In the traditional scholarly publishing model, publishers charge the reader for access, either through a journal subscription, by pay-per-view or by the cost of purchasing or accessing a book or book chapter. There is a global movement to make research openly available without these traditional paywalls, allowing anyone to read scholarly works, regardless of their location or ability to pay.
Open Access (OA) publishing is...
OA publishing is not...
Open Access can provide significant benefits to the community, to you and your research.
1. Open access may be a requirement of your funding agreement
A significant driver behind the Open Access philosophy is public access to publicly funded research. The Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) both require research outputs arising from ARC/NHMRC funded projects be made openly available within 12 months from the date of publication. Read more about funder mandates below.
2. Open access could increase the impact of your research
Increasing the visibility and exposure of your research creates potential for a higher number of citations. You can read more about OA citation advantage on the Open Access Australasia website. OA publishing also creates an opportunity to reach practitioners and policy makers who may not otherwise have access to the published scholarly research.
3. Open access will remove barriers to accessing your research
Maximising the dissemination of your research by removing cost barriers provides access to anyone with an internet connection. This can assist researchers in developing countries and ensure the public can access your findings.
4. Open access allows research institutions to showcase their research outputs
Institutions can make their research output visible earlier in the process instead of waiting for publishers to decide when this can be shared or made publicly available.
Where the author publishes a paper or book with a commercial publisher and then makes a version of the paper available in an open access digital research repository, such as Curtin espace. The process should be free of charge and ensures permanent access but may involve an embargo period as prescribed by publisher policies. Learn more from our Guide to espace.
Where the author publishes in an open access or hybrid journal and the article is freely available from publisher’s website. Some journals will publish for free but many levy an Article Processing Charge (APC) or Book Publishing charge (BPC) that can range from the equivalent of a couple of hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Where the open access publisher charges neither author nor subscription fees. These journals tend to be smaller, are often based around a university press and often publish in other languages. Many are not listed on directories such as DOAJ.
Transformative/Read and Publish agreements
Where University Libraries negotiate with publishers to allow free OA publishing in subscribed journals, essentially transforming their current subscription payments into payments which support OA publishing. This does away with “double dipping” where Libraries pay a journal subscription and authors also pay for APC’s.
There can be a range of costs associated with publishing open access.
There are, however, book and journal publishers who fund their activities in other ways - below we offer you a range of tools to help you find these fee-free OA publishers.
Curtin University Library also has a number of arrangements with publishers that remove APC's for Curtin authors as part of library subscriptions.
Funder mandates are one of the key drivers for OA publishing. European funding bodies have raised the bar significantly through Plan S, whereby all publicly funded research must be made open access as soon as it is published, without embargo. Major private funders such as The Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have also joined Plan S.
ARC and NHMRC Mandates
The Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) both require that research outputs arising from ARC/NHMRC funded projects be made openly available within 12 months from the date of publication.
You can get more information about funder mandates from:
Which manuscript is required?
The ARC and NHMRC require that one of the following publication versions be made open access:
Contribute to espace
For further information regarding depositing research output into Curtin's institutional repository refer to the Library's Guide to espace.
Curtin University’s institutional repository is espace and this is the first port of call for Curtin authors to deposit their research output.
However different disciplines may lodge their works in discipline specific repositories, particularly in the case of non traditional research outputs.
While most repositories accept only peer reviewed “postprints” or accepted versions of papers, there is a growing number of “preprint servers” where papers can be lodged before peer review to allow time for feedback, discussion and revision prior to lodgement with a commercial publisher.
Tools for finding repositories
Publishing your work in an Open Access journal can increase the visibility and accessibility of your work. There are various business models under which OA journals operate:
Finding the most appropriate journals in which to to publish your research will be a process of weighing up a number of factors, both within and beyond your control.
You will need to consider:
Use the tools in the next tabs to help you make the best choice.
The following resources will help you find relevant OA journals in your area:
For more information on searching these tools for OA content, go to Tools for finding quality journals.
The Directory of Open Access Journals search function can identify quality open access journals that do not charge article processing fees (APCs).
There are a number of different models for publishing OA books.
This is a rapidly changing area with new OA book publishing models being developed across the globe.
Use the tools in the next tab to find the right publisher for your needs.
OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit:
The true benefits of open publishing are only realised if works are discoverable.
Having a unique identifier such as a DOI or ISBN for OA books and book chapters will ensure that they can be discovered and uniquely distinguished. It is also important that their metadata or description is harvested by databases and search engines so they aren’t hidden in small collections away from public access.
OA books can be discovered in a number of ways: