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Open Access Editing: Open Access New Page

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) belongs in the context of Open Science or Open Research, relating to how research is performed and how knowledge is shared based on the principle that research should be as open as possible.

  • Transparancy, openness, verification and reproducibility are important features of research and innovation. Open Research helps to support and uphold these features across the whole lifecycle of research - improving public value, research integrity, reuse and innovation. [Open Research by UKRI]
  • Open Access means making research publications freely available so anyone can benefit from reading and using research." [Introduction to Open Access by Jisc].
  • Open Access benefits you as a researcher, the University, the wider economy and society. Watch the eight minute video.

Open Access Publishing Routes

Open Access publishing is increasingly mandated by funders and can be achieved through various publishing routes. The most common ones are known as the GREEN or the GOLD routes:

  • GREEN: Publish in a subscription journal and deposit ('self-archive') your final accepted manuscript for access in the Middlesex University Research Repository. Your final accepted manuscript will become open for anyone immediately, or after any applied publisher embargo expires. No charges to be paid.
  • GOLD: Publish in a journal where the publisher offers immediate access to your publication. Full Open Access journals will contain open access articles only, whereas so-called Hybrid journals may offer a mix of open and subscription content. There are costs associated with open access publishing in open access or hybrid journals.

    Middlesex University has agreements with some publishers, so called 'Read & Publish' deals or 'Transformative agreements' supporting our researchers to publish GOLD open access in selected journals, without having to pay the open access article processing (APC) fee.
  • DIAMOND: Publish in a journal where the publisher offers immediate online access to your publication without associated costs for publishing. Diamond journals are collaborative, community-driven Open Access journals and platforms. Learn more from "The OA Diamond Journals Study" (2021) supported by CoalitionS.

As a researcher, it is your responsibility to create a record of your research output in the Middlesex University Research Repository independent of the publishing route - at the point of acceptance.

REF 2029 Open Access Requirements

While the REF 2029 Open Access policy is on its way, the REF 2021 Open Access policy and guidance should be followed until further notice. The REF 2021 Open Access policy therefore continues to apply for outputs accepted for publication from 1 January 2021.

The Middlesex University Research Repository is Middlesex University's research support infrastructure to meet post REF 2021 and other funders' Open Access requirements for GREEN and GOLD publishing routes. 

For your article to comply with REF Open Access requirements:

  1. Create a record of your journal or conference article in the Repository - at the point of acceptance
  2. Upload (self-archive) your final Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) - at the point of acceptance and not later than 3 months after acceptance!

Consult our Manuscript Versions section in this guide if you are unsure of the version to upload.

  • It is your responsibility as a researcher, to create a record and upload the full-text in time.
  • It is the responsibility of the Repository team to check the REF, funder and publisher terms & conditions for every Repository record and file deposit, and to apply any applicable embargoes or licences (as required by the publisher, as permitted by the funder).

Related information:

  • Initial decisions about REF 2029 were ublished in the summer of 2023, with further updates in December 2023.
  • More updates are to come in 2024 and will be reflected here.
  • The REF 2021 submission closed on 31 March 2021 and included work accepted for publication until 31 December 2020.

UKRI Open Access Requirements for Monographs, Book chapters, Edited collections

The new UKRI Open Access policy for long-form publications applies from 1 January 2024 for publications published on or after 1 January 2024.

Types: Monographs, Book chapters, Edited collections

In-scope: Long-form outputs published on or after 1 January 2024

Funding: From 31 October 2023, it is no longer permitted to include publication costs for long-form publications in scope of the Open Access policy in funding applications. UKRI introduced a two stage process to apply for long-form publication funding instead. Applicationsl will have to be submitted by Middlesex University staff responsible for open access funding - on behalf of researchers.

  • Stage one: UKRI reviews applications to confirm eligibility for funding
  • Stage two: UKRI enables release of funds after confirmation of publication by institution

If you are planning to publish a publication in scope of UKRI’s open access policy and expect to pay for Open Access, contact the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office ( and the Research Support Team ( as early as possible. They will give you advice on Open Access funding options, explain the process to access funding, manage applications on behalf of Middlesex University Researchers.

Routes to OA Compliance: In-scope UKRI funded long-form publications (Monographs, Book chapters or Edited collections) published on or after 1 January 2024 it will need to be made open access.

  • Full-text: your final 'Author's Accepted Manuscript' or the final 'Version of Record' must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher's website or the Middlesex University Research Repository
  • Embargo: within a maximum period of 12 months from first publication
  • Licence: with a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI
  • Funder Acknowledgement: with a statement to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils
  • Note: UKRI recognises there may be rare instances where meeting open access requirements for long-form publications may not be possible. Therefore, exemptions may apply.

Useful links:

UKRI Open Access Requirements for Journal and Conference articles

The new UKRI Open Access policy for short-form publications applies from 1 April 2022. It replaced the Research Councils' (RCUK) Policy on Open Access for publications submitted before 1 April 2022.

