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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.

Publishing open access

There are several ways to publish open access, as explained in both our open access guide, and in the University's open access guidance. Here at Essex, we encourage research to be as open as possible, as closed as necessary. You can read more about the University of Essex's position on open access by downloading our Open Research Position Statement

This page highlights ways to publish open access, explains how to comply with funders' open access policies, and gives information on how to use different open access copyright licences.

Gold / hybrid open access - including read and publish 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. However, if the journal you're looking to publish in is covered by one our read and publish agreements there will be no added cost to yourself. The tab "What are read and publish agreements?" explains this further.

If the journal you're looking to publish in is not covered by a read and publish agreement, there are a few options:

  • For hybrid journals, you will need to follow the green route (self-archive) to achieve open access.
  • For fully gold open access journals, contact us to make use of the open access fund for unfunded research, and the UKRI block grant for UKRI-funded research. 

Read and publish agreements (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 read and publish agreement with ACM enables corresponding authors at the University of Essex to publish research articles in ACM’s magazines, conference proceedings, and journals open access with no added costs. ACM's website has a full list of titles covered by this deal.

To make use of the deal, ensure that you use your University of Essex email address on submission to your chosen ACM publication. FAQs are available via ACM's website, and if you have any questions please get in touch.

An open access publishing pilot agreement with APA is in place until 31 July 2023. The OA Publishing Pilot is specific to hybrid journals in PsycArticles, with a total of 88 hybrid journals eligible under the terms of the agreement. Hogrefe collection of journals are excluded from the OA Publishing Pilot.

This is a one-off publishing pilot which does not include Read access. The aim is to combine the Read and Publish elements in the next agreement. 

A UK-wide cap of 354 articles has been set for the sector, and if this cap is reached then there will be a discount on APCs in the hybrid journal titles covered by the agreement.

If you have any further questions about the process for using this agreement, please get in touch.

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

For a list of the hybrid 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 the team here at the University.

*Funders: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Innovate UK, Research England), British Heart Foundation, Blood Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinsons UK, Versus Arthritis or the Wellcome Trust.

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 openaccess@brill.com, 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 bup-journals@bristol.ac.uk 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 us.

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 get in touch with us.

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 contact us.

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 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.

Corresponding authors from the University of Essex can publish open access Optica's hybrid and fully gold open access journals with no extra fee required for publishing. Please note that extra payment is required for colour and overlength articles. Get in touch with the our team if you require payment of these fees.

Please see Optica's website for the journals included with this deal. You will need to select "United Kingdom" on this webpage.

If you have any questions about the agreement with Optica, please contact us.

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 get in touch with us.

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 contact our 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 one-year agreement with Portland Press enables corresponding authors at Essex to publish open access within all seven of Portland Press' titles. These are:

Research journals: Biochemical JournalClinical ScienceNeuronal Signaling*, Bioscience Reports*

*These are fully OA journals where every paper is published via the Gold OA route. There is, therefore, no option for authors to opt out of OA publishing; however, the papers will be published OA without requirement for payment of any APCs if the article is eligible for OA under a Read & Publish deal.

Review journals: Biochemical Society TransactionsEssays in Biochemistry Emerging Topics in Life Sciences 

Under the agreement, there are no limits on the number of papers Essex authors can publish open access. More information about the agreement is available via Portland Press' website, and the workflow for publishing under this agreement is available in this document. If you have any questions please get in touch with us.

A read and publish agreement with the Royal Society allows for unlimited open access publishing in any of the Royal Society's 8 hybrid titles, and 2 fully gold open access titles. The be eligible to use this deal, the Essex author must be the corresponding author for the paper. During the submission process, simply state your affiliation is the University of Essex, use your University of Essex email address, and then select the 'Read & Publish' option.

For more information about this deal, head to the Royal Society's website. If you have any questions, get in touch with our team.

A deal with SAGE allows corresponding authors to publish eligible articles open access with no added cost in 900+ hybrid journals in the current year's Sage Premier package. Those publishing an eligible article in the IMechE Journal Collection or the Royal Society of Medicine Collection which offer hybrid open access publishing (Sage Choice) can also be published open access with no added costs as part of this agreement. In addition to this, we are also able to take advantage of a 20% discount on APCs when publishing in SAGE gold open access journals.

Authors in subscription journals do not need to take any action to benefit from this offer. Sage will contact all eligible authors to inform them of the Open Access agreement with Jisc and to invite them to the Sage Open Access Portal to take up the offer as soon as their accepted article has been received into Sage’s Production department.

If you are publishing in a gold open access journal, we should also be able to cover the APC for gold open access publishing. For more information on paying APCs for fully gold open access journals or any other questions, please get in touch.

