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Open Access: Gold OA

Is it Gold for me?

gold sunrise
A number of research funders and employers now mandate Gold Open Access (free to read and download from the publisher's website), and provide funding to enable their authors to pay any fees imposed by the publisher.
Article processing charges typically range between £50 - £3000, depending the discipline and the journal.
Some publishers waive fees when one or more authors are early career researchers, or based in a developing country.  Others enter into agreements with institutions to offset the cost of APCs against subscriptions.  Refer to your target publisher's Guidance for Authors for more information, and see Paying for Open Access in this guide.

UKRI Open Access Policy

The UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, and STFC) issued an Open Access Policy in April 2013, which is still in force, with a review scheduled for 2020. 

Key points:

  • All journal articles that originate from research funded by the Research Councils must be openly accessible.

  • Gold open access is preferred, and articles published Gold must be Open Access immediately from date of publication.

  • A Block Grant will be issued to the universities in receipt of awards, to enable them to cover the cost of article processing charges for Gold OA.

  • If no viable Gold option is available, the authors must achieve Green open access by depositing the article in an insititutional or subject-based repository, with an embargo of no more than 6 months for STEM disciplines, or 12 for AHSS.

  • Articles must be published with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.


See Paying for Open Access for information about how the UKRI Block Grant is allocated to Hull authors, to cover fees incurred for Gold open access publishing.


An annual audit of compliance with UKRI policy is carried out in April each year. 

University of Hull authors should deposit all journal articles in Worktribe, even when published Gold, in order to facilitate compliance with REF2021 Open Access criteria.


Please direct any questions to 

Choosing where to publish

The SHERPA partnership of UKHEIs, funded by Jisc, maintains a number of online services to support open access publishing,  including:

  • SHERPA Romeo: search by journal title or publisher for a shortcut to authors' options for gold or green open access;
  • SHERPA Juliet: search by funder for an overview of their OA criteria for funded authors;
  • SHERPA FACT:  search by journal and funder for an instant check on whether the journal's OA options will enable you to comply with your funder's terms.


University of Hull authors may be able to benefit from the University's arrangements with several scholarly publishers to support payment of article processing charges:  see Paying for Open Access.

Choosing a licence

A key part of publishing open access material is ensuring that readers understand what permissions they have for re-use of the material. The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association offers best practice guidelines on licensing and attribution in open access:

Predatory Publishers

Beware of predatory publishers who "lie about their business practices for the purpose of attracting paying authors"  (Rick Anderson, 2019).

  • David H. Kaye, Emeritus Professor of Law at Penn State, blogs regularly about encounters with Flaky Academic Journals in all disciplines.  You can search the blog content for any references to journals you're worried about.
  • The international Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has published a discussion document (2019) identifying the key issues and proposing solutions to predatory publishing.
  • Cabell's International Blacklist is a "searchable database of deceptive and predatory academic journals".  Access is for subscribers only.  If you encounter any suggestion that a journal has been blacklisted by Cabell's, treat this as a warning sign.
  • Hull Professor of Nursing Roger Watson has recorded a podcast (2016) on "steps you can take to protect yourself" from predatory publishers.


Think. Check. Submit. is a tool developed by scholarly publishers and societies,  to offer researchers a checklist that will help them decide if a publisher is trustworthy:

CC License