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Geography and the Environment: Open Access publishing

Guide to the latest and most useful research resources for geography and the environment

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.

Some publishers will allow you to upload the final version or the accepted manuscript (after peer review) of your article to an open access respository such as ORA.  Please 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).  This is known as the "green route" to open access and is generally free.

Some publishers allow articles to be made open access on the publishers web site (i.e. the article is made freely available at the point of publication on the usual journal web site). This is known as the "gold route" to open access and in many cases will require the author to pay an "Author Processing Charge" (APC) to the publisher.   RCUK has allocated Oxford a sum of money to pay APCs for RCUK funded research.  To find out more about applying for an APC to be paid from the University's RCUK fund please contact us.  

Please note that 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 an repository.  This can be problematic if the terms of your grant require such deposit.

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.

Open data

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

Oxford and open access

To find out about Oxford's policies with regard to Open Access and the payment of APCs please see Oxford Open Access.

For advice on Open Access for your subject please contact your subject librarian

Bodleian Libraries is also running general (non subject specific) workshops on Open Access.

Depositing in ORA

More information

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