Open Access at Sussex

Open Access means providing unrestricted access to research outputs. If an article is Open Access, it can be read by anyone in the world with an internet connection. The Open Access team in the Library can help researchers comply with funding body requirements for open access and to increase the visibility and reach of their research outputs.


The potential readership of an Open Access article is far, far greater than one where the full text is restricted to subscribers. By increasing the number of readers, article citations grow significantly and opportunities for collaboration increase.

Many funding bodies (for example the UK Research Councils, Wellcome Trust) will now only finance work that is published Open Access. You can check your funder requirements via SHERPA Juliet, a searchable database and single focal point of up-to-date information concerning funders' policies and their requirements on open access, publication and data archiving.

The Library Open Access team are happy to help with any questions. It’s best to contact the team as early as possible in the publication process, especially if your paper is acknowledging UK Research and Innovation, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK or British Heart Foundation funding.

Read the University Open Access Publication policy [PDF 159KB] 

Routes to Open Access

There are many ways to make your work Open Access. We can advise authors on the best fit for their material but the main routes are:

Green Open Access

Authors publish in a journal and then self-archive a version of the article in their institutional repository (Sussex authors should deposit their research outputs into Sussex Research Online via Elements). We advise adding the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) as this fulfils funder, REF, and University policy requirements.

You can make your work Green Open Access by adding the full text of your article to SRO via Elements following this guide [PDF 1078KB].

Deposit the item record, and the Open Access team will double check that the appropriate version of the publication has been uploaded and apply any embargo period to your article before it is made live. The bibliographic details will then display on your web profile, and the full text of your work will be available through SRO either immediately or after the embargo period is over.

Gold Open Access

Authors publish in a journal which makes their article openly accessible immediately upon publication, usually for a fee or Article Processing Charge (APC). The journal may be exclusively Open Access or it may be hybrid, publishing a mixture of Open Access and subscription-only articles. Usually, a Creative Commons licence is applied, which means the publisher PDF can be freely shared, including uploading it to Sussex Research Online via Elements.

The Library enables Sussex and BSMS researchers to publish their work Gold Open Access through a variety of Transformative Agreements and other institutional memberships. All our deals, and how to take advantage of them, are listed on our Institutional Open Access deals & discounts page.

Open Access Explained


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an Article Processing Charge (APC)?

    An APC is a fee paid to the publisher to cover research paper publishing costs. With production costs then covered, the article can be made free at point of access. The cost of publication is moved from the reader (via subscriptions and pay-walls) to the author (via the APC).

  • What does Green Open Access mean?

    Green Open Access means making the full text of your research article publicly available via Elements or a subject based repository. See below for how to go about making your output available through Green Open Access.

  • What does Gold Open Access mean?

    Gold Open Access is where a paper is published immediately as OA in an online journal and stored in the publisher’s system. To cover the costs of Gold OA, publishers normally charge a fee to the author or their institution, known as the Article Processing Charge (APC - see above). The version of the paper published as Gold OA is the publisher’s final (formatted) version.

  • How can I make my work available through Green Open Access?

    You can make your work Green Open Access by making the full text available in Sussex Research Online (SRO) via Elements or a subject specific repository.

    • Add the details of your item to Elements following our online guidance.
    • Upload a version of your paper. Different publishers have different rules as to which version of your article can be uploaded, but the most common is the author's accepted version (i.e the final version of your document after all peer review changes have been made). Most publishers do not allow their own PDF to be used (i.e. the version available on their website with their branding and layout).
    • Deposit your item via Elements and the Library team will doublecheck that the appropriate version has been uploaded and apply any embargo period to your item before it goes live.The bibliographic details will then display on your web profile, and the full text of your work will be available through Elements either immediately or after the embargo period is over.
  • How can I ensure I meet my funder's requirements if I publish Green?
    • Use SHERPA/Romeo to see if an embargo period applies. If your research funder requires you to publish Open Access and specifies it must be within a certain time period you will be able to check to see if your chosen journal complies.
    • Upload your item via Elements or a subject specific repository
    • If an embargo does apply the SRO team will add restrictions to your item so that it can only be viewed after the embargo period. This check is always done by the SRO team before making items live.
    • If you are publishing the output of funded research, where applicable make sure your item acknowledges your funder, references the grant code and includes a statement on where underlying data can be accessed. Check the re-use licence required by your funder, who may specify that your item is made available under a CC-BY or equivalent licence.
    • When your record is completed, deposit it in SRO and the team will check the details and make the record live. The bibliographic details will then display on your web profile, and the full text of your work will be available through Elements either immediately or after the embargo period is over.

Further information

Contact the Library Open Access team for support on 01273 877553 or openaccess@sussex.ac.uk. Get support with Sussex Research Online on 01273 877553 or sro@sussex.ac.uk

What is Open Access?