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Open Access

Discover more about open access, main issues and concerns, copyright and other available publishing options

Copyright and Open Access

Making a manuscript available open access, either via open access publishing or self-archiving, still means having to adhere to copyright legislation and obligations. Open Access works within the existing copyright system.

Traditional publication agreements

  • Authors transfer their copyright interest to someone else e.g. journal publisher
  • The extent of this transfer depends on the agreement between the parties. 
  • The rights an author retains will affect subsequent control of the work.
  • More than 65% of subscription-based journals allow for self-archiving a version of the published manuscript.
  • Authors can try to negotiate with the publisher to retain some rights by adding an addendum to an agreement.

Open Access journals                                                                                                                         

  • OA publishers generally allow the author to retain all or most rights.
  • The author grants the publishers a license to publish.
  • Many OA and traditional journals are now applying Creative Commons licenses to articles.
  • CC licenses liberalise the use of a work with conditions, without giving up the copyright.
  • In traditional journals, this generally requires payment of a fee for open access

Which version and where?

What version can be made available, and where, will be dependent on the publisher and journal guidelines on re-use of copyright assignment. 

  • Sometimes the published version of an article can be made open access, or a publisher may require a different version be used
  • There may be an embargo period between the time the article is published and when it can be made available via open access.

This will also impact on posting articles to scholarly sharing sites such as ResearchGate or 

  • As a general rule, however, publishers don’t allow 'organised or systematic distribution' of published articles i.e. publishers don't allow the uploading of your published articles to sharing sites like ResearchGate and 
  • So check the terms of your author agreement before posting to these sites.

The best option is to place the article into espace. You can then link to the espace record from anywhere, including theses sharing sites, blogs and your Curtin staff profile page. 

Refer to the Library's Guide to espace for further information.

Learn more