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This factsheet summarises key issues around adoption of Open Access (OA) publishing at The University of Manchester. It is available to download as a PDF document.

The term Open Access refers to the online availability of scholarly work via the public Internet, free of charge to individuals who wish to access and read it. Furthermore, OA literature is free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, enabling individuals to easily re-use content in their own research and studies with appropriate attribution.

  1. The University is committed to ensuring as wide an audience as possible can access and read the outputs of its research and scholarship. The University supports the principles of OA and the efforts of its researchers to disseminate their research findings as widely as possible. 

  2. In keeping with that commitment and in response to the increased expectations from HEFCE, funding bodies and the more general public that research outputs from publically funded research are made as freely available as possible, the University has adopted a Publications policy.

  3. The University affirms that its academic researchers retain the freedom of choice to decide the content, form and outlet for publishing their research findings and are best positioned to do this. Furthermore, the University will use the intrinsic merit of the work (exhibited by academic rigour, innovation and level of scholarship) and not the publishing outlet, when making quality judgements.

  4. The University attaches equal support to all credible, practical and sustainable means of achieving OA.
  5. The University supports Gold OA (where the publisher makes the published work freely available and may apply an Article Processing Charge (APC) to cover publication costs) and Green OA (where the author agrees for a version of the published work to be made freely available via an institutional or discipline-specific repository).

  6. The University's institutional repository supports all University affiliated researchers and enables them to agree for their published works to be made freely available via the Green OA route.

  7. The University will monitor and report the adoption of Green and Gold OA by its researchers. It will work towards applicable targets and report compliance levels in line with funder requirements.

  8. The University is in receipt of a block grant to meet the costs of APCs for Gold OA publishing from RCUK and a grant from the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), which replaces that previously received from the Wellcome Trust.  Members of the COAF pilot are Arthritis UK, Breast Cancer Now, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and the Wellcome Trust.  

  9. RCUK funds have been allocated to Faculties according to the proportion of direct staff costs attributed to RCUK funded research. Choices to pay APCs exist especially where hybrid journals are the publishing outlet and the payment of an APC is optional. Discussions are on-going in Faculties to agree the best way to facilitate these choices.

  10. The University will pay the publishers’ APCs where block funding is available from a research funder and remains available. The University will pay APCs for both hybrid OA journals (where only some articles are OA and payment of an APC is optional) and full OA journals (where all articles are OA).

    Instructions on how to request OA funding are available online at

    The University Library will manage OA block funds and is working with University research and professional support staff to ensure the request and payment of APCs neither hinders the publishing process nor unduly burdens researchers while being aligned with funder and financial requirements.

  11. Academic publishers continue to develop new OA outlets and alternative APC payment options. The Library is investigating publisher-institution APC payment deals which serve to reduce costs and maximise the value of allocated funds. The Library will publicise such deals to researchers where appropriate.

    The scholarly communication landscape will remain complex and changing for the foreseeable future.

  12. The University Library is committed to providing researchers with accurate and up to date information and guidance in this area, both in the form of a dedicated support service and online self-help materials. Further details are available at the website

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