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Open Research

Introduces the open research movement, and goes into more detail about different aspects of this movement, including open access.


Ensuring open access to research publication is a key priority for UK universities and research funders. In recent years, this priority has begun to be mandated immediately on publication by research funders via cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is part of cOAlition S, and is therefore committed to cOAlition S' principles for achieving full and immediate access to publicly funded research. These principles are known as Plan S. The UKRI's open access policy reflects Plan S, illustrating and contributing toward a shift in the UK publishing landscape to immediate open access publication.

Alongside this, JISC, as representatives of the UK Universities' sector, have been negotiating deals with academic publishers that allow UK researchers to publish their work open access in a way that is more cost-efficient and straight-forward. These deals aim to reduce institutional spend with academic publishers, whilst increasing the amount of UK research that is published open access. 

This page gives a summary of, and provides updates on, current and past negotiations with academic publishers around open access publishing.

Springer negotiations

At present, we have a read and publish deal with Springer Compact that expires at the end of 2022. This deal covers 2000+ hybrid journals on the SpringerLink platform, plus Nature Academic journals on the Nature platform.

There is no read and publish deal for Nature, Nature Research, or Palgrave journals available as of yet. However, ongoing negotiations between Springer Nature and UK institutions aim to provide a combined read and publish deal for all of the Springer Nature journal content mentioned above. As negotiations continue, we will keep Essex authors up-to-date as and when we can.

Until a deal is reached, UKRI-funded authors can comply with the UKRI open access policy when publishing within Nature, Nature Research, and Palgrave journals by depositing an author accepted manuscript under CC-BY terms without charge. To do so, authors will need to make use of the Rights Retention Statement. If you have any questions about this do get in touch

Since August 2022, APCs for papers submitted to the Nature Research and Palgrave journals are also eligible for UKRI funds. However, as APCs with these journals are high we'd recommend considering the above described self-deposit route to achieve open access and comply with your funder's policy. To discuss your options, get in touch with our Repository Team.

For an explanation of the journal partitioning at Springer Nature, see the Springer Nature website.

Elsevier negotiations

Over the past few years, the UK Universities sector negotiated with academic publishing giant Elsevier to reduce subscription costs for Universities, and to ensure full and immediate open access to UK research published by Elsevier.  

On 23 March 2022, these negotiations were announced as successful, meaning Essex researchers now benefit from a read and publish deal with Elsevier that complies with cOAlition S funder requirements. These requirements mandate that publicly funded research be publicly available to everyone, for free. 

The new agreement provides unlimited open access publishing for Essex researchers in eligible Elsevier subscription journals, including the Lancet and Cell Press titles. The agreement also allows for a discount on APCs for Elsevier’s fully gold open access titles, as well as a price cap on APC price increases. Finally, the agreement provides a reduction on subscription spend to all UK universities. 

As a University, we support this publication model, and provide resources on open access publishing in our open access guide, and in the University's open access guidance.

Current read and publish deals / transformative agreements

Publishing your work via the gold route means that the final version of your work is made freely available via the publisher's website. In order to fund this, an article processing charge (APC) is required. In fully gold open access journals, all papers within those journals are freely available online. In hybrid journals, some research will be made open access through an APC payment, whilst other papers will remain behind a paywall.

The cost of APCs varies, but is often between £1500-£2000. If your research is UKRI funded, you should be able to make use of funds from the UKRI's open access grant for your APC. Please contact our repository team for more information. Alternatively, gold open access can also be achieved with no added costs by publishing under our read and publish deals. Read on to find out more. If the open access journal you're looking to publish in is not covered by a read and publish deal and your research is not UKRI-funded, we have a pot of money that can be used for APC payment. Please contact our repository team to find out more about this fund.

Read and publish deals (also known as "transformative agreements") have evolved as a result of changes in the open access landscape. In particular, these changes have been brought about by Plan S. Read and publish deals are blanket agreements with academic publishers that cover both the subscription to the journal (the "read" aspect), and the open access publishing cost (the "publish" aspect). These deals therefore allow authors from the University of Essex to publish gold open access at no extra cost, regardless of whether their work is funded.

