by Julia Mortimer
22nd October 2019

Julia Mortimer

Happy Open Access Week! At Bristol University Press and our imprint Policy Press we have long been supporters of responsible and fair Open Access (OA). We are proud of our positive relationship with the academic community we serve, and we want our authors’ work to gain as wide a readership as possible. OA fundamentally supports our mission to make a difference through our publishing and to address the global social challenges.

So far, we have published nearly 50 OA books since 2011 and over 100 Gold Open Access journals articles either through direct funding or via our participation in OA projects such as Knowledge Unlatched. In addition, we permit deposit of all our accepted journal manuscripts and book chapters in institutional repositories.

We are delighted to have been able to publish a wide range of OA titles through a funded support route. This has helped considerably with all the activities we do to help create impact.

Explore our OA content.


OA journal articles

Recent OA journal articles which are having an impact include:

Browse all our OA journal articles here.


OA Books

Our OA books are freely available giving them more power to provoke debate and make a difference. Forthcoming titles include:

Many of our Shorts are also OA. They provide the latest cutting-edge or topical research findings and our free to share to influence policy, politics and practice. These include:

Read an impact case study on Repealing the 8th and explore all our OA books here.


Other routes to impact

Where core OA funding is not available, we use other approaches to ensure our content can reach its intended audiences.

Much of our journal content aimed at a wider audience is free, either on a permanent basis for sections like Policy & Practice, Debates and Issues or Voices from the Frontline, or via Most read and Editor’s Choice collections which are free for regular periods during the year.

Our new blog, Transforming Society, provides an opportunity to translate research into accessible posts, interviews, policy briefings, cases studies and podcasts to impact change. Re-imagining the research in this way goes a step further than simply making academic research open to all.

We publish the Futures of Work blog, edited by a dynamic team of academics at the University of Bristol, which stimulates debate, ideas and interaction in the field. We are also partners in the highly successful social research online magazine Discover Society.

By creating policy briefings for selected books and journal articles we inform policy makers and practitioners about content to bring about change. We also experiment with other ways of opening up content, for example by allowing a different chapter of a book to be free to access each month.

In order to allow our authors’ work to have impact within their networks we allow them to deposit versions of their manuscript in their institutional repositories whilst protecting the value we contribute to the Version of Record.

We actively encourage and support our authors to share their work widely in a way that is often more accessible than dissemination through straightforward OA.


Equity and OA

The theme of this year’s International Open Access Week is Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge which poses important questions about access to current and proposed OA systems and models. We fear that if Gold OA emerges as a dominant model, then current inequities of access to paywalled content could move from readers to authors in countries, regions and disciplines which can’t afford to pay APCs and BPCs.

This is why we are committed to a mixed model of publishing at this point in time, whilst supporting equal access to OA through waivers and discounts to authors in low income countries.

We work hard at Bristol University Press to make as much content open as possible, whilst ensuring that we can cover the necessary costs involved in a high-quality publishing operation and the all-important marketing, promotion and discoverability activities needed to ensure OA content can be found. This is a crucial balancing act and a question of ensuring publishing OA is sustainable in an uncertain funding environment. Most importantly, it gives authors a choice and equal opportunity to publication when OA funds and routes may not be easily accessible, and the need to publish in high impact publications for career progression currently remains.

With this in mind, we welcome the Universities UK Open Access and Monographs Report released this month and its recommendations for a smooth and sustainable transition to open access where open access is the best route for dissemination.

Find out more about publishing OA with Bristol University Press or Policy Press.

Find out more about International Open Access Week.


Image credit: Finn Hackshaw on Unsplash