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Publishing Your Research

What is Open Access? 

Open Access (OA) refers to methods of making research and scholarly publications freely available, rather than being behind pay-walls:

  • it is premised on the idea that publicly funded research should be publicly available.
  • OA publications are peer reviewed. Articles may be OA by the publisher or by an alternate source being made available post publication (either by author or institution).
  • authors should balance choosing a journal by relevance and impact with consideration of equity of access.


Benefits of Open Access

  • increases the visibility and findability of your work
  • increases research impact
  • satisfies funding requirements of many bodies
    • NHMRC and ARC require that publications arising from research they have funded are freely available with in 12 months of publication (NHMRC policy and ARC policy)
    • many international funding bodies mandate open access. Research involving international collaboration may have to meet these mandates.
  • allows equity of access to research - developing countries, independent researchers, lower income institutions


How to publish with Open Access

  1. Publish as normal and also self-archive or post a free version (Green Open Access)
    • embargo periods usually apply - your free version may not be available for 12 months.
    • most publishers allow deposit in an institutional repository or similar.
    • complies with NHMRC and ARC policy
  2. publish in an OA journal (Gold Open Access)
    • your research is immediately freely available
    • pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) in lieu of journal receiving subscription fees.
    • NHMRC and ARC allow allocation of APC's from grant funding
  3.  publish in a subscription journal but pay to make your article immediately OA (Hybrid OA)
    • publishers get to 'double-dip', receiving payment from both subscriptions and authors


What should I make Open Access?

OA is generally thought of as referring to the results of studies published in journals. However increasingly research data, proposals and protocols are being made available.

  1. journal articles
  2. research protocols. 
    • pre-registering research leads to greater transparency and reproducibility. 'Registered reports' allows for peer review to happen prior to data collection, enhancing the quality of research and frequently guaranteeing publication.
    • Center for Open Science - Registered Reports
    • UoM Pre-registering research
    • Systematic Review protocols should be registered at PROSPERO. This alerts other researchers that you have a review in the topic underway so reducing wasteful duplication.
  3. research data


Checking your rights

In most subscription journals copyright is transferred to the publisher on agreeing to publication. The rights that authors retain to post or distribute personal copies of their work varies.

  • check your author agreement to see what rights you have.
  • consider publisher policies when choosing a journal for publication
  • SHERPA/Romeo website collects this information for most journals
    • look for green or blue journals if you want to post or archive a copy of your work
  • - information to make the most of sharing opportunities


University of Melbourne Open Scholarship guide.