IS research support



Choose your route to Open Access

There are two main routes to making your work Open Access: Green and Gold.

You should choose the route that maximises the impact of your work and complies with your funder's Open Access policy.

Use our Open Access decision tree to understand your options, and discuss your publication plans with your mentor and/or your School Director of Research.

Green Open Access

This route means you deposit a version of your work in a repository, such as the Kent Academic Repository (KAR), or a specialist subject repository. We encourage you to use KAR, as that will make sure you are REF compliant.



  • You are usually only allowed to use the Author Accepted Manuscript (final peer reviewed version) not the Version of Record (publisher's pdf).
  • You usually need to use an embargo, which means your work won't be Open Access until a set period of time has passed.

Gold Open Access

This route means paying an article processing charge (APC) or book processing charge (BPC) to make your work Open Access. The University has funds available to pay these charges.

Most journals use the traditional subscription model and provide Open Access for individual articles through APCs. Some journals are purely Open Access and are funded only by APCs not subscriptions (an example is the Public Library of Science). Some journals provide Open Access free of charge (the University hosts several of these open access journals)



  • It costs money.
  • It could be argued that some publishers are being paid twice: for a subscription to the journal, and for each article which is made Open Access through payment of an APC.

KAR and the REF

Whether you choose Gold or Green, you must upload a version of your paper to KAR (pdf).

Kent's Open Access policy requires you to do this, so that your work is included in the submission for the next Reference Excellence Framework (REF).

Find out the new requirements for the next REF.


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Last Updated: 14/02/2019