SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Open Access at SOAS

In keeping with our mission and values, SOAS supports the principle of Open Access to ensure that as far as possible our research can be freely accessed by anyone in the world via the internet and used without restrictions for research, teaching and other purposes. The  SOAS Open Access Policy (pdf; 452kb)     (last updated and approved by the Research and Enterprise Committee in June 2020) sets out both the responsibilities and opportunities for authors at SOAS in relation to Open Access publication. It is anticipated that adherence to this Policy will support authors with: disseminating their research worldwide; complying with external funder requirements for Open Access; eligibility for the next REF; and preserving their research outputs.

Researchers at SOAS must ensure that they are familiar with the School’s Open Access Policy and ensure that they comply with the REF Open Access requirements as well as any Open Access requirements of any external funders from which they receive grants.

Engaging with general information, practicalities, increasing importance and benefits of Open Access is a good thing for every researcher to do at any stage in their career. These pages include essential information, guides and details of support that is available for Open Access at SOAS.

As Open Access has now become an integral part of research there are a number of workshops and events that both focus on and incorporate Open Access throughout the year. Researchers should write to for further information and support on making their research more openly available.

Why Open Access?

The importance of Open Access in academic publishing has been growing for over a decade both in the UK and internationally. Put simply Open Access involves making research outputs available online so that anybody can access them freely without having to pay a subscription or fee for access. There are increasingly compelling reasons to engage with and do Open Access.

  • Ensures You Meet Your Funder and SOAS Requirements

    Major funders of research - Research England, UKRI, European Research Council have introduced, and will continue to extend, expectations that researchers commit to making their research outputs available freely to all through Open Access. The result is that a growing amount of research funded by the public is being made publicly available. It also means that as a researcher you now need to do Open Access in order to submit your outputs to the REF or if you want to benefit from external funding for your research.

  • Enables a Bigger Audience to Read and Use Your Research

    When you are working in universities in the UK that pay for online access to journals and books and give access at a click, it is easy to forget that many researchers, practitioners and students may not have free access.

    Making your research Open Access will ensure your work can be read and used by:

    • your research partners across the world
    • policy makers and practitioners in your field
    • journalists and other media outlets
    • potential undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Makes Your Research More Visible Online and in Social Media

    When you make your outputs available Open Access either through Open Access publishing or in SOAS Research Online or other online platforms it provides easy access to anyone online:

    • readers anywhere can click straight through from Google and other search engines without going through a publisher paywall
    • SOAS Research Online items are indexed and found through Google and Google Scholar and automatically fed through to Open Access databases such as Core
    • many publishers now allow versions of your publications to be available Open Access before they are officially published meaning your research can be read and used much sooner after you have written it