Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Open Access

There are generally consider to be two types of open access (OA).  

Whilst both these types of Open Access still exist there is a movement (Plan S) to make full and immediate open access for funded research from 1st January 2021 which UK funders Wellcome Trust and UKRI have joined.  Please see section below "transformative agreements"


Green Open Access:  


The peer review process of publishing a paper with a subscription journal remains the same, but a version of the paper is freely available through an open access repository e.g. a university repository.  The price barrier is generally removed as many of the journals costs are covered by the subscription fees, often paid by the institution.  This is not true in all cases.


Permission Barriers


Some journals request the transfer of copyright from the author to the journal.  


Other journals do not ask authors to assign their copyright to the journal, instead they require an exclusive licence (e.g. CC-BY*) which allows the journal to publish the article and allows authors to retain the rights to reuse their article for a wide range of purposes without seeking the journals permission


Whilst permissions vary across journals below are some general permissions with Green Access


  • You can link to your article.  For example, put a link to the journal on your webpage so that only subscribers of the journal can then see the final version of the paper.
  • Certain journals have open archives to which the general public have access to.  Papers normally appear on here after an embargo period - this is managed by the journal.
  • You can self-archive a version of your paper.  The journal will dictate which version/format of your article you can archive.  For example, you might be able to archive a version that does not have the journal branding on it.


Gold Open Access: 


Applies to open access journals or hybrid journals and involves a fee being paid.  Fees vary across journals. 


If you pay for Gold access:


  • The author generally retains copyright
  • Articles should be published under a Creative Commons Attribution-only (CC-BY) licence 
  • Your journal article is openly available on the journals website as soon as it is published
  • You can also add a final version of the paper to a University Repository.  


If submitting to an Open Access Journal please note that the Gold Access fee is expected and this can be costly.  Consider the value of submitting to this specific journal and whether there are funds available to pay this fee or whether submitting a journal that allows Green Access might be a better option.


Journal Types

There are generally two types of journals: 

  1. Hybrid Journals – A subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access. In general these journals will allow Green Open Access at no cost and Gold Open Access at a cost. 
  2. Open Access journals – All articles are made instantly available (Gold Open Access) but this generally comes at a cost.

Journals have different policies about archiving you must use Sherpa Romeo to check a publisher's self-archiving permissions/policy.

The Versus Athritis funding policy is listed here.  Funders also have different policies re archving you should use Sherpa Juliet to check a funder policy. 

Before submitting please be sure that you understand the costs that may be associated with publishing with a given journal.

What are the benefits of Open Access?

Open access enables your fellow researchers to access this full text subscription free.  

Other benefits:

  • increased visibility of publications; 
  • faster dissemination of research;
  • research made available to the general public;
  • Compliance with funder requirements.
*This license lets other distribute and build upon your work as long as they credit the author for the orginial creation.  Recommended license to enable maximum dissemination.

Cost of Open Access

Prices vary across journals.  Prices can also vary if an institution has membership with a specific journal or a transformative agreement; this may facilitate a reduction in the APC cost for its academic staff and PhD students or indeed cover the costs entirely. Please check what transformative agreements you have in place prior to applying to the Charity.  If you still need to apply direct to the Charity please use the link below

Apply for funds