Open access is the term applied to research outputs such as journal articles, monographs, and book chapters, that have been made open to everyone. Follow the links below to learn more about open access at the University of Melbourne.
What is Open Access?
Learn about open access and the different pathways to opening up your research publications, including through publishers and repositories.View
The Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne commit both the University and its researchers to disseminating our research as widely as possible.View
Funder Open Access Policies
Learn about the open access requirements of different research funders, including the ARC and NHMRC, and how these obligations can be met.View
Explore publisher and repository pathways to open access:
Open Access Publishing
Find out more about the University's preferred pathways to open access publishing, including our open access publishing agreements with different journal publishers.View
Repository Open Access
Discover Minerva Access, the University’s open access institutional repository, and learn how to deposit your research.View
Open research is not all-or-nothing. You can start with small changes and focus on opening up one particular stage of your research. You can engage with open research from an early stage in your project, such as through preregistering your research study or trial, or you can engage retrospectively by making your published research outputs open access via an institutional or data repository. There is no set pathway to achieving open research, instead it is about adopting the open practices that make sense for you, your research, and your research communities. Follow the links below to learn more about different ways to open up your research.
What is Open Research?
Learn more about open research, its benefits, and what the funders are saying.View
Registering a study, trial, or report allows for greater transparency and reproducibility to research and allows others to know you are working on a topic.View
A preprint is an academic research output that is still a 'work in progress' and has been made available online before peer review has taken place.View
Considerations for making data open should happen early on, especially when working with sensitive datasets.View
Software and Code
By releasing software and code you have created or developed in your research, you're making your research more open, transparent, and reproducible.View
Open Research Library Guide
This guide provides information and how-to advice on a number of different ways you can embed open practices into your research.View
Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Open educational resources, or OERs, are openly licensed teaching materials. They can be freely used, adapted, remixed, and shared with others. Importantly, OERs can play a major role in improving equity and social justice. OERs are an important aspect of the open scholarship ecosystem. They can draw from open access publications and other open research outputs, or even encourage students to share their own research openly. Follow the links below to learn more about OERs.
What are OERs?
Learn about what constitutes an OER and the importance of Creative Commons licences. Also explore the benefits of OERs and some key examples.View
Find and Evaluate OERs
Discover how to find open textbooks and other OERs, as well as how to evaluate them and understand their licence conditions.View
Adopt, Adapt, or Share OERs
Explore the different ways that OERs can be used in teaching, and the IP and licensing questions to ask when adapting or sharing OERs.View
The Digital Stewardship (Research) team aims to modernise scholarly practice via digital techniques and by maximising the value of research data.
Resources and guidance on copyright considerations affecting your research and publication.
Minerva Access is the University's Institutional Repository. It aims to collect, preserve, and showcase the intellectual output of staff and students of the University for a global audience.
The University's data repository, melbourne.figshare, is a safe, secure and easy-to-use cloud-based repository you can use to share your research data with others.
The University Library offers high quality resources and services that support our researchers and graduate students through the complete research lifecycle.
Partnering for quality learning and teaching.
My Thesis in the Library
Find out about the open access, embargo, and restricted access options for your PhD or masters thesis.
Research Outputs (internal)
The Research Outputs team can help you add research outputs to Elements for display on Find an Expert, and provide general research outputs support and division-specific assistance.
Article Processing Charges (APC) are charges for making an article open access. In a fully open access journal these may be the only source of income for the journal. In hybrid journals, they are an additional income source to subscriptions.
Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is the version of the article accepted for publication including all changes made as a result of the peer review process. It has not gone through the journal's copy-editing process. The AAM is the version of the work that can most commonly be deposited in a repository.
Creative Commons are a set of licences that determine what a user or reader can do with an artefact. Copyright owners can apply the appropriate licence to their work to ensure it is as protected or as open as they wish.
Data custodians are responsible for the safe custody, transport, storage of the data and implementation of business rules.
