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Open Access

open access; publish and read;


Open Access is.... 

If an article is "Open Access" it means that it can be freely accessed by anyone in the world using an internet connection. This means that the potential readership of Open Access articles is far, far greater than that for articles where the full-text is restricted to subscribers. Evidence shows that making research material Open Access increases the number of readers and significantly increases citations to the article - in some fields increasing citations by 300%.

Open Access is not.... 

It is important to point out that Open Access does not affect peer-review; articles are peer-reviewed and published in journals in the normal way. There is no suggestion that authors should use repositories instead of journals. Open Access repositories supplement and do not replace journals. Some authors have feared that wider availability will increase plagiarism: in fact, if anything, Open Access serves to reduce plagiarism. When material is freely available the chance that plagiarism is recognised and exposed is that much higher.

Benefits of Open Access

Benefits of Open Access

Creative Commons License CC-BY Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown

Why is Open Access important?

Published research results and ideas are the foundation for future progress. Open Access publishing therefore leads to wider dissemination of information and increased efficiency in any research area, by providing:

  • Open Access to ideas
    Whether you are a patient seeking health information, an educator wishing to enliven a lesson plan, or a researcher looking to formulate a hypothesis, making papers freely available online provides you with the most current peer-reviewed information and discoveries.

  • Open Access to the broadest audience
    As a researcher, publishing in an open access journal allows anyone with an interest in your work to read it - and that translates into increased usage and impact.

Open Access Models: Green, Gold and ‘crowd unlatching’

  • Green Open Access is where researchers self-archive their work, usually in a subject-based repository such as ArXiv, or an institutional repository. Macquarie University’s research portal ( is an institutional repository. No fees are charged for Green Open Access and the work is freely accessible to anyone.  
  • Gold Open Access is where a researcher pays a fee, commonly known as an Article Processing Charge (APC), to a publisher. The work then becomes publicly accessible without a paywall barrier.  
  • ‘Crowd unlatching’ is an emerging option for providing Open Access. This approach brings together crowd funding and Open Access. It is used by Knowledge Unlatched, an initiative that has adopted this approach to unlatch access to substantial collections of resources by partnering with publishers and libraries to make resources freely available.

Ongoing Gold Open Access issues  

Various publishers have introduced the option for authors to make their work available as Open Access through payment of an APC. The Library has been approached to fund these charges at different times.

APCs in many cases simply move the cost from the consumer end of the publishing cycle (e.g. libraries) to the production side (the researcher) without necessarily creating any positive changes to the business model. 

Origins of Open Access

The Open Access movement is the worldwide effort to provide free online access to scientific and scholarly research literature, especially peer-reviewed journal articles and their preprints.

The Open Access movement started out with a series of statements or declarations. Historically the movement has progressed and gained momentum since 2002 through three major statements made in Budapest, Betheseda and Berlin (see links below).

Now Open Access is on a roll. Recent Funder Mandates — including that of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (the world’s largest research funder), which now requires that all their funded research be placed in an openly accessible database, and Harvard University — have further strengthened the prospects for Open Access to all research. Locally the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have both adopted funder manadates. AOASG have written a summary and comparision of the ARC and NHMRC mandates (see the final link below).

What is Open Access anyhow?

Frequently asked questions

AOASG have developed a list of Open Access FAQs, including:

  • What is open access?
  • What is 'green' open access
  • What is 'gold' open access
  • Why open access?
  • Doesn’t open access contravene copyright?
  • Why would a journal publisher allow OA?

See the link below for more information.

Benefits of Open Access

Open Access Week


Open Access Week highlights the burgeoning support for open access to research outputs amongst the international higher education community and the general public, through the proliferation of digital repositories and the adoption of open access policies by major research funders.