Edge Hill researchers (students and staff) now have many opportunities to publish their journal articles open access, including ‘gold open access’, which previously required expensive fees in most cases. Knowing which OA ‘deals’ we have though, can be confusing. Here we help you get to grips with them…

Moving our research from green to gold

People often talk about ‘gold’ or ‘green’ open access, sometimes even ‘diamond’ gets mentioned.

Lots of explanations are out there, but in the past most Edge Hill research has been made open through the green route. This means the accepted manuscript version is shared in Pure, usually after an embargo period, and the research article can be freely read that way. With gold, the article can be read immediately on the publisher website with no paywall. This is easier for readers, but the publisher usually asks for a fee, pricing most authors out. If the publisher provides this service without fees, that’s diamond open access.

If we think about it with biscuits (and why not think this way) it’s like saying, ‘Yes you can have this green Viscount biscuit for free, but you can’t eat it for a year!” Or, “You can eat this gold bar now, but you’ll have to pay £2000!”.

different kinds of open access. A summary explaining green, gold, and diamond open access is shown.
Types of open access illustrated through biscuits and cakes

What’s changing is that the University now has lots of read and publish deals, which allow Edge Hill authors to publish their research articles using gold open access, but without paying a fee.

What’s a read and publish deal?

University libraries pay publishers so our students and staff can read research articles without paying a fee. This is ‘read’ access. Now what libraries want from publishers is shifting, with a move towards getting open access publishing rights within the bundle.

“A Read-and-Publish agreement is an agreement in which the publisher receives payment for reading and payment for publishing bundled into a single contract.”

– Hinchcliffe, 2019

Which publishers are in and which are out

Now Learning Services has signed up to the Elsevier deal, we have read and publish deals with the ‘big 5’ academic publishers in the UK. The others are Taylor & Francis, Wiley, Springer, and Sage. Other publishers are on board too, including both Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

PLOS (Public Library of Science) is a bit different. They only publish gold open access articles, but Edge Hill has a deal whereby the Research Office has paid a set fee and our authors can publish an unlimited number of articles in certain PLOS journals, including the well-known title, PLOS ONE.

We don’t yet have a deal with some publishers. This can be for a range of reasons: because they either don’t offer a deal and instead focus on green open access (Emerald) or the deal does not offer sufficient value for us. Other reasons might be that a deal is not yet available, or it’s something that we’re currently considering.

a selection publisher logos. In the 'included' area presented as a pink circle, the publishers include: Elsevier, Sage, Springer, PLOS, Oxford University Press, John Benjamins, and Cambridge University Press. The publishers not-included include Nature, IEEE, Emerald, and the Geological Society.
Publishers which have a read and publish deal with us are shown in the pink circle. A selection of publisher who don’t are shown on the right-hand side.

Causing confusion

Read and publish deals have brought lots of benefits so far – Edge Hill research is now easier to access and a broader range of people can to find it and re-use it. The deals though, aren’t always easy to understand for authors.

In most cases, a deal only includes the kinds of journals that libraries have traditionally paid for read access to – basically, those journals which use paywalls. If a journal is fully-funded by gold open access charges, e.g. Sports Medicine – Open or Sage Open, then it doesn’t usually come under the scope of our deals and Edge Hill authors will need to pay to publish there.

A selection publisher logos. In the 'hybrid journals' area presented as a blue circle, the publishers include: Elsevier, Springer, and Taylor & Francis. In the 'all journal' area presented as a green circle are Oxford University Press, John Benjamins, and Cambridge University Press. Finally, PLOS is in an area for 'certain journals'.
Some publishers only include their ‘hybrid’ journals in the read and publish deal. Others, like the Wiley deal cover all or almost-all journals, and are simpler to work with.

Our dedicated Open access options for researchers page lists each deal and its terms, but this can be confusing. We are happy to help authors work with the deals and publish open access. Please contact Liam Bullingham, Research Support Librarian if you are unsure.