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Open Access

Open access

What is open access?

Open Access is the free and open availability of research outputs online. Typically those outputs are made available either in journals or by deposit in online repositories.

The most common open access outputs are peer-reviewed journal articles. However, monographs, book chapters, conference papers, theses and research data can also be made open access.

What are the routes to open access?

Open access can be achieved by two routes - Green (deposit in a repository) and Gold (immediate OA on the publisher's website). 

These two routes are not mutually exclusive. You are required to make every article you publish open access via the green route - that is, by uploading the author accepted manuscript to Pure, but you may also be required to make your article open access via the gold route to comply with your funder's policy.

Green open access

A copy of the research output is uploaded to an institutional repository (Pure) or subject repository. 

There are no publishing charges. 

There may be an embargo period, depending on the publisher's stipulations. 

Version available via Green open access is usually Author's accepted manuscript (ie final draft post-refereeing), but can occasionally be the final published version.


Gold open access

Research outputs openly available to all on the publisher’s website immediately upon publication.

Will require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC), the average cost is £2000.

Why engage with open access?

Benefits for researchers

Open access to your research outputs leads to wider dissemination, more downloads, higher citation levels and increased possibilities for collaboration. Open access also means greater access for society at large and potentially greater public engagement with research. Open Access can help researchers in smaller institutions and in developing countries, professionals outside academia who rely on research – including health workers, teachers and lawyers – and interested tax payers to benefit from access to the latest findings.

Compliance with funder policies

Many funders require that papers which they fund be made open access. They usually expect this to be achieved via deposit in a repository or in some cases via immediate OA on the publisher's website. Understanding your funder's requirements is vital because non-compliance may affect future grant applications. For more information about funders and their requirements, please check our Funder Policies page.

Compliance with the REF2021 Policy

Whether your funders have an open access requirement or not, papers accepted from the 1st April 2016 need to be made open access to comply with the REF2021 open access requirements.

The author's accepted manuscripts of all papers must be uploaded to Pure within 90 days of acceptance. For more details about the policy please see our webpages

Compliance with King's Publications policy

King's Publications Policy requires that King's authors make all of their research outputs open access on the Research Portal. This is achieved by uploading to Pure the final version permitted by the publisher.

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