At Essex, we offer range of deals with several publishers. Select the publisher tabs above to find out more about these deals, and how to make use of them.

You may also come across transformative journals when looking to publish open access. Transformative journals are subscription/hybrid journals that do not fall under transformative agreements, but which have committed to becoming fully open access.  Unlike when publishing under a transformative agreement, authors are not eligible for free open access publishing in transformative journals. However, Plan S funded authors may be able to use their block grants for APC payments in these journals. Plan S funded researchers can use the Journal Checker Tool to check compliant routes for open access publishing. If you are unsure about this, please do get in touch.

A publish and read agreement with BMJ allows corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Essex who are funded by UKRI*, Wellcome Trust, or the Medical Charities** to publish original articles reporting primary research (not reviews, commentaries or rapid communications) open access in BMJ’s hybrid journals. 

In addition, unfunded corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Essex can publish open access in BMJ’s gold titles (fully open access titles). 

For a list of the hybrid and gold titles, and more information about this deal, please go to BMJ’s website. At the bottom of this page, please select the University of Essex beneath “select your institution”, and then view the drop-down list beneath “how you can publish with fees covered by your institution” for a list of all included titles.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with BMJ, or with our Research Support, or Institutional Repository team.

*Arts and Humanities Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Medical Research Council; Science and Technology Facilities Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Research England; UK Research and Innovation.

**Blood Cancer UK; British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Innovate UK; Parkinson’s UK; Versus Arthritis.

Corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Essex can publish articles open access with Brill with no extra costs. Submit your article to your journal contact at Brill with the request to publish open access and indicate that you are an author affiliated with the University of Essex. Once the article is accepted it will be published open access free of charge.

If you submit your article through Editorial Manager, you will be asked during the submission process whether you are eligible for the agreement. Once the article is accepted, it will be published open access free of charge.

For questions on open access publishing at Brill please contact, or get in contact with us. More information is also available via Brill's website.

read and publish agreement with Bristol University Press / Policy Press allows corresponding authors at Essex to publish original peer reviewed research open access within their hybrid journal titles. To make use of this deal, once your paper has been accepted email to claim open access. Please include details of your submission in the email, and use your University of Essex email address. More information for authors, including the journals that are covered by the deal, is available via Bristol University Press' FAQ page. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with the Library's Research Support Team, or the Institutional Repository Team.

Our read and publish deal with Cambridge University Press allows you to make your publication open access in gold and hybrid CUP journals at no extra cost to you. To be eligible, you must be a corresponding author, and must be accepted for publication in one of these CUP journals. You must also have been accepted for publication between 1 January 2021, and 31 December 2024.

In order to use this deal, you must use your institutional affiliation when you submit your research. For more information about the submission process, head to CUP’s read and publish agreement page.

If you have any questions about this or any of our other read and publish deals, please do get in touch with the Library, or the Repository Team.

Our read and publish deal with De Gruyter allows University of Essex researchers to publish open access for no added fees in De Gruyter hybrid journals. Under this deal, the University has unlimited access to publishing in De Gruyter hybrid journals. The full list of hybrid journals is available to download

If you are a corresponding author publishing in a De Gruyter hybrid journal, we would encourage you publish open access. Using your affiliated institutional email address on submission with De Gruyter means they will automatically check on acceptance if the publishing fee is covered by the deal. Head to De Gruyter's website for more information on their submission process. If you have any further questions, please email our Repository Team.

new agreement with Elsevier provides unlimited open access publishing for Essex researchers in eligible Elsevier hybrid journals, including the Lancet and Cell Press titles. The agreement also allows for a discount on APCs for Elsevier’s fully gold open access titles. You will need to be the corresponding author of the publication to make use of this deal, and your article must have an acceptance date between 1/1/2022 and 31/12/2024. Head to Elsevier's website to find the journals that are participating in this deal.

