How to make your work Open Access

All original research articles can and should be made Open Access, there is more than one route to do this. To be eligible for submission to the REF, all journal articles and conference proceedings must be Open Access. Most research funders also require outputs to be available Open Access too (see our Open Access policies page for more detail on this).

Here is a step by step guide to making your work Open Access (click on each step to see actions required). Please work through this before you submit to a journal. We can now only accept requests for Gold Open Access funding before submission to the journal.

You can also use our open access workflow diagram to guide you.

Step 1: Choose a journal

Before you submit to this journal follow through the next steps to determine the OA route that is available to you.

Step 2: Click here to check whether the corresponding author is eligible for funding

Corresponding author is an honorary staff member - Honorary staff are not eligible for funding. Please submit to your chosen journal via the subscription route (or seek alternative funding if it is a fully gold journal). Deposit Accepted Manuscript in Elements upon acceptance to make your work Open Access in the University Repository.

Corresponding author is a researcher at the University of Liverpool (staff member or PGR student), or the grant is held here, go to Step 3.

Step 3: Is this journal available to the corresponding author in our list of prepaid deals?

Yes - Submit to your chosen journal and follow publisher instructions to choose Open Access publication. If presented with a choice of licence, you must choose the CC-BY licence - we cannot approve more restrictive licences, such as CC-BY-NC.

No - go to Step 4

Step 4: Is the journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals?

Yes - Fill in the Gold Open Access Payment Request form. Receive confirmation from the Open Research Team that funds are available and then submit to your chosen journal. If presented with a choice of licence, you must choose the CC-BY licence - we cannot approve more restrictive licences, such as CC-BY-NC.

If you want to submit to a fully open access journal not listed in DOAJ, please email the Open Access Team and we'll look into it.

No - Go to Step 5.

Step 5: Is the journal considered by your funder to be a "transformative journal"?

Yes - Fill in the Gold Open Access Payment Request form, taking note of the information below.

Please note that different funders have different definitions of what is a "transformative journal", a term that in general refers to subscription journals that are committing themselves to an agreed increase in open access content with a view to becoming fully open access.

If you are funded by one of the UKRI Research Councils, you can use the Jisc-approved list of transformative journals to see if the journal to which you want to submit meets their transformative journal definition. Note that part of this definition allows immediate open access of the author accepted manuscript via deposit in Elements - where open access fees are excessive, we will encourage the use of this free option instead.

If you are Wellcome, British Heart Foundation, or Cancer Research UK funded, you can use the Plan S list of transformative journals to see if the journal to which you want to submit meets their transformative journal definition.

If your article does not acknowledge funding from one of the funder organisations in the information above, we cannot pay for open access. You should instead publish on a subscription basis, and upload your Author Accepted Manuscript to Liverpool Elements as soon as possible after acceptance.

Receive confirmation from the Open Research Team that funds are available and then submit to your chosen journal. If presented with a choice of licence, you must choose the CC-BY licence - we cannot approve more restrictive licences, such as CC-BY-NC.

No - Submit to your chosen journal via the subscription route. Deposit the Accepted Manuscript in Elements upon acceptance to make your work Open Access in the University Repository.

UKRI (Research Councils) and Wellcome Trust require their grantees to use a specific wording in submissions to subscription journals to ensure they (the grantees) retain the rights to make their Author Accepted Manuscript available. Further details, and the text of these statements, are available on our Open Access Policies page.

These steps apply to:

  • Original research journal articles
  • Non-commissioned review articles
  • Conference proceedings

We cannot fund:

  • Data articles
  • Protocols
  • Editorial material
  • Invited reviews
  • Book reviews
  • Commentaries

These articles should be made Open Access by depositing the Accepted Manuscript in Elements.

If you are unsure which route to take in order to make your output Open Access please contact the Open Research Team.