Skip to main content

Engineering: Open access

Subjects: Engineering, Patents

Depositing in ORA

Open data

RCUK strongly supports making research data open access as well as papers. 

Need Advice About Your Created Software?

The University of Oxford has a service called OSS Watch: an open source software advisory service. This service may be of interest if you're wondering about your rights and what you can do with software you create.

Open Access at Oxford website

Open Access Oxford website: Find here information about publishing Open Access, how to comply with funders' OA requirements, what to do for the next REF and much more.


Funder requirements

Since April 2013 funding councils which are part of RCUK require articles published in peer reviewed journals or conference proceedings to be open access. The RCUK open access policy states:

"Our vision is for all users to be able to read published research papers in an electronic format and to search for and re‐use (including download) the content of published research papers, both manually and using automated tools (such as those for text and data mining), provided that any such re‐use is subject to full and proper attribution." (see RCUK Policy on Open Access and Supporting Guidance)

More information can be found at

Many other funding bodies have similar open access requirements.  See our list of funding bodies for more information or visit the Sherpa Juliet web site which provides full details of requirements for each funder.

Publisher policies

If you are required to make your article open access you will need to find out your publisher's policies on open access.  How to make your article open access?

The green route

  • It is free.
  • The author deposits the final version or accepted manuscript (after peer review) in an open access repository such as ORA and/or in a subject repository (such as EuropePMC, ArXiv, CiteSeerx, SSRN).
  • The article is available free on the internet after an embargo period. Be aware that most publishers will insist on an embargo period, whilst funders will require your article to be available within a particular time frame (e.g. 6 months for most RCUK grants, 12 months for AHRC and ESRC). 

Examples of Major Green Journals: Science, Nature, 

The gold route

  • It requires the author to pay an "Article Processing Charge" (APC) to the publisher.
  • The publisher archives a pdf version in PubMed Central or Europe PMC
  • The article is available free at the point of publication on the publisher website. 
  • Authors who have their research funded by RCUK and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) are eligible to apply for the RCUK and COAF block grants to cover the cost of the APC. 

Gold route journals may be divided into two categories:

  1. entirely open access journals in which all articles are freely available. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists 8000 scholarly journals in this category. You will be required to pay an APC to publish in many of these journals.
  2. hybrid journals in which articles are NOT generally open access (i.e. they are only available to paid subscribers) unless the authors pay an APC to make their article open access

Please note that some open access journals do not allow you to deposit a copy of your article in a repository or have your paper published under CC-BY licence.  This can be problematic if the terms of your grant require you to do so.

To find out which of the different options are available from your publisher see the Sherpa Romeo web site which lists open access policies by publisher.

Contact us

Identify yourself with an ORCID iD

Author ID systems like ORCID help you keep track of your research publications (and impact).

An ORCID iD is a unique researcher identifier, used worldwide, that you keep throughout your life and retain even if you move institution.

It identifies you and your work, and prevents confusion between you and others with the same name or initials.

Use ORCID at Oxford to register your affiliation with Oxford. 

Find further information on the ORCID LibGuide.

Applying for Article Processing Charge (APC)

RCUK and COAF have allocated Oxford a sum of money to pay APCs for RCUK funded research.

For APCs for research funded by the the Wellcome Trust and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) see Open Access: What do I do at Oxford?

For APCs for research funded by other RCUK grants see Open Access: Applying for Funding from Oxford's RCUK Open Access Block Grant.

For further help and questions about APC please contact us.

Other useful guides