Data Management Plans are a document that sets out the types of data that will be used and generated within a research project and describes how this will be stored, managed and shared. This is a living document and is likely to change throughout the research project. Some funders require a Data Management Plan for a grant application.
Data stewards have accountability and responsibility for data and processes that ensure effective control and use of data assets.
Embargoes are a restriction imposed by publishers on the public release of an AAM. The length of any given embargo is arbitrary, and embargo lengths differ according to funding sources, disciplines and publishers. Libraries spend time determining and implementing embargoes on AAMs deposited to repositories.
Green open access refers to the deposit of an Author Accepted Manuscript into a repository to make it accessible. In some cases, publishers impose an embargo on the public release of the document.
Grey/Gray literature consists of research outputs that sit outside the published literature. Working papers, discussion papers, technical papers, presentations and submissions are some examples of grey literature.
Gold open access is where an author publishes their article in an online open access journal. The article is immediately accessible upon publication, at no charge to the reader, and will be so in perpetuity. To publish in some of these journals, the publisher charges the author’s institution or funding body an Article Processing Charge. However, this is only one business model, and many open access journals will be free to publish in. A comprehensive list of journals is available through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Hybrid open access refers to a publishing model in which subscription-based journals allow authors to make individual articles open access immediately through payment of an Article Processing Charge. Hybrid open access results in “double dipping” where the university pays twice, both for the subscription to the journal and the APC.
Institutional repositories are hosted within an institution to collect the research outputs of that institution. They often collect a broad range of digital items such as articles, books and chapters, reports, grey literature and creative outputs. Institutional repositories historically have been built on software platforms that were open source, such as DSpace or ePrints, but there are now commercial providers in the market, such as bepress (owned by Elsevier) and Pure (owned by Elsevier). The institutional repository of the University of Melbourne is Minerva Access.
Metadata is information about data. It describes the data and allows the data generator and other to understand the data at a later stage.
Minerva Access is the University of Melbourne's Institutional Repository. It aims to collect, preserve, and showcase the intellectual output of staff and students of the University of Melbourne for a global audience. Minerva Access is indexed by Google Scholar, and other search engines. It provides view and download statistics and a permanent URL for research outputs.
Elements is the University of Melbourne's research outputs management system. It is the tool for the collection of and reporting of data on all research outputs published by the University, and the method by which certain outputs are made publicly available in Minerva Access, the institutional repository.
Offsetting agreements are arrangements between publishers and institutions to mitigate the level of extra payments to publishers above subscription costs. They recognise that research-intensive institutions are spending considerable amounts on APCs in addition to subscription costs. Offsetting agreements are usually in place where there is central management of the payment of APCs. Generally Australian institutions do not have many offsetting agreements with publishers.
Open Access refers to the availability of Research Outputs via the internet, such that any user can find, freely access, read and download the output without charge. Any use or reuse is subject to full and proper attribution, and any licence terms stated to apply, such as the Creative Commons suite of licences. Where open licensing (e.g. Creative Commons) permits, users may also copy, distribute, print, search, link, crawl, mine and otherwise use and reuse the Research Outputs both manually and using automated tools. Open access can be achieved through different methods, see definitions of ‘Green Open Access’ and ‘Gold Open Access’.
Pre-print is a version of an article that is shared on a pre-print server such as arXiv, bioRxiv or the like.
Pre-print servers tend to be discipline specific. The longest established pre-print server is arXiv, which has been operating since 1991. Pre-print servers offer a way for authors to share their work and receive comments from other researchers. Generally, pre-print servers will allow the upload of subsequent versions of the work. A Submitted Manuscript may be preceded by multiple versions of a pre-print.
Published research refers to the following categories from the University of Melbourne “Research Outputs collection Classification Guidelines”: A1- Authored research books, A - Other book categories, B1- Research book chapters, B - Other book chapter categories, C1 - Journal articles, refereed, F1 – Conference publications, full written papers, refereed.
Repositories are databases used to share information about research articles and the articles themselves. They generally fall into two categories, institutional repositories and subject based repositories.
