College policy on Open Access

Imperial College London is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In line with this it supports the principle that ‘the results of research that have been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain’ and therefore it encourages all its academic and research staff and students to make their research available through Open Access (OA). The College will engage with research funders to develop suitable OA publication strategies.

Imperial’s academics, researchers, staff and students are free to publish in journals of their choice. Where funders encourage or mandate Open Access, Green Open Access (within the permitted embargo periods) should normally be the preferred route, unless funding for Gold is available.

What is open access?

Open access publishing means making your research outputs available online, free of charge to individuals who wish to access and read it. You can do this by either depositing your work in a repository such as Spiral or by paying an open access fee or article processing charge (APC) to a publisher for immediate open access at their website.

There are several reasons why researchers would make their work open access:

  • to share the results of your research as widely and as quickly as possible
  • to give access to your research without restrictions of price or permissions
  • to meet the grant conditions of your funder: Wellcome Trust and all RCUK funding councils now require research outputs to be made open access
  • to be REF-compliant: in order to be eligible for the post-2014 REF, a peer-reviewed version of journal articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in a repository within three months of acceptance for publication

The College's Library provides information on how the College is supporting Open Access and how researchers can make their research outputs open access.