Types: Peer reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, accepted for final publication in either a journal or conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform

In-scope: Research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022

Funding: UKRI provides an open access block grant to eligible research organisations to support compliance with the Open Access policy for research articles. The use of UKRI open access funds is permitted for a wide range of costs, however the use of UKRI funds for publishing in a ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional arrangement that meets the research sector’s requirements as set out by Jisc is not permitted.

Routes to OA Compliance:

  • Route 1:
    • Full-text: the 'Version of Record' must be free and unrestricted to view and download in a journal or publishing platform (full open access or hybrid), immediately on publication, with a
    • Licence: Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI
    • Funder Acknowledgement: acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils
    • Data Access Statement: include a Data Access Statement even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
  • Route 2:
    • Full-text: your final 'Author's Accepted Manuscript' (or 'Version of Record', where the publisher permits) must be free and unrestricted to view and download in the Middlesex University Research Repository, immediately on publication, with a
    • Licence: Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI
    • Embargo: not permitted
    • Funder Acknowledgement: acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils
    • Rights Retention Statement: include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section or any cover letter or note accompanying your submission: "For the purpose of open access, the author(s) 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."
    • Data Access Statement: include a Data Access Statement even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
  • Note: Preprints are not in scope of the UKRI open access policy. However, to facilitate open research practices, UKRI encourages the use of preprints across their supported research disciplines.

Related information:

  • UKRI launched in April 2018 as a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It brings together the seven disciplinary research councils (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC), Research England (formerly HEFCE), which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK. Following the UKRI Open Access Review the UKRI Open Access policy has been published on 6 August 2021, to determine a single Open Access policy across UKRI and to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used and built on. 
  • UKRI joined cOAlition S, along with a number of other national research funders and foundations, with the support of the European Commission aiming for full and immediate open access to research publications.
  • UKRI and cOAlition S funders only support transitional open access pathways of journals and only as part of transformative arrangements (note: the arrangements are similar but not identical).
  • In the UK, transformative agreements with publishers are negotiated by Jisc on behalf of UK HE institutions, to support the transition process to Open Access (see agreements that Middlesex University signed).

Useful links:

Horizon Europe Open Access Requirements

Horizon Europe is the European Union's research and innovation funding programme until 2027. Open Access requirements are outlined in the General Model Grant Agreement Contract.

Types: Peer-reviewed scientific publications, Monographs and other long-text formats as well as Research data and additional practices, funded in whole or in parts by Hozrizon Europe.

In-scope: In alignment with the Plan S Principles with effect from 2021.

Funding: Only publication fees in full Open Access venues (not Hybrid venues), are eligible for reimbursement.

Routes to OA Compliance:

  • Full-text: a machine-readable electronic copy of the published 'Version of Record' or the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication must be deposited in the Middlesex University Research Repository at latest at the time of publication, with immedeate open access,
  • Embargo: not permitted
  • Licence: Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, for monographs and other long-text formats the licence may exlude commercial uses and derivative works (e.g. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND);
  • Bibliographic information includes Funder Acknowledgement: must must include publication (author(s), title, date of publication, publication venue), funder, grant identifier, licencing terms, persistent identifiers for the publication
  • Rights Retention Statement: Authors or their institutions retain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with the Open Access requirements.

Related information:

  • The UK agreed a deal to associate to Horizon Europe on 7 September 2023. UK researchers can now apply for Horizon Europe funding, certain that all successful UK applicants will be covered through the UK’s association (or through the guarantee) for the remainder of the programme (UK association to Horizon Europe and the UK Horizon Europe guarantee.
  • All calls in Work Programme 2024 will be covered by association, and the UK guarantee scheme will be extended to cover all calls under Work Programme 2023.
  • UKRI encourages innovators to apply for Horizon Europe funding. Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. Horizon Europe funding is available for a wide variety of research and innovation areas including medical science and cancer treatment, adaptation to climate change, ocean health and agriculture.

Useful links:

MOVE AWAY Video tutorial: how do I add work to the Research Repository?

Middlesex's Open Access Policy

Middlesex University encourages the GREEN Open Access route via self-archiving of the accepted manuscript in the Middlesex University Research Repository in cases where no funds are available to pay for GOLD. 

This policy applies to all academic staff, all research staff and all students whose research outputs derive from their employment by the University, from research grants or otherwise from the use of University resources and facilities. This policy requires researchers at Middlesex University to:

  1. Create a record in the University repository for each of their research outputs at the point of acceptance.
  2. Where legally permitted, make all research outputs Open Access upon acceptance for publication, in the University repository, in order to maximise the visibility of their research.
  3. Provide a link to where the full output may be accessed, in cases where it is not permitted to include it in the repository.
  4. Use the phrase 'Middlesex University' within the research output when stating the address of the originating institution.

The Repository team will check all files that are uploaded to ensure they comply with copyright law and will apply any embargoes required by the publisher. More information can be found in the full Middlesex University Open Access Publications Policy.

As per the Middlesex University deposit requirements all research outputs must be deposited in the Middlesex University Research Repository at the point of acceptance.

There are options to support the GOLD Open Access publishing route: if your journal is included in one of the Transformative Agreements Middlesex University signed, your Open Access fee is covered by the agreement (a check-list for eligibility is available in our Training Material section).