Research data is data that is generated in a research project. It is, in itself, a research output. (See definition of Research Data in the Management of Research Data and Records Policy (MPF1242)).
Research Data Management refers to the storage, access and preservation of data produced from a given investigation. Data management practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to long term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded. Specific activities and issues that fall within the category of data management include: File naming (the proper way to name computer files); data quality control and quality assurance; data access; data documentation (including levels of uncertainty); metadata creation and controlled vocabularies; data storage; data archiving and preservation; data sharing and reuse; data integrity; data security; data privacy; data rights; notebook protocols (lab or field). RELATED TERM: Data stewards.
Researchers includes all staff employed by the University of Melbourne in a research capacity, including Graduate researchers.
Research outputs are any work produced during the research project. They are diverse in nature and range from research articles, books, book chapters, research data, software, protocols, creative works and others.
Subject repositories are developed by members of a particular discipline. They tend to differ from a pre-print server in that they are a location for the deposit of work rather than providing an ability to comment on the work. Examples include arXiv and Pubmed Central.
Submitted Manuscript is the version of an article sent for peer review. In the past this was sometimes called a pre-print. However, the term pre-prints now has a specific different meaning.
Non Traditional Research Outputs (NTRO) in this context are broader than those NTROs defined by the ARC (https://dataportal.arc.gov.au/ERA/NationalReport/2018/pages/section1/non-traditional-research-outputs-ntros/) and include the following categories from the University of Melbourne “Research Outputs collection Classification Guidelines”: F - Other conference publications, C - Other journal contributions, D - Reference works, G – Reports, J - Original Creative works, Jii – Creative Recorded Works, K - Curated or produced Public Exhibitions and Events.
Version of Record is the final published version of the work. Unless there is a licence that permits sharing of the work, such as a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence, then generally this version cannot be shared.
Questions relating to the Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne
Why do we need these Principles?
The University of Melbourne wishes to encourage the uptake of open access because of the wide-ranging benefits of removing access barriers to research. Making research openly accessible allows for greater reach and influence, both in terms of global academic reach and to those outside of academia such as business, government and community groups.
It is also important to increase open access output so that the University continues to keep pace with policy requirements of both Australian and overseas funding bodies.
Do these Principles align with other policies and statements?
Yes, the Principles support the Australian Research Council (ARC) Open Access Policy, the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Open Access Policy and the expectations described by the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research.
The Principles also support the Australian 2017 Policy Statement on F.A.I.R. Access to Australia’s Research Outputs, driven by the Universities Australia DVCR committee and developed in consultation with a wide array of stakeholders, outlines a set of principles for retaining the highest standards of excellence for research practice.
Do the Principles restrict my choice of publication outlet?
No. The University holds the position that the choice of publication venue is a decision held by the researcher
Do the Principles mean I should not publish in an open access journal?
Of course not. The Principles encourage deposit of your Author Accepted Manuscript in Minerva Access because many researchers publish in subscription journals. However, if the most appropriate outlet for your research is a fully open access journal, then this meets the requirements of the Principles. Keep in mind that while most open access journals do not charge an APC, some do and therefore will require that you have access to funds from your grant or within your department.
I’m a Graduate Researcher, does this affect me?
Yes, for the purposes of the Principles, Graduate Researchers are included as ‘research community’.
Why do you refer to ‘peer reviewed’ research?
A ‘peer reviewed’ research output means where the output itself is peer reviewed, rather than an output appearing in a peer reviewed publication. That is, an opinion piece in a peer reviewed journal is not included in this classification.
Are my research outputs included in the Principles on Open Access to Research Outputs?
