Open access is making published research freely available on the internet. Open access material includes journal articles, artwork, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, theses, data and images.
OA literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. (Peter Suber)
- Wider and more diverse readership, e.g., researchers and practitioners worldwide.
- Increased visibility and discoverability - most open access repositories and journals are harvested by Google and Google Scholar.
- Increased number of citations - 66% of studies which investigated whether there is a citation advantage to open access articles found there was an advantage; others found no advantage or were inconclusive. (SPARC Europe)
- Early access advantage - the sooner your pre-print or post-print is open access, the sooner people can read it.
- Free access of publicly funded research for the public to use with due acknowledgement.
- Wide communication of new ideas and research making a social, cultural and economic contribution to society.
There are three main ways that researchers can make journal articles open access.
- Green: also known as “self-archiving”, where a version of a published article in a subscription journal is made available online, for example, in an institutional or subject repository or on personal web pages. Most publishers allow article pre-prints or post-prints to be made open access in this way.
- Gold: publishing in open access journals, which are freely available on the internet. In some cases the publisher charges an article processing charge (APC).
- Hybrid: some subscription journals allow authors to pay an APC for their article to be open access immediately.
|Article processing charge (APC)||Fee charged to the author or creator, to cover the cost of publishing and disseminating an article, rather than charging the potential reader of the article. APCs may apply to both commercial and open access publications.|
|Accepted author version||Version of a manuscript that has been accepted by a publisher for publication, also known as post-print.|
|Embargo period||Some publishers only allow an item to become freely available after a set length of time, often 12 or 24 months.|
|Institutional repository||Online database designed to collect the intellectual output of a particular institution or university, including digital collections such as electronic theses, post-prints, or faculty scholarship.|
|Post-print||A manuscript draft after it has been peer reviewed, also known as accepted author version.|
|Pre-print||A manuscript draft that has not yet been subject to formal peer review, usually distributed to receive early feedback on research from peers, also known as submitted version.|
|Publisher's version||Final version of a manuscript as it appears in the journal, after peer review and processing by a publisher, also known as version of record.|
|Repository||An archive to deposit manuscripts. These can be institutional, e.g., University of Auckland Research Repository, ResearchSpace websites such as Academia.edu, or subject-based such as arXiv.|
|Submitted version||A manuscript draft that has not yet been subject to formal peer review, also known as pre-print.|
|Subscription model||Business model whereby a fee is paid in order to gain access to scholarly research outputs, usually journals.|
|Version of record||Final version of a manuscript as it appears in the journal, after peer review and processing by a publisher, also known as publisher's version.|
Definitions adapted from blogs.egu.eu/network/palaeoblog/files/2015/02/OpenGlossary1.pdf
Various global initiatives encourage wider adoption of publishing scholarly research as open access, for example:
- Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG)
New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework.
An international initiative that aims to induce the swift, smooth and scholarly-oriented transformation of today’s scholarly journals from subscription to open access publishing.
- Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies (ROARMAP)
An international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.
Some funding bodies and institutions mandate that publications resulting from their funding must be deposited into an open access institutional repository, for example:
- Australian Research Council (ARC)
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, Australia)
- European Research Council
- Higher Education Funding Council for England
- National Institutes of Health (US)
- Wellcome Trust
- Lincoln University
- University of Waikato
- University of Cambridge
- University of Queensland
- What is open access?
Australasian Open Access Support Group (AOASG).
- A very brief introduction to open access
By Peter Suber, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication.
- Open access FAQs
Council of Australian University Librarians.
- Open Access Academy
Provides resources, support and advice from writing to getting published. Aimed at students and early career researchers.
- F1000 Research - Guide to Open Science Publishing
Good overview of open access, open peer review, open data and open science
All University of Auckland researchers are expected to deposit copies of all their published work or documentation of their non-text creative works into the University Research Repository, ResearchSpace - see the University's Open Access Guidelines. The University prefers that this work be made open access where possible. Log in to Research Outputs to deposit your work.
The University of Auckland Research Repository, ResearchSpace
The University Research Repository has:
- Records and full text of staff research outputs, including creative works, journal articles, conference papers, presentations.
- Records and full text of doctoral theses and some masters theses.
Why contribute to the University Research Repository
- Your work is permanently archived, even if the original website where it is stored changes.
- You will have a unique, permanent URL for each piece of work.
- Your work will be more easily found by Google and Google Scholar and other search engines.
- Even if your work is not open access, the University Research Repository record gives enough detail for other researchers to locate it.
- You will get usage statistics - how often the item record is viewed and for open access work, how often it is downloaded.
- Your work will be accessible in one place - both for you and potential readers.
Tips for self-archiving
- For text-based works, e.g., journals and books, save your pre-print and post-print versions. Using filenames which identify the version will help you locate it when you are ready to upload.
- For non-text-based works, e.g., exhibitions, performances or presentations, keep evidence of your work, such as reviews, brochures, advertisements, recordings and photographs.
- When you obtain permission to use third-party material in your work, e.g., images, ensure that the permission extends to making the work open access in the research repository.
- Retain copyright over your own work and understand your rights as the author. Even if the publisher owns the copyright, you are often able to make a version open access within a repository.
Depositing in the University Research Repository
- You can upload and deposit articles, images, drawings, conference papers, presentations, books, book chapters through Research Outputs.
- For each research output, you can upload and deposit more than one document, e.g., post-print or accepted manuscript and the publisher's version; or for an exhibition, you might upload photos, the exhibition programme and a newspaper review.
