Why should I be interested in Open Access?

In Open Access Week, Suzanne Atkins (Library Services) introduces Open Access.

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So, you may ask, as a PGR why should you be interested in Open Access (OA)?

openaccessWell, there are several reasons why OA is relevant and important to researchers, particularly in the early stages of their academic career. Open access in its most simple sense, where research can be accessed without payment barriers allowing anyone to read or download it, offers huge opportunities for researchers to make themselves and their work more widely known.

At the University, all PGRs are recommended to make their work OA wherever possible, although this is of particular importance if you are:

  • Funded by one of the UK Research Councils (RCUK) or one of the following medical charities: Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK
  • Planning an academic career and potentially submitting to the next Research Exercise Framework (REF)
  • Publishing papers etc. with your supervisor or other UoB staff members as co-authors

What are the benefits of Open Access to me?

  • It enables you to share your disseminate your work to the widest possible audience – the more people see it, the more research opportunities may become available to you.
  • It makes publicly funded work available to fellow researchers and to society as a whole, allowing that research to be used as effectively as possible.
  • It increases the visibility of your publications and other work, potentially meaning your work may be cited more by others.
  • It ensures the preservation and longevity of your publications for the future – the more widely available your research, the less likely it is to be lost.

How can I make my work Open Access?

Papers:  The main thing to note is that you are always recommended to choose the best journal for your research from the outset and then decide on the OA options available to you from there.

Other publications:  The University provides facilities for you to make your thesis and research data OA. You are strongly recommended to discuss all of these matters with your supervisor, especially if there are potential sensitivities over access to your thesis or research data.

To find out more about making your work OA please visit the Library Services webpages or email us.   In addition, during Open Access Week (running from 24-30 October) Library Services will be running a number of events to help researchers understand this subject more.

Have you published an article Open Access?  What does this mean to you?

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