Open access is concerned with making research outputs freely accessible to everyone, allowing the wide dissemination of research by removing the costs and barriers associated with traditional publishing. 

UEA has had an institutional open access policy since 2013. In 2016 the open access policy for the next REF was introduced, stating that research articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in a repository in order to be eligible for submission to REF 2021.

There are two main ways by which open access can be achieved, commonly known as green and gold open access:

Green Route (also known as Self-Archiving): a version of the published research paper as accepted for publication including all changes resulting from peer review, is archived and made accessible in an online repository (often an institutional or subject repository). The journal's publisher may specify an embargo period before the output can be made openly available by the repository. There is no fee associated with this.

Gold Route Access to the published research paper is provided by the publisher via the journal's own website immediately at the time of online publication. This may involve payment of an 'Article Processing Charge' (APC) to the publisher. APCs can range considerably, from less than £100 to over £3000, though a value of around £2000 is typical for many of the journals where UEA authors publish.

There are two types of gold open access publishing:

a. The publisher operates a subscription model for the journal but also offers an open access option for individual articles (usually on payment of an APC). This is often known as a hybrid journal.

b. Open access journal. This means that the publisher does not use the subscription model and all articles are published open access.

You may also come across two other ways of describing open access:

Gratis: the publication is free to read.

Libre: the publication is free to read and the copyright holder (usually the author or publisher) allows certain re-use rights.