Following extensive sector-wide negotiations, the 2023-2025 Springer Nature read and publish agreement brings together Springer, Palgrave Macmillan, and Nature Research journals. There are currently two parts to the publish side of the agreement: 

There is also be a 15% discount on APCs in fully open access journals across the Springer Nature portfolio (BMC, SpringerOpen, Palgrave, and Nature Portfolio). Unfunded Essex researchers can make use of our institutional open access fund for APC payment in these journals. Contact oapublish@essex.ac.uk if you intend to publish in one of these titles.

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 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 team.

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.   

Process:  

  • 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.

If you have any queries, you can contact Annual Reviews directly via jjongsma@annualreviews.org or get in touch with our team here.

Green open access

Following the green route to open access means depositing your work in a repository upon acceptance for publication. This can be an institutional repository, like the Essex Research Repository, or a subject-based or central repository, like PubMed or arXiv. The version made available via the repository will usually be the final pre-publication version, otherwise knows as the AAM (author accepted manuscript). To be REF-eligible, you must upload this version to the institutional repository within three months of acceptance. For more information, please visit the Research Repository.

When making your work open access via the green route, there may be an embargo period. This means that the full text of your work won't be available via the repository for a certain length of time after publication. This time period can vary, usually anything between 3 to 24 months. Make sure to check the policy of the journal you are publishing your work with as they will likely have a policy on the length of embargo periods. You can use Sherpa Romeo to help you find this information.

However, making your work available open access via the green route doesn't always need to include an embargo period, regardless of the journal's policy. Read on to find out more about rights retention, and how you as an author can retain your rights and keep control of your publications.

Many journals stipulate that there should be an embargo period on green open access publishing. This can be problematic if you intend to make your work immediately available open access on publication via the green route. To help overcome this problem, you can make use of rights retention.

Rights retention was originally developed by cOAlition S as a route for funder compliance. However, it can be utilised by any author, whether or not their research is funded.

To make use of rights retention, authors need to add a statement on submission to a journal stating the author has placed a CC BY licence on either the author accepted manuscript or version of record of their paper. This statement adds a prior licence on the publication, and means the author retains copyright on this version of the paper. In doing so, the author can deposit that version of the work in a repository with no embargo period, regardless of the journal policy.

An example of this statement that can be used by authors on submission to their chosen journal is: 

“For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission."

When using this statement, it should be included in the acknowledgement section (or if this isn’t available upon submission, in the footer of the article), as well as in the covering letter.

It is not a requirement for Essex authors to use this statement on submission to journals, however we would recommend any authors who wish to make their research immediately available open access via the green route use this statement. This statement is also essential if you are publishing in a subscription journal and wish to retain copyright on a version of your work. if you have any questions at all please get in touch.

Diamond open access

Screenshot from DOAJ showing the filters for "journals" and "APCs"In Diamond open access publishing there is no fee for publishing. Diamond open access journals are often funded by organisations, institutions, or other initiatives. Whilst diamond open access often receives the least attention, as of July 2020, 73% of journals on the Directory of Open Access Journals database are Diamond open access.

A good way to find Diamond open access journals in which to publish is to browse journals on the Directory of Open Access Journals, and then set the "Article Processing Charges" filter to "no" (see image).

The Essex Student Journal is an online multi-disciplinary academic journal, run by and for University of Essex students. It is a diamond open access journal, which means all papers are made openly available online, with no cost to the author or reader.

The Essex Student Journal encourages and celebrates student research by offering valuable early experience of academic publishing and the peer review process. The journal is dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate writing and is committed to creating accessible and engaging content for a non-specialist readership.

If you would like to submit a paper for publication to the Essex Student Journal, head to our website for more information about submission guidelines, and the link to start a submission.

If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer, please do apply on our website.  

Previous issues of the journal can also be found on our website dating back to 2015, so feel free to read some of the great work written by previous students at Essex who have published with us.

Open access monographs

Monographs and chapters in edited collections are increasingly being published open access. There are a few different ways to achieve this:

  • Pay a book processing charge (BPC) or chapter processing charge (CPC) to the publisher. The institutional open access fund can be used for these payments. Contact us with requests to use this fund.
  • Look for publishers that offer alternative open access publishing models. This includes publishers such as Open Book Publishers, Punctum Books, CEU Press, and MIT press.
  • Self-archive your chapter or a portion of your book in the institutional repository. Make sure to check your publisher's open access policy before doing so. 

For any enquiries about publishing a monograph or chapter open access, get in touch via oapublish@essex.ac.uk.

Helpful resources:

For any enquiries about publishing a monograph or chapter open access, get in touch via oapublish@essex.ac.uk.

Open access fund

Our institutional open access fund has been designed to enable Essex authors to publish as much research as possible open access. The fund can be used for:

  • Article processing charge (APC) payments in fully gold open access journals
  • Book processing charge (BPC) payments for monographs
  • Chapter processing charge (CPC) payments for chapters within edited collections

To apply to use the open access fund, contact us via oapublish@essex.ac.uk.