Open access fees for funded research may otherwise be managed by each faculty/department. Consult with your research lead and/or your Deputy Dean for Research about access to funding.

If you are working on a collaborative project, check if your collaborators are in receipt of Open Access funds to cover the Open Access publishing costs. 

Transformative Agreements signed by Middlesex University

Middlesex University signed transformative agreements with the following publishers and the list of journals included in the current Middlesex University agreements is available via Jisc's Knowledge Base+ packages (see publisher web pages and links to KB+ lists as follows for each agreement):

Jisc is working with UKRI and Coalition S to improve the Journal Checker Tool, and to further customise it in line with UKRI policy changes (see Jisc blog). More detailed information about transitional agreements and the list of Jisc-approved transformative journals (downloadable list) is also available via the Sherpa services

If you publish in a journal via a transformative agreement, the publisher will ask what licence you want to apply, select CC-BY unless you have secured permission from your funder for a CC-BY-ND licence.

Do have a look at our check-list provided via the slide-deck in the Training Materials section. 

Manuscript versions

The following diagram highlights the difference between manuscript versions and shows that the final accepted manuscript version is the version before copy-editing or type-setting by the publisher.

Article versions diagram courtesy of:, CC-BY

Article version diagram courtesy of University of Cambridge CC-BY

Another manuscript version diagram is available via the National Web Archive of the HEFCE domain, originating from earlier HEFCE guidance.

Rights Retention Statement

Initiated by coalition S, the so-called Rights Retention Strategy requires that researchers add a Rights Retention Statement to their manuscript on submission of their article. Several funders are following this approach, including the Wellcome Trust (Jan 2021), UKRI (Apr 2022), NIHR (Jun 2022), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (January 2021) and have introduced similar requirements.

If your work is funded by one of these organisations and you publish via the self-archiving or GREEN Open Access route in one of the eligible journals, your manuscript will have to include a rights retention statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission. The statement will be slightly different per each funder, but should say:

The research was funded by funder / grant number, and for the purpose of Open Access the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.

Addresses and affiliations

When naming Middlesex University, you should declare your institution to be 'Middlesex University'.

The particular research centre, school or department may also be named separately and additionally, but not instead of Middlesex University, which should be the primary institutional affiliation of the author.

This will help to identify and retrieve all the University’s research publications in research aggregation services such as Web of Science and PubMed, and it will also help others to recognise you and your work.  

In order to assist others to identify your work, you are also advised to create and use an ORCiD identifier when publishing. Obtaining an ORCiD will help you manage your outputs across multiple research platforms.

Training Material & Guidance References


In case you have further questions or need additional information about Open Access, or how to meet your funder's open access compliance, request a one-to-one or group training session, contact the Research Support Team via

MOVE AWAY: What is the repository (Eprints)?

In October 2011 the University mandated the deposit of all research items in the repository on acceptance for publication. "Following the decision of the Research and Research Degrees Committee in October 2011 Middlesex University has mandated that academic and research staff deposit all outputs resulting from their research undertaken while employed at Middlesex University in the Research Repository."

The Middlesex University Research Repository (EPrints) is an online, open access archive of published research and other scholarly content produced by Middlesex University staff and researchers ('Who is eligible to add work?'). Access to bibliographic information is open to anyone on the internet without the need to log in. In rare cases where full-text is associated, access may not be immediate. 

In addition to full texts of many articles, book chapters and conference papers, the repository is an index of Middlesex's practice related research, as it holds records of performances, exhibitions, compositions, artefacts, videos, portfolios, etc. The repository also holds a copy of all doctoral theses awarded by the University.

The Middlesex University Research Repository ( is managed by the Research Support Team, based in Library and Student Support. Library and Student Support encourages self-deposits of research and practice research in the repository. Consult Jisc's Sherpa/Romeo service for the particular policy of your journal.

Help or support is provided by the Research Support Team (

MOVE AWAY: Theses and the Repository

All doctoral theses accredited by Middlesex University are uploaded to the Middlesex University Research Repository and will be openly accessible unless the author has requested otherwise. Via the deposit agreement form that you will have to sign, you can restrict access to the full-text of your thesis for a fixed time (usually around five years, although this is renewable) if you e.g. intend to publish your thesis, or register a trademark from your research, or to respect confidentiality and/or commercial obligations. 

On completion of your degree, you will need to send a copy of your final thesis and the signed deposit agreement form to the Research Degrees Administration Team.

  • The form must also have been signed by your supervisor.
  • You can't self-deposit your thesis in the Repository; your thesis will be sent to the Repository Team with the necessary documentation by the Research Degrees Administration team.
  • The Research Support Team (based in the Library), then uploads your thesis to the Repository on your behalf.
  • The Middlesex University Research Repository holds doctoral-level theses only, not taught postgraduate or undergraduate dissertations.
  • If you intend to register a patent, you should seek advice from the RKTO and make your intentions clear on your deposit agreement form, because even a public metadata record of your thesis in the repository may invalidate a planned patent.

Take into account: