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Open Access to Research Outputs

St Mary's University is committed to open access to research outputs 

What is Open Access?

Open access to scholarly research publications means articles published in scholarly journals are freely available for viewing and downloading from the internet, without having to login or pay. 

Routes to Open Access

Self archiving

You can deposit your own research outputs in an institutional or subject repository without paying publisher open access charges. This is known as self-archiving or ‘green’ open access.

Most publishers allow you to deposit your final author’s accepted manuscript in a repository. They may, however, require an embargo period on the full text before making it openly accessible or they may limit how much you can deposit in a monograph for example only one chapter.

St Mary’s University preferred route to open access is self archiving on acceptance of publication in the institutional repository,  Open Research Archive

Immediate paid Open Access  

Most publishers offer the option to publish as open access on their website immediately on publication. This requires payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) or Book Processing Charge (BPC) and is often referred to as 'gold' open access. A licence applied to the published article, such as a Creative Commons Licence, describes the rights you grant to users to reuse your work. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF) open access policy:

Open Access Policy for the 2021 REF requires that all journal articles and conference papers must be deposited within three months of acceptance in a relevant institutional or subject repository. All St Mary's outputs should be deposited immediately on acceptance for publication in the Open Research Archive

Funders’ open access policies:

The Research Councils UK / UKRI Policy on Open Access. This policy requires that all journal articles and conference papers funded by Research Council grants must be made available on Open Access via either the the self archiving or immediate paid open access routes outlined above. UKRI has a preference for immediate, paid route to Open Access and distributes block grants annually to research-intensive universities to help cover the cost of Processing Charges. 

Other research funder Open Access policies. In addition to the REF Open Access policy many other charitable research funders (e.g. the Wellcome Trust or Cancer Research UK) have also implemented Open Access policies with extensive Open Access requirements on recipients of funding grants.

If you have an external research grant please ensure that Open Access and/or Open Data conditions set by the funder are able to be met.

St Mary’s open access policy:

The University’s Research Publications and Open Access Policy applies to all research conducted at the University. The preferred route to open access is self archiving in the repository, Open Research Archive.

All authors are encouraged to pursue open access publishing for all output types where possible.

Before commiting to publication in a specific journal authors are encouraged to verify that a) the journal allows deposit of the accepted manuscript in an Open Access repository and b) any specified Open Access embargo period is within acceptable limits of 24 months for REF Panels C and D. Journal embargo permissions can easily be checked for most academic journals by using the online Jisc Sherpa Romeo tool.

What is the Open Research Archive?

The Open Research Archive is the repository at St Mary's University providing a single point of access to all research outputs created by the university's staff and postgraduate researchers.

Adding all research outputs to the Open Research Archive increases their visibility and has additional advantages to the researcher and the University, including:

  • ensures compliance with Open Access policies
  • provides free online access to research outputs 
  • potentially increases citation and impact of research

Deposit publications to the Open Research Archive by following the on-screen prompts. More information about the Open Research Archive can be found here.

PhD theses 

St Mary's research students completing their doctorates are requested to deposit the full-text of their thesis in the St Mary's Open Research Archive. This will enable the thesis to be made discoverable and accessible online to researchers around the globe. For more information and instructions on this process please contact

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Open Research Archive, such as open access publishing, article processing charges (APCs), data repositories, Publishers' embargoes, open licences and ORCID iDs, please email