About open access

Open access in this context means research literature that can be freely accessed by anyone in the world via the internet so that it can be used without licensing restrictions for research, teaching or other purposes.

Scholarly norms for attribution still apply to open access publications, so authors should always be properly acknowledged. Copyright also applies, and the rights-holder (often the publisher) controls the right to permit open access.

The benefits of open access

Open access to research increases its visibility, reaching a wider audience and therefore increasing its potential for:

  • greater citation
  • enhancing reputation
  • attracting potential collaborators, funders and students
  • compliance with funder requirements
  • sharing knowledge from publicly funded research.

Studies comparing citation counts report a significant advantage for open access. Articles on this topic are available from the Open Citation Project bibliography. For example, see:

As well as benefits to individuals and the University, there is a strong argument that “ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.” (RCUK position statement).

How to get involved

If you are interested in starting your own open access journal or want to know more about making content available in St Andrews Research Repository, see information about the University's journal hosting service.

For practical advice on choosing an open access option, contact openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk in Research and Innovation Services.

Help and support

The Open Access team offers support and information on many different aspects of open access, they can: 

  • support researchers to achieve open access and comply with funders’ policies
  • provide guidance on licensing, versions and individual publisher deals
  • offer advice on funding available to pay open access fees, and when you need to select a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence
  • provide information and reports on usage statistics for open access content in the St Andrews Research Repository.

The Open Access team are keen to work with Schools to develop efficient mechanisms for deposit in Pure. If you would like the team to visit your School or Department, please email openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk

Additional support is available for Research Data Management from research-data@st-andrews.ac.uk

The Open Research blog is a useful resource for the latest policy announcements and updates and features a variety of posts on all things open at St Andrews and beyond.