Research outputs as defined in the University of Melbourne “Research Outputs Collection Classification Guidelines” (October 2018) are included as follows:
A1- Authored research books
A - Other book categories
B1- Research book chapters
B - Other book chapter categories
C1 - Journal articles, refereed
F1 – Conference publications, full written papers, refereed
M- Software and Datasets
Principles 7, 8 & 10
F - Other conference publications
C - Other journal contributions
D - Reference works
E – Editorship
Not affected by Principles
G - Reports
I - Patents
Not affected by Principles
J - Original Creative works
Jii – Creative Recorded Works
K - Curated or produced Public Exhibitions and Events
P – Performance of original Creative Works
Not affected by Principles
V- Scholarly Contribution to Database/Website
Not affected by Principles
What is an ‘accredited’ repository?
The accredited institutional repository of the University of Melbourne, Minerva Access, collects, preserves, and showcases the intellectual output of staff and students for a global audience. For this reason, researchers are encouraged to deposit their work in Minerva Access in the first instance.
If you work in a field where depositing in a subject repository is preferred, then you can check that it is an accredited repository through ensuring it is registered in Open DOAR, a quality-assured global directory of academic open access repositories.
If you are looking for somewhere to deposit your research data, the Core Trust Seal site lists data repositories that have been certified as trustworthy. There are also a number of directories that list well-respected and long-established data repositories, such as re3data.org, the FAIRsharing Databases catalogue, and this list of Data repositories from the Open Access Directory (OAD).
Why is the time-frame so short?
Both the ARC and NHMRC require researchers to make the bibliographic information of their publications available in an institutional repository within three months of publication. To ensure that researchers continue to comply with ARC and NHMRC policy, the Principles include the same time frame requirement for deposit of a work.
Practical advice on open access
How can I make my work open access?
There are two broad pathways to making your publications open access:
- Publisher open access, in which work is published as open access, usually under a Creative Commons licence. This pathway may involve the payment of fees. Find out more on our Open Access Publishing page.
- Repository open access, in which an approved version of a publication is made open access in a repository. This will usually be the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM), and an embargo may apply. The University can facilitate this through our institutional repository, Minerva Access.
These pathways are explored further in our What Is Open Access? page.
The University wishes to limit expenditure on paid open access models where we already have a subscription to the same journals (hybrid journals) and discourages authors from paying Article Processing Charges (APCs) to make outputs open access in hybrid journals. Researchers who wish to publish in subscription journals can make their work openly accessible through the deposit of a copy of their work in the institutional repository, Minerva Access.
- What systems are available for me to use?
Which version of the work do I upload for open access in Minerva Access?
As detailed on the Minerva Access deposit page, please deposit your Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM). This is the final, peer reviewed and corrected version of a paper, before the publisher's copyediting, typesetting and formatting.
You may only deposit the published version, sometimes known as the Version of Record, if there is a license that permits sharing of the work, such as a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Won't making my outputs open access in Minerva Access break my agreement with my publisher?
The University has workflows in place to ensure that the deposit of works in Minerva Access is compliant with publisher policies and copyright.
Most publishers allow the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of an article, conference paper, or single book chapter to be made publicly available in institutional repositories.
If there are requirements to keep the output embargoed for a period, this will be determined and managed by the Minerva Access team.
Does the university provide funds to support open access publishing?
The University does not have a central pool of funds for open access publishing fees, such as Article Processing Charges (APCs). We recommend asking your Research Office if there are any local arrangements in place. You can also consider budgeting for open access publishing costs as part of your initial grant application.
However, the University has several open access publishing agreements in place which allow University of Melbourne corresponding authors to publish open access without paying an APC. Each agreement has different terms and conditions so please read all details carefully. University of Melbourne researchers also have access to a number of APC discounts. These are detailed on our Open Access Publishing page.
I have already put my work in a different repository - do I need to upload it again?
No. The point of the Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne is to ensure that University of Melbourne research is openly accessible. Researchers who have made their work available in a reputable subject or general repository have achieved that end goal, so do not need to do anything further. If you are funded by the ARC and NHMRC, then a record of the work must be deposited into Minerva Access. Note that academic social networks, such as Research Gate and Academia.edu, are not repositories and not compliant with the Principles or with ARC or NHMRC open access policies.
