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Research Services: Open Access Publishing

The Glucksman Library's guide to assist researchers with all aspects of the research process from finding information to maximising impact.

Open Access

Open Access logo

Open access (OA) is an international movement to make research publications freely available in order to stimulate further research. Any person who can connect to the Internet can access OA material freely. The potential readership of OA articles exceeds that of articles where the full-text is restricted to subscribers. Research has shown that there is an open access citation advantage as open access articles receive more citations than articles published in traditional subscription-based journals (see Swan, A. (2010). The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. Technical Report, School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton 

Green & Gold Open Access

Open Access publishing initiatives increase access to published research, particularly publicly funded research. There are two main types of open access:

Green open access: This is immediate or delayed open access that is provided through self-archiving. The library provides green open access through the institute's Institutional Repository ULIR. It is an open access database of published and unpublished work by UL faculty and researchers. The content is made fully and freely available in accordance with copyright holder permissions. The potential readership of open access articles far exceeds that of articles where the full text is restricted to subscribers. This increased visibility can result in raising profiles and citations for researchers.

Gold open access: This is immediate open access that is provided by a publisher either in a fully open access journal or a hybrid journal. Hybrid open access journals provide open access only for those individual articles for which their authors pay an open access publishing fee. Publishing fees may or may not be charged to authors in fully open access journals.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides a list of quality open access journals. If the journal you are considering publishing in is not included in the DOAJ then check with a Librarian to ensure that is legitimate.

Open Access and Search Engine Optimisation - Recorded Presentation

This recorded presentation will explain the benefits of open access and explain how you can increase the visibility of your publications via search engine optimisation (SEO).

Benefits of Open Access

  • No subscriptions necessary
  • Greater visibility of your research – indexed by Google Scholar, Google, etc.
  • Dissemination of knowledge – a public good
  • Satisfy funding agency requirements (e.g. SFI, IRC, EU)
  • Increases research exposure and citation rate (Open Access citation advantage)

Publication & Dissemination

Publishing and disseminating  the results of your research is vital in order to maximise its impact. It is important to attend and present at conferences both to communicate the results of your research and to meet potential collaborators.

You should seek to collaborate with researchers in other institutions as research has shown that co-authored papers, especially those from outside your own country, are cited more frequently. See this guide for tips on getting started with co-authoring.

Care should also be taken when selecting the title and keywords of your article to ensure that it is picked up in the search results of databases (i.e. search engine optimisation).

RIAN - Showcasing UL’s research excellence and sharing it with the world

Rian logo


RIAN, Ireland’s national portal for open access to Irish published research provides a single point of access to national research publications and contains content harvested from the institutional repositories of Irish academic and research institutions, including the University of Limerick through the ULIR.

RIAN significantly increases the visibility of UL’s research and the citations and impact that go with this.

As well as providing statistical information on individual item access it is also possible to browse institutional contributions and view collections by funding agency, item type and peer-review status.