Academic Books & Online Resources

Frequently Asked Questions: Oxford Open

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding open access policies, charges, and funder policies at OUP.

Expand Close What is open access?

Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access to, and re-use of, journal articles. This is different to free access because of the implications for re-use.

There are fundamentally two forms of OA: 'green' and 'gold'.

Green open access is used to describe the situation when a manuscript is published in a journal and then a version of that paper (usually the refereed, but un-copyedited version) is posted into an institutional or subject repository after a certain period. The exact timeframe varies from journal to journal, but the standard for OUP journals is 12 months in medicine and science and 24 months in other areas.

Gold open access, also known as ‘Author Pays’, enables the author or their funding body to pay a publication fee to make their article freely accessible immediately upon publication.

OUP supports both gold and green open access.

Expand Close What is Oxford Open?

The Oxford Open initiative is OUP's open access programme. It includes full and optional open access to more than 250 journals drawn from every subject area.

Expand Close How will readers know which articles are available via open access?

Articles will be clearly labelled as open access on the online table of contents page. Any users of the electronic table of contents (eTOCs) will therefore be notified when an open access article is published in the Oxford Open initiative.

Expand Close Which journals are currently participating in the Oxford Open initiative?

The majority of our journals offer the optional open access option. Please visit the individual journal homepages to see whether they are included in the Oxford Open initiative.

Expand Close When will I be given the choice to pay a publication charge that will enable my paper to be freely available online?

Upon acceptance of your paper you will be required to sign a licence to publish online. As part of this process you will be be asked to indicate whether you would like to take the Oxford Open option and pay for open access for your paper.

Expand Close Can I make my article open access after it has already been published under subscription control?

If the journal is participating in Oxford Open, please email the open access team and we can arrange this for you.

Expand Close What is the open access publication charge?

Open access publication charges vary by journal, and are between £1000-2500. Please see the Instructions to Authors pages of individual journals to find out the applicable charge.

Discounted rates apply to authors in developing countries. Visit our Developing Countries pages for a list of qualifying countries.

The optional open access charges are in addition to any normal (excess) page charges and colour charges that might apply.

Expand Close How do I pay?

If you select an Oxford Open licence to publish, you will be invited to pay online after signing the licence. Oxford Journals Author Services allows you to pay online using a credit or debit card, or to request an invoice by email or post.

Expand Close Will there be colour figure charges or additional page charges if my paper exceeds a certain length?

This will depend on the individual journal concerned - please check the 'Instructions to Authors' page for the relevant title. The optional open access charges are in addition to any normal (excess) page and colour charges, and so these charges will continue to apply where they are in place.

Expand Close How will you ensure that the payment for publication charges by authors has no influence on whether an article is accepted for publication in an Oxford Open journal?

All manuscripts submitted to journals participating in the Oxford Open initiative will continue to be subject to the same rigorous process of editorial consideration and peer review, thereby ensuring that the high standards the community has come to expect from the journal are maintained. Under the Oxford Open model, the editors of the journal will not be involved in correspondence with authors regarding payment of open access charges for their article. Instead, the author charge system will be administered by the publisher, OUP, only after manuscripts have been accepted for publication. In this way authors should be reassured that their ability to pay publication charges will not influence editorial decisions.

Expand Close Does Oxford University Press double-dip?

No. ‘Double dipping’ describes a situation unique to hybrid open access journals in which a publisher charges authors APCs and then does not reduce the subsequent subscription price of the journal. OUP categorically opposes double dipping and we have discounted our online subscription prices in line with open access uptake since we started publishing hybrid open access journals in 2005. We believe that our customers should not be asked to pay twice for the same content.

Journal subscription pricing is dependent on numerous factors, including but not limited to changes in page extent and frequency, inflationary pressure, changing costs, competitive position, etc. It’s important to note that this means open access discount on prices may not always lead to an absolute price decrease.

Expand Close Will you deposit my article in PubMed Central (PMC)?

Upon publication in an issue, all Oxford Open papers will be automatically deposited in PMC by OUP, where subject relevant. The journals participating in this automated process have been determined by PMC, based on subject area.

All NIH-funded papers will also be deposited automatically in PMC at issue stage. For more information on how OUP helps authors comply with funding body requirements, including NIH, the Wellcome Trust and HHMI, see our funding agencies page.

Expand Close How does Oxford Open help authors comply with funder mandates?

A growing number of funding bodies have mandates in place stipulating that research which they have funded must be made open access. This may be either by mandating deposit in repositories after an embargo period (Green open access) or by requiring that research is published in open access journals (Gold open access).

Oxford Open journals give authors the option of making their article open access immediately via the Oxford Journals website. In addition, where subject relevant these open access articles will be automatically deposited and made publically available in PMC upon issue publication.

Furthermore, most Oxford Journals have either a 12 month embargo (STM journals) or 24 months (HSS journals), so even if you decide not to pay for immediate open access you will be able to deposit a version of your manuscript in an institutional or subject repository after the embargo period. Please visit the ‘Self-Archiving Policy’ page of individual journals to find out the applicable embargo period and which version of the manuscript you are permitted to deposit.

These mechanisms allow authors to fulfil open access funding mandates. For more information on how to comply, please click here.

Expand Close Which open access licences does Oxford Open offer?

OUP's Oxford Open journals offer authors a variety of different Creative Commons licences. Some of our journals offer a single Creative Commons licence, while others may offer a choice of two or three. Licencing options vary by discipline and are tailored to be most appropriate for the individial journal. Please check the 'Instructions to Authors' page of any journal to find out which licences the journal offers.

The three Creative Commons licences which Oxford Open employs are the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY), the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC) and the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Please click here for more information about these Creative Commons licences.

Expand Close Why do some Oxford Open medical journals charge a higher publication charge for use of the CC-BY licence?

The Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) is the most liberal of the Creative Commons licences and allows for unrestricted reuse, even commercial, as long as the author is credited for their original creation. As some of our medical journals receive a significant proportion of their revenue from pharmacological re-prints, CC-BY is potentially damaging to this important revenue stream. Many of our medical journals are owned by learned societies who use journal revenue to support their altruistic activities, and consequently this potential lost revenue is a concern. As such, the increased cost for CC-BY is in place to help mitigate the financial risks while still facilitating author choice and compliance with funder mandates.