The Terms of Reference  were:
- The diversity, fragmentation and efficiency of research investment across the Australian Government, including the range of programs, guidelines and methods of assessment of grants;
- The process and administrative role undertaken by research institutions, in particular universities, in developing and managing applications for research funding;
- The effectiveness and efficiency of operating a dual funding system for university research, namely competitive grants and performance-based block grants to cover systemic costs of research; and
- Opportunities to maximise the impact of funding by ensuring optimal simplicity and efficiency for researchers and research institutions while prioritising delivery of national priorities and public benefit.
This inquiry is focused on federally funded research agencies, their funding mechanisms and university collaborative research. The inquiry is not considering the National Health and Medical Research Council, nor non-federal research funding.
- The Australian Government should adopt a single policy statement for open access to research outputs, as a first step existing ARC and NHMRC policies should be harmonised and managed by a single entity.
- The Australian Government should prioritise its commitment to addressing the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Intellectual Property Arrangements recommendation 16.1.
- The Australian Government should require the collection and reporting of open access costs associated with publically funded research, paying specific attention to the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs). This could start with research funded by the ARC and NHMRC.
- The ARC and NHMRC should be tasked with monitoring compliance with open access policies, and explore incentives for compliance in line with other international funding agencies.