Open Access Policies Saturday, 26 March 2016


In Australia all research is undertaken in line with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research developed by the NHMRC. This includes the statement that “Researchers have a responsibility to their colleagues and the wider community to disseminate a full account of their research as broadly as possible”. An open access policy can articulate how an institution approaches this requirement.

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research developed by the NHMRC -

Funding agency mandates

There are two primary government funding bodies for research in Australia, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Research in Australia is also supported through international funding bodies, collaboration with industry, and through a range of smaller public and private bequests and programs.

The ARC rules for Discovery Grants for 2012  for funding commencing in 2012 state that researchers may use up to two per cent of their grant for publication and that the ARC “strongly encourages publication in publicly accessible outlets and the depositing of data and any publications arising from a Project in an appropriate subject and/or institutional repository”. It also states that if they don’t, researchers must justify why not in the Final Report.

ARC Open Access Policy  (17/8/15)

The NHMRC have just announced that as of July 2012, publications resulting from NHMRC funded research must be placed in an institutional repository within 12 months of publication

Principles of Open Access Policies

Peter Suber identified three principles for university open access policies and provides annotation around each in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, April 2008. These are:

  • Universities should provide open access (OA) to their research output.
  • Universities should not limit the freedom of faculty to submit their work to the journals of their choice.
  • Universities now pay most of the costs of peer review, through subscription fees and faculty salaries. They should continue to bear the costs of peer review, in order to assure its survival, while recognizing that the forms and venues of peer review are changing.

    Source : SPARC website :

Developing an open access policy

Enabling Open Scholarship

The Enabling Open Scholarship website has a very useful resources page to assist with development of an open access policy.  Resources include information to help formulate policy, examples of open access policies in place at a number of universities and a case study.

Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook

OASIS provides a useful resource for developing an institutional open access policy.  The site identifies issues that need to be taken into account in developing a policy, these are : immediacy, publisher embargoes,  copyright, choice of journals in which to publish.  The site also provides an overview of the three basic types of policy :

  1. Immediate deposit with immediate Open Access
  2. Later deposit after the embargo period
  3. Immediate deposit with optional later access
Other resources for help with developing policies

Help with developing policies

List of papers on developing policies

JISC: How to build a case for university policies and practices in support of Open Access
25 Feb 2010 -

Kingsley, Danny “Developing policies to support open access at your university” Presentation to the CAIRSS Community Day, Melbourne University, November 2010

Looking at other policies

ROARMAP : Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies

This website provides a list of institutional Open Access mandates and enables further institutions to register their policies with the site.  The registry identifies country, institution or funding body and a link to the repository and the policy details.

Note that this list is out of date. As of February 2012 there were only nine listed institutional mandates: QUT, University of Tasmania, Charles Sturt University, Macquarie University, Victoria University, ANU, Adelaide University, Bond University and Edith Cowan University. Of the 17 listed thesis ‘mandates’ 15 link to the now defunct ADT pages, giving a 404 File not found:

Australian examples – Open Access Policies
QUT ePrints - Queensland University of Technology

Prepared by Vicki Picasso, University of Newcastle & Danny Kingsley, ANU Feb 2012