Now
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Parkinson's UK
  • Wellcome Trust

In order to qualify for these funds you must acknowledge your funder in the acknowledgements section of the paper and the article must be made available under a CC-BY licence.

For those who do not receive external funding or whose funders do not otherwise provide for open access charges, please see the section below.

What if my funder doesn't provide funds for Gold open access?

Many funders now provide funding for Gold OA payments, either through a block grant administered by the library (like RCUK and Wellcome) or as part of the research grant (like NIHR). If your funder does not provide these funds, or your research has no external funder, there is a new Institutional Open Access Fund to pay for article processing charges.

You can apply to the fund at the point of acceptance via the Gold open access payments method above (we cannot use funds to pay for retrospective open access). Before applying, please check with your funder to make sure that they do not already provide funding for open access charges.

In order to qualify for the institutional open access fund, articles must be made available under a CC-BY licence. These funds cannot be used to pay for page and colour charges.

A typical article processing charge is around £1,800 + VAT. You can use this figure as a rough guide if putting an estimate for publishing costs into a grant application. Remember that as the Research Councils and COAF partners provide the university with separate open access funds, you cannot place publication costs into applications to those funders.

Note that there can be a wide variance in article processing charges, from as low as £200 up to £3,000 or more. Generally, fully gold open access journals will charge lower fees than hybrid journals (i.e. those closed access subscription journals that make individual articles open access on payment of a fee).

At the moment the open access monograph market is still in its infancy, and there are currently no "typical" gold open access fees for monographs.

The University of Liverpool is a member of IOP's open access offsetting deal. IOP offsets 90% of our open access payments for articles in subscriptions journals in one year against the cost of our subscription fees for the following year.

While the European Research Council's Framework Programme 7 (FP7) ran until 2013, a recently announced Gold open access pilot scheme means that funding is now available to make outputs from associated research available on an open access basis up to two years from the date of the project ending. To see if your project qualifies for funding, type your FP7 acronym or project name into the search box at the top of the scheme's web page.

This funding is available from OpenAIRE. In order to be eligible for the funding, peer-reviewed research articles or monographs must be available on a Gold open access basis and must have a CC-BY licence where possible.

More detailed information about the scheme is available on the OpenAIRE website.

The university has membership of discount schemes with the following publishers:

  • SpringerOpen - as part of a UK-wide deal, University of Liverpool authors are able to publish open access in Springer subscription journals that offer the Open Choice option without having to pay an APC. When you publish an article with Springer you will be asked if you wish to make the article open access - the library will then be asked to confirm that you are a member of staff and, once that has been verified, Springer will make your work open access. More information is available on the Springer website.
  • BMJ - discount of 25% for authors with a or email address. Once your paper is accepted you'll be sent a discount code.
  • BioMed Central - discount of 15% on standard gold open access fees. If you submit your manuscript on campus, the publisher will automatically apply the discount to your invoice. If you submit off campus there are extra steps to take. More information is available from the BioMed Central website.
  • Royal Society - discount of 25% on standard gold open access fees
  • SAGE - by quoting code Nesli20176 in the "University/Institution Account Code" field of the web form when requesting open access, a substantial discount will be applied to the article processing charge
  • Taylor & Francis - discount of 75% on article processing charges when publishing in one of these journals (opens a PDF list of participating journal titles).

If you have an article accepted by one of these publishers which you need to make available on a gold open access basis, please ensure you inform the publisher that you are a University of Liverpool author and thus qualify for the discount.

Note that in most cases a paper only qualifies for a discount if the corresponding author is based here at Liverpool.

The university has an account with the Institute of Electronics and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) which gives us a discount for RCUK and COAF-funded research and enables researchers to skip the Gold open access Payments process above. When your paper is accepted, all you need to do is select University of Liverpool from the drop down menu provided.

We also have an account with the publisher Wiley that streamlines the APC payment process and enables us to claim a 25% discount for RCUK and COAF-funded research. When submitting your paper, please ensure that you select either the University of Liverpool RCUK (RCUK-funded only) or University of Liverpool COAF (COAF-funded only) option. If your research isn't eligible for RCUK or COAF funding, please select University of Liverpool Institutional from the dropdown menu.

Depending on who funded your research, a subject or funder repository might be available for you. For example, it is common for medical research funders like the Wellcome Trust to require their funded-outputs to be deposited in PubMed. If your funder requires deposit in a subject or funder repository, the details of such requirements should be in your grant award.

If there are no suitable subject or funder repositories relevant to your research, you can self-archive your work in the University of Liverpool Repository via Liverpool Elements. You are not limited to depositing journal articles in the Repository - book chapters, conference presentations, summary reports and other outputs can be deposited and made freely available in this way, provided you have the legal right to do so (for more on this, see the "Copyright and open access" section of this LibGuide).

Most journals will allow only the author's own post-peer review manuscript to be deposited in the Repository (i.e. not the publisher's own copy-edited and formatted version).  There will also be an embargo period, of anywhere between six and thirty six months after initial formal publication, during which the self-archived version of your paper cannot be made available to the public. Please note that RCUK will not accept embargo periods of longer than twenty four months for the outputs of research it has funded.

While open access monographs are much less prevalent than open access journals, making your monograph available on an open access basis has benefits too. There are a number of projects underway looking at the future of open access monographs, including the Jisc-funded OAPEN-UK project.

The project has recently published its Guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities and social science researchers which "aims to help researchers to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with publishing a scholarly monograph in open access".