Complying with funders' open access policies

If your research is funded, you may have a requirement to publish your work open access. Increasingly, funders’ open access policies align with Plan S. Plan S is a set of rules established by cOAlition S – a group of international research funders. There are many funders who are part of cOAlition S, including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and Wellcome. All cOAlition S funders must align their open access policies with Plan S. 

Full details of Plan S can be seen on the Plan S website, but in short Plan S wants full and immediate access to all publicly funded research. To achieve this, there are three routes to compliance: 

•    Publish in a gold or diamond open access journal 
•    Publish in a hybrid journal that is covered by a transformative agreement
•    Publish via the green route (i.e., deposit the full text of your work in a repository) with a zero-month embargo period

Read on through the next tabs to find out more about these three routes to compliance with Plan S.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a member of cOAlition S. Their open access policy reflects the principles of Plan S, and aligns with these policies. To read more about the UKRI's open access policy, head to the UKRI website or have a look at their FAQ document.

Publishing your work in a fully open access journal is a compliant route for open access publishing under Plan S, as long as the journal is registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or in the process of being registered. Further conditions can be seen under 1.2 on the Plan S website.

COAlition S funders will financially support publication fees in fully gold open access journals.

Generally, publishing in a hybrid journal is not compliant with Plan S’ principles. However, if the hybrid journal you are looking to publish in is covered by a transformative agreement (also known as ‘read and publish deals’), this is compliant with Plan S. 

We have signed transformative deals with a range of academic publishers, and you can see more information on these deals, and the journals they cover, under gold / hybrid open access above.

You can also comply with your funder's policy by publishing in a transformative journal. 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.

The green route is a compliant route with most research funders, but in many cases it is likely there needs to be a zero month embargo period. This is the case for cOAlition S funded research. 

This requirement can be problematic if the journal you are publishing with stipulates that there should be an embargo period on green open access publishing. If you see this mismatch between funder and journal policies, and you have not made your work available open access via the gold or hybrid route, you may need to use the rights retention strategy

The rights retention strategy is a statement developed by cOAlition S that authors place on their work when submitting to a journal. The statement must say that the author has placed a CC BY licence on either the author accepted manuscript or version of record of their paper. By placing this prior licence on the publication, the author retains copyright on this version of the paper, and therefore can deposit that version in a repository with no embargo period, regardless of the journal policy.

Different funders offer slightly different template wording for the rights retention strategy statement, and some funders may require you to add this wording on all submissions regardless of the route you are using for compliance. An example of wording can be seen below: 

“This research was funded in whole or in part by [Funder] [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission.”

Your own funder should stipulate if there is a required format for use of the rights retention strategy, but if you have any questions at all please do get in touch.

For more information about rights retention, and complying with the UKRI's new open access policy, listen to this 20 minute podcast by the University of Cambridge.

There are several tools that can help with complying with funder policies:

  • If your research is funded by a cOAlition S funder, you can use the Journal Checker Tool to check compliance.
  • Sherpa Juliet allows you to check up-to-date information concerning funders' policies and their requirements on open access, publication and data archiving.
  • Sherpa Fact provides clear guidance to researchers on whether a journal complies with a funder's open access policies.
  • Sherpa Romeo provides summaries of publisher copyright and open access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis.

If you are unsure about any open access requirements, do get in touch.

As an increasing number of research funders require open access publishing, a small number of publishers have developed new academic journals known as ‘mirror journals’. These journals are usually fully gold open access versions of subscription or hybrid journals, usually with a very similar name, scope, editorial board, etc. Mirror journals were created in response to cOAlition S’ decision not to fund hybrid journals.

As a result of the development of mirror journals, Plan S was amended to state:
“Open Access journals must not have a mirror/sister subscription journal with substantial overlap in editorial board to avoid business models charging for both access and publication. Such journals will de facto be considered ‘hybrid’ journals.”

This change meant that mirror journals did not develop in large numbers, however it has since been seen that some publishers have directed submissions that rely on the rights retention strategy for funder compliance to these journals. These situations are fairly rare, but they are worth being aware of as publication in mirror journals can be against funder policies. It also may be that mirror journals do not have a developed readership like the original journal you may have been submitting to would have done.

Open Access Copyright Licences

CC0 (No Right Reserved)

CC0 enables creators and owners of copyright to place their work as completely as possible in the public domain. This means that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright law.

CC BY (Attribution)

This licence lets other distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licenced materials.

Symbol result for CC BY licence

CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivs)

This licence lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form,and credit must be provided to you.

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CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)

This licence is the most restrictive of the six main CC licences. It only allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

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Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work by University of Essex Library and Cultural Services is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.