Open access (OA) publishing is the means by which peer-reviewed research is made freely available online, with as few restrictions on how the works may be re-used as possible.

By making your publications open access, your work will be visible by those who do not have institutional subscriptions to journals or e-books, thereby increasing the reach of your research. Open access publishing does not circumvent peer review. Outputs are still peer-reviewed and published in the traditional way, in addition to making a copy of the item available via open access.

Items are be made available through open access in two main ways:

  1. The item is published in the normal way and then a second copy, usually the accepted author manuscript version, is deposited (‘self-archived’) in an institutional or subject repository and made available on here after any embargo period agreed by the publisher has expired. This is known as ‘green open access’.
  2. The publisher’s version of the item is made instantly freely available on the publisher’s website, in some cases in return for an Article or Book Processing Charge (APC/BPC) being paid to the publisher and known as ‘gold open access’.  The University of Westminster Press is a Gold Open Access Publisher.


WestminsterResearch is the University of Westminster's institutional repository, allowing green open access. It contains a record of the research output of the University's academic community, including doctoral theses. 

Staff and doctoral researchers can learn how to add outputs on the Adding Outputs to Repository page.

University of Westminster Open Access Policy

Green open access is the University’s preferred route. This route involves no fee.

The University Open Access Policy requests deposit of all research outputs into WestminsterResearch. The creator should add details via the VRE. For journal articles and published conference proceedings, a copy of the final accepted manuscript and a date of acceptance must be included. Adding attachments for all other types of outputs is encouraged.

Limited funding to pay APC charges for Gold Open Access may be available where the application is supported by the College Research Director, through an application to the University Open Access Fund.

Download the University Open Access Policy below.

REF Compliance

From April 2016, to be eligible for submission to REF2021, all journal articles and conference papers published with an ISSN must have been deposited in WestminsterResearch, via the VRE, within 3 months of acceptance. By completing the steps outlined above, you will comply with this policy. Further guidance on REF compliance is available on the REF Open Access compliance page

A list of Open Access FAQs is available.


For Further help or guidance, please email [email protected].