Skip to main content

Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) makes the outcome of research (both papers and data) freely accessible to everyone. It allows research to be disseminated quickly and widely, the research process to operate more efficiently, and increased use and understanding of research by business, government, charities and the wider public.

Institutions such as UKRI believe that publicly funded research should be made openly available when legally, commercially and ethically appropriate. Cranfield University’s Open Access policy supports this.

What are the benefits of Open Access?

Benefits for researchers

  • If more people can read your work, they are more likely to cite it.
  • Most research funders require outputs arising from research they fund be made available on an Open Access basis.
  • More people having access to your research means more opportunities to form new research collaborations.
  • Greater control over what you and other people can do with your own research outputs (subscription-based publishing often requires you to sign away all copyright on your outputs, limiting what you can do with them).
  • You will be compliant with Cranfield’s Open Access policies.

Benefits for readers and wider society

  • Those outside academia have greater access to research such as practitioners, policy makers, charities, small businesses and independent researchers. 
  • Smaller institutions and institutions in developing countries have access to research that they otherwise would not have been able to afford.
  • Ensuring that those who actually provide the money for publicly funded research have access to the outputs they have funded.

Introductions to the topic