Skip to Main Content
Middlesex University LogoMy Subject

Researchers: Open Access

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.

  • Open Access benefits you as a researcher, the University, the wider economy and society. Watch the eight minute video.

  • Transparency, 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 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 full 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 and deposit a record of your research output in the Middlesex University Research Repository independent of the publishing route - at the point of acceptance. 

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

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.

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

In-scope: Journal or conference articles accepted on or after 1 January 2021

Routes to OA Compliance: In-scope research outputs will need to be made open access.

  • Full-text: a record of your output must be created and deposited with the required full-text (your final 'Author's Accepted Manuscript') in the Middlesex University Research Repository at the point of acceptance, and not later than three months after acceptance! Where the publisher permits, the published 'Version of Record' can be uploaded to the record with a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted.
  • Visibility: a record of your output must be publicly visible in the Middlesex University Research Repository.
  • Embargo: the Repository team will check and add any applicable embargoes (as permitted by REF or imposed by the publisher).

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

Related information:

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. Applications 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, and 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 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: 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: In-scope research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022 will need to be made open access. 

  • 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 (see more in the dedicated section of this guide): 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 Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). 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 Horizon 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 immediate open access,
  • Embargo: not permitted
  • Licence: Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence, for monographs and other long-text formats the licence may exclude commercial uses and derivative works (e.g. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND);
  • Bibliographic information includes Funder Acknowledgement: must include publication (author(s), title, date of publication, publication venue), funder, grant identifier, licencing terms, persistent identifiers for the publication
  • Rights Retention Statement (see more in the dedicated section of this guide): 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:

Repository-related LibGuides

Visit the Repository Policies & Information LibGuide for the Middlesex University Research Repository's position statement, submission policy, copyright and re-use, take-down policy, content policy, preservation policy, deposit licence, withdrawal policy, disclaimer, definitions and terms.

Visit the Research Data Management LibGuide to learn more about Research Data and Research Data Management support. 

Middlesex University's Open Access Policy

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 and deposit 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.

Middlesex University Read & Publish deals or 'Transformative agreements'

Middlesex University encourages the GREEN Open Access route in cases where no funds are available to pay for GOLD Open Access, or where  publishing costs cannot be covered by one of our Read & Publish deals.

Middlesex University signed agreements with the following publishers below; allowing eligible authors to publish GOLD open access in selected journals without paying a fee.

How do I know if my journal is covered by one of Middlesex University's agreements?

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • You are the (responsible) corresponding author for the research article.
  • Your corresponding email address is the Middlesex University email.
  • Your "Middlesex University" affiliation is spelled accurately.

Useful links:

Please note:

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 (RRS)

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 in one of the eligible journals where the self-archiving GREEN Open Access route is encouraged, your manuscript will have to include a rights retention statement in the funding acknowledgement section and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission.

The statement will be slightly different per each funder, but should say something similar to the following: 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.

What is the Middlesex University Research Repository?

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 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. 

Useful links:

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.

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:

Guidance, References & Training Material

Open access articles - sources


In case you have further questions or need additional information about Open Access, embargoes, transformative agreements, rights retention, data access statements, or how to meet your funder's open access compliance requirements, request a one-to-one or group training session, or contact the Research Support Team for help