Once your article has been accepted for publication in a participating journal, you will receive an email containing a link to the “post-acceptance author journey”. Upon selecting your publishing options, your affiliation will be validated by your institution, and you will be informed if the APC will be covered by the agreement.

If you have any questions about using this deal, please contact our Research Support Team, or the REO's Repository Team.

The University of Essex has signed a read and publish deal with John Benjamins covering all of their journals. All University of Essex affiliated corresponding authors can publish Open Access in included journals without any extra cost to themselves. There is no limit on the number of papers that can be published under this deal.

Authors must use their University of Essex email address and enter University of Essex as their organisation on submission. Articles will then be published open access. More information about this deal is available via John Benjamins' website.

As part of a new read and publish deal, there is now an opportunity to publish research and review articles at no extra cost in over 400 Oxford University Press (OUP) fully open access and hybrid journals.

Corresponding authors from Essex submitting to an OUP journal should use their institutional email address on submission, and list the University of Essex as their affiliation. Following this, on acceptance you will receive an email from OUP with a link to their online licencing and payment system. Head to OUP’s website for further guidance on what to do from there. If you have any questions about this, please email our Repository Team.

A deal with PLOS allows unlimited publishing in ten PLOS journals for authors at the University of Essex. These include: PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS ONE. In 2021, PLOS launched five new journals, expanding the publishing opportunities for authors from Essex. These journals include: PLOS Global Public Health, PLOS Digital Health, PLOS Water, PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, and PLOS Climate.

Eligible authors are identified through PLOS’s submission system. As the agreement is for uncapped publishing no approval check is required. More information can be found on PLOS' website, and please do contact us or the Repository Team if you have any questions.

PLOS is a purely open access publisher, meaning this deal does not include a 'read' element as all PLOS content is freely available online.

A deal with SAGE allows corresponding authors to publish eligible articles open access with the article processing charge (APC) waived in over 900 hybrid journals. Those publishing an eligible article in the IMechE Journal Collection and the Royal Society of Medicine Collection can also be published open access as part of this agreement. In addition to this, we are also able to take advantage of a discount on APCs when publishing in SAGE gold open access journals.

If you are a corresponding author publishing in a SAGE hybrid journal, we would encourage you to request open access publishing. If your research is UKRI funded, we can cover the APC for gold open access publishing. If you have any further questions, please email our Repository Team.

A new read and publish deal with the publisher Springer allows corresponding authors to publish open access in over 2000 Springer hybrid journals with the APC waived. There is a national limit on the number of articles that can be made open access under this deal, and this will be allocated on a first come first served basis. However, the limit will be closely monitored by Springer throughout the duration of the deal.

If you have an article accepted with a Springer hybrid journal, you will need to identify yourself as an eligible author by either selecting your institution, using your institutional email address, or by completing the form while within the University of Essex’s network. The request then comes through to our Repository Team, who decide whether to approve the application. More information can be found on Springer’s website, and you can also get in touch if you have any questions.

A new read and publish deal with Taylor and Francis allows Essex researchers to make their work open access at no extra cost to themselves. This deal covers publication in all T&F Open Select hybrid journals, which includes 2,300 subscription journal titles. (To find out if a journal is Open Select, use the T&F open access cost finder.) 

To access this deal, corresponding authors should use their affiliated institutional email address on submission. Upon acceptance, articles will be considered for open access publication under this agreement. Once funding is approved by the University, you will receive an email asking you to select the Creative Commons licence of your choice. Please note that most research funders require authors to choose Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY).

Visit the Taylor and Francis website for more information on publishing open access. If you have any further questions, please email our Repository Team.

There is currently an opportunity to publish open access with the publisher Wiley, due to a read and publish deal between JISC and Wiley. This means that there is a national pot of money available to researchers from across institutions to fund APCs for open access publishing, and we are able to use this money. The deal covers Wiley fully gold open access journals, and Wiley subscription journals with a hybrid option.

