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Research Support

An overview of the support that is offered for researchers at the University of Essex.

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 made open wherever possible, whether this be via the Green, Gold, or Diamond route. You can read more about the University of Essex' position on open access by downloading our Open Research Position Statement

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

  • Green open access: Upload your AAM (author’s accepted manuscript) to the institutional repository. For your publication to be REF eligible, this needs to be done within three months of acceptance for publication.
  • Gold / hybrid open access: Gold and hybrid OA publishing require an article processing charge (APC) payment. However, we have deals with some publishers that allow you to publish your work in gold and/or hybrid journals for no extra cost to yourself. Under these deals (known as 'read and publish deals', or 'transformative deals'), University of Essex researchers can publish open access for no added fee, as the APC is covered by the agreement. Alternatively, if your work is UKRI funded, our UKRI fund may be able to cover the APC. If your research is unfunded and you are looking to publish in a gold open access journal that isn't covered by one of our read and publish deals, get in touch with our repository team who may be able to help.
  • Diamond open access: Publish your work in a diamond open access journal, where there are no charges to publish.
  • Complying with funders' open access policies: Increasingly, many research funders require work to be published open access. Below the different ways to comply with these policies is explained, along with links to tools that can help you with this.
  • Open access copyright licences: When publishing open access, there are several licences you can assign to your work. Read on to learn more about these licences, and how each affects how your work can be reused and shared.

Publishing open access is not limited to funded research, so whether or not open access is a requirement for you, read on to find out how to make your work open access so you can enjoy the many benefits this can bring

Gold / hybrid open access

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.

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 contact our repository team.

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 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 Research Support team, or the REO's Repository Team.

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.

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.

Read on to find out more about using the green route to comply with funder policies, and to see some examples of the recent research made available via the Essex Research Repository.

The below list gives information about the 10 most recent additions to the Essex Research Repository. Please note this list may include both green and gold open access.

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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.

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.

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.

Symbol for CC BY-ND licence

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.

Symbol for CC BY-NC-ND licence

Open Access: 12 key concerns answered

The below resource answers twelve common concerns around open access. This resource was designed by the Eastern Arc OA and Scholarly Communications Group. Read more on Eastern Arc's website.

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.