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Open Access

Find out how to make your research publications and theses Open Access. For open sharing of research data and other associated outputs, please see our open data page.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is free, unrestricted online availability of research literature such as peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and monographs. According to the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

"By “open access” to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

Over the years, the scope of Open Access has expanded beyond traditional publications to include any tangible products arising from research, including early versions of manuscripts (preprints, theses, data sets, software, patents) and creative works (compositions, literary works, performances), as well as any other outputs supporting the analysis, interpretation and, where applicable, reproducibility of the research findings.

Why Open Access?

Scholarly publications, including journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs, are currently the main avenues to disseminating research, but often people need to pay for access; even then, they are limited in how they can re-use the work.

Open Access to publications aims to remove these barriers. Open Access publications are freely available online, without the need for payment or passwords, and free from most re-use restrictions.

Open Access at Surrey

The Library:

  • Supports the deposit of research outputs created by Surrey researchers in the University’s Open Research repository
  • Manages funds to cover the costs of Open Access publishing; and has in place a number of publisher agreements that support compliance with funders.

If you have any questions, or need guidance then please email our Open Research team at

Step-by-step guide to Open Access

To meet University, REF and funders' Open Access requirements, you need to know what to do:

  • while you are preparing a manuscript for submission
  • on submission to the journal
  • on acceptance
  1. Follow the OA diagram (PDF) for guidance and a checklist before submission, on submission and on acceptance.
  2. The diagram refers to a journal list. Use the list to find out which journals are supported by OA funds, and for which journals you need to follow the repository route. Please do explore OA publications in journals that do not require additional article process charges (APCs) first and use the funding available via funders (e.g. Wellcome, EU or NIHR where possible) before applying to the Library OA fund. 
  3. Please always use your University of Surrey email, University of Surrey complete affiliation and your ORCID when submitting an article. 

Open Access repository

Publishing Open Access

Our current publisher agreements (including Read and Publish agreements)

To help Surrey research staff and PGRs publish Open Access, the Library holds agreements with several journal publishers. These include Read and Publish agreements, which aim to support a transition to full Open Access.

To be eligible to publish under any of our agreements and access Open Access fundings:

  • you must be corresponding author 
  • your affiliation must be listed as University of Surrey (please use the full affiliation Name | Department | Faculty | Institution | City | Country)
  • you must select a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY). Publishers may offer you other licences, e.g. CC-BY-NC-ND, but the University only supports CC BY, in line with funders’ requirements.

Open Access to research outputs policy

(304.6 KB .PDF)

Open Access policy companion guide

(168.2 KB .PDF)

Open Access how-to guide

OA workflow and supported journals