If you submit an article to a Wiley journal, and you are a corresponding author, you will see the option to use this deal after acceptance. The request then comes through to our Repository Team, who decide whether to approve the application. More information about this process is available via Wiley's website. If you have any questions about this, please email our Repository Team.

The below list gives information about some of the most recent research published open access as a result of our read and publish deals. Please note, this list is updated monthly.

  • Wall, S., Vialet‐Chabrand, S., Davey, P., Van Rie, J., Galle, A., Cockram, J., & Lawson, T. (2022). Stomata on the abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces contribute differently to leaf gas exchange and photosynthesis in wheat. New Phytologist.
  • Payling, D. (2022). Selling Shame: Feminine Hygiene Advertising and the Boundaries of Permissiveness in 1970s Britain. Gender & History.
  • Mengel, F., & Weidenholzer, E. (2022). Preferences for redistribution. Journal of Economic Surveys.
  • Grundy, E. M., & Stuchbury, R. (2022b). Multimorbidity as assessed by reporting of multiple causes of death: variations by period, sociodemographic characteristics and place of death among older decedents in England and Wales, 2001–2017. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 76(8), 699–706.
  • Van Boxtel, W. S., & Lawyer, L. A. (2022). Syntactic comprehension priming and lexical boost effects in older adults. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 1–16.
  • Gilligan, M., Khadka, P., & Samii, C. (2022). Intrinsic Social Incentives in State and Non-State Armed Groups. American Political Science Review, 1–20.
  • Sandercock, G. R. H., Moran, J., & Cohen, D. D. (2022). Who is meeting the strengthening physical activity guidelines by definition: A cross-sectional study of 253 423 English adults? PLOS ONE, 17(5).
  • Woods, Billy. (n.d.). Dimension Theory in Iterated Local Skew Power Series Rings. Algebras and Representation Theory, 1–26.
  • Caragiannis, I., Filos-Ratsikas, A., Nath, S., & Voudouris, A. (n.d.). Truthful ownership transfer with expert advice. Mathematical Programming, 1–30.
  • Kumar, Arun. (2022). Philanthropy and the Making of a New Moral Order: A History of Developing Community. Journal of Business Ethics, 177(4), 729–741.

See our reading list for more examples of research published open access as a result of read and publish deals.

As the publishing landscape shifts towards open access, different business models for open access are developing. The following are deals we have with publishers that allow open access publishing in a different way to read and publish deals.

Annual Reviews
Annual Reviews operates under a Subscribe to Open business model. Subscribe to Open (S2O) is a business model that uses subscription payments to convert gated access journals to full open access. Under S2O, libraries continue to subscribe to the journals they wish to. If support for these journals is sufficient, new volumes are published OA under a Creative Commons license; if support is insufficient, the paywall is retained. 

If the support threshold is met, S2O provides Diamond OA, meaning that the article is immediately available with no access barrier and no author fee. S2O is endorsed by cOAlition S

If your research acknowledges funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils, or is funded by another cOAlition S funder, you should follow the process detailed below. This applies to all titles published by Annual Reviews, including S2O titles, to ensure funder compliance in case S2O titles do not meet their annual threshold.   


  • Authors should include the following text (known as the Rights Retention Strategy statement): ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission’ . Grant details should also be added into the ‘disclosure statement’ field for submissions to all Annual Reviews titles. (NB This is because the publisher does not have a funder acknowledgement field.) This should also be included in any cover letter/note accompanying the submission. 
  • The publisher will provide the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to the author prior to the ‘Review in Advance’ being made available online. Authors should ask the publisher to confirm when this version will be made available should this not be clear.  
  • The author should apply the CC BY licence to the AAM. 
  • The author should deposit the AAM within their institutional repository with no embargo.

Queries about this process can be sent directly to Annual Reviews via, or can come to our Research Support Team.