- Some publishers allow a particular version to be made open access; some stipulate an embargo period, whereby that version can only be made open access after a set time.
- Library staff will always check the copyright before making publications open access and your publication will only be made open access after any embargo period has passed.
- For more information and instructions on uploading and depositing your research outputs, see Research Outputs Guide (staff) and Depositing Theses Guide (students).
Other University of Auckland initiatives
The University Library leads several open access initiatives, including:
- Digitising older items, e.g., Early New Zealand Books collection.
- Hosting open access journals, e.g., The New Zealand Journal of Mathematics.
See the full list of Digitised collections.
How to make your work open access
- Make your work in the University Research Repository open access.
- Archive your work on a personal website or in a subject repository, such as arXiv or RePEc.
- Publish in an open access journal - some open access journals are free to publish in, others charge an article processing charge (APC). This PDF graphic can answer some questions.
- Some traditional journals (where a subscription is required to read articles) give you the option to pay an APC to have your article open access immediately.
- See this flowchart for options to make your articles open access.
Many publishers allow you to publish a version of your work on your own website, in an institutional repository or in a subject repository. To see what your publisher allows:
- Check the copyright information on their website.
- Use the Sherpa/RoMEO database listing publisher copyright policies and self-archiving rights for many individual journal titles.
See OA at the University.
As with traditional journals, there are some open access publishers who are less than reputable, for example not providing full editorial services or rigid peer review. These are sometimes referred to as 'predatory' publishers.
When choosing a journal, look at the following:
- Who is on the editorial board and who else has published within the journal.
- The publisher's reputation - can you find out more about them from their website, can you see what other journals they publish. Be wary of unsolicited emails to you for articles.
- Are article processing charges clearly stated and outlined?
- Do you, the author, retain your own copyright? If not, can you still upload a version somewhere else, e.g., personal website or use your article with classes? Can you make your University Research Repository version open access?
- Is the journal indexed in a database?
- Peer review process - make sure it is clearly outlined. Be wary of unfeasible turnaround times, e.g., statements that articles will be assessed within 2-3 days.
The following websites can help you when choosing a journal:
Checklist to determine the journal's credibility.
- Open Access Journal Quality Indicators
Grand Valley State University's guide to evaluating open access journals.
- Beall's List
Potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open access publishers, i.e., those you want to avoid.
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Lists open access scientific and scholarly journals that have been assessed by quality measures, i.e., a good starting point for finding a reputable journal.
- OASPA member list
Check if your publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
- Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
Check if your publisher is a member of of COPE
Some open access and traditional publishers charge a fee to the author so the article can be immediately open access. Fees vary widely, typically $500-$4,500 for articles and more for books.
The University has discounts to journals and books with the following publishers:
- BioMed Central
A 15% discount should be automatically applied when submitting a journal article from within the university's IP address to BioMed Central or SpringerOpen. If you submit a manuscript from outside our IP range, select the option "I believe that I am covered by an institutional membership arrangement" on the APC agreement page and then select "University of Auckland”.
- Royal Society of Chemistry
There are a number of vouchers allowing you to publish free in RSC open access journals. Contact Lin Lin in the Engineering Library.
There are various ways you can make your book open access:
- Publish in the traditonal way, and if copyright allows, then make your book or chapters in our University Research Repository open access.
- Publish the book with an open access publisher. See the Open Access Directory's list of book publishers including both popular and academic publishers.
- Increasingly some publishers are publishing some of their books open access, for example, Springer and Cambridge University Press. You usually have to pay a fee for this.
- Make your book available on the Internet. If you create and distribute an e-book online, remember to:
- Get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).
- Ensure you have permission to use all material, including images. You may need to gain permission from the creator. Find out more at the University's Copyright for research or study purposes.
- Apply a Creative Commons Licence to specify how others can reuse your work.
- Ensure your work will be preserved, by depositing a copy into the University Research Repository.
As soon as you create a work, you own the copyright in that work, unless you transfer it in a signed agreement. For instance, when you publish a journal article, the publisher will usually include a transfer of copyright in their agreement. You can use the SPARC Author Addendum to negotiate to retain your own rights; see Author Rights to find out how. Always retain a copy of your contracts, especially if they differ from what the publisher usually allows.
Find out more about copyright and licensing:
- Copyright for research or study purposes
University of Auckland's copyright page.
- Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand
Create a Creative Commons Licence to allow others to reuse your works. There are six licences, made up of four elements specifying whether others: must attribute your work, may profit from it, may share an adaptation of your work, must apply the same licence on their adaptation of your work.
- Open Access in Aotearoa booklet
Learn about open access and creative commons licensing for New Zealand research.
- Publishers' websites will have their copyright and self-archiving policies, usually under publisher’s copyright or author’s submission guidelines, or publisher’s open access policies.
- Sherpa/RoMEO database
List of publisher copyright policies and self-archiving rights.
E-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics.
- BASE (Bielefield Academic Search Engine)
Seach engine for academic open access web resources; searches across several repositories.
COnnecting REpositories, open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide.
Directory of Open Access Journals.
Directory of Open Access Books.
- Law Review Commons
Law reviews and legal journals.
Indexes research papers and related resources from within New Zealand.
Academic books, mainly in social sciences and humanities. Overlaps with DOAB, but has more search functionality
Directory of Open Access Repositories.
Public Library of Science.
- PubMed Central
Biomedicine and life sciences journal literature.
University of Auckland Research Repository.