My research outputs cannot be adequately described in Elements. What should I do?
We recognise that Elements is much more straightforward for traditional research outputs. Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs) generated from Artistic and Practice-Based Research can be difficult to deposit. If you are having trouble, please contact your the Research Outputs team or Faculty Liaison Librarian.
Am I allowed to include third-party-copyright material in the version I deposit?
Researchers are responsible for ensuring that they have obtained permission to make third-party material available in the open access version of their work. This requires you to negotiate worldwide digital rights to use third party material, as it will be made available online and accessible to everyone.
If you cannot get permission to reproduce material in this way, or you cannot afford the fees, you can deposit your work in Minerva Access without the third party content if you feel this does not significantly undermine the work.
For further information, visit our Copyright website.
Is the University negotiating better deals with publishers?
Since 1 January 2022, numerous open access agreements between the University of Melbourne and different scholarly publishers have been active. For details on these agreements, including transformative and read-and-publish agreements that don't require the payment of author-facing charges, see the Open Access Publishing page. Article Processing Charge (APC) discounts are also listed on this page.
Many Australian university library subscriptions are negotiated on a national level through the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). CAUL are seeking to negotiate more transformative agreements with publishers in order to improve open access publishing opportunities for Australian researchers. Scholarly Services at the University of Melbourne is also reviewing opportunities to pursue more open access publishing deals. If you would like to contribute to this review, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Scholarly Communications team.
I don’t want to share my data
There are many reasons why researchers don’t wish to or cannot openly share data, including privacy, intellectual property, ethical, and commercial issues. The Principles support sharing research data if you choose, but doesn’t require it, only asking you to make information about the nature and location of your data available.
Where can I register my metadata about research data?
Ideally, information about the nature and location of your research data should be made available in a public data registry or repository. Many journals require datasets be made available on publication. PLOSOne and Nature, for example, both provide lists of recommended data repositories.
The Core Trust Seal site lists data repositories that have been certified as trustworthy. There are also a number of directories that list well-respected and long-established data repositories, such as re3data.org, the FAIRsharing Databases catalogue, and this list of Data repositories from the Open Access Directory (OAD).
Help and support
Where can I go for help on making my work open access?
The University provides an array of support to the research community in facilitating open access. In the first instance you should contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian.
Is there any help with talking to publishers about permissions to share book chapters?
It is increasingly common for book publishers to permit deposit of a book chapter in an institutional repository. It is also possible to negotiate these permissions into your publishing contract. If you would like assistance in supporting these discussions with your publisher, please contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian or the University's Copyright Office.
What training and guidance is available?
The Researcher@Library program for graduate researchers and academics runs throughout the year and features several webinars on open scholarship. You can read about open scholarship sessions on our Training and Events page.
Guidance on how to deposit research in our institutional repository can be found on the Minerva Access website.
For advice and training requests on open access, please contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian.
Training and Events
The Researcher@Library program for graduate researchers and academics runs throughout the year and features several webinars on open scholarship. Stay tuned for the sessions below that will be running in 2023.
UPCOMING: 2023 Open Access Publishing Agreements
Register now for an upcoming Researcher@Library webinar exploring the 2023 open access publishing agreements. Wednesday 15 February 2023, 12:00pm. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by 30 minutes of question time. The session is open to all University of Melbourne academic staff, graduate researchers, and professional staff.
Open Research 101
This session provides a broad overview of the many types of open research. Topics covered include preregistering research, open notebooks, open data, open source code and software, preprints, and open peer review. (Open access publications are explored in the Open Access in 2023 session below.)
Open Access in 2023
This webinar explores the current open access landscape and takes researchers through the what, why, and how of making research publications open. We will explore both publisher pathways to open access, including through the University's open access publishing agreements, and repository pathways, including through Minerva Access, the University's institutional repository. (Previously ran as Open Access 101.)
Open Access and Your Thesis
Designed for Graduate Researchers, this session provides an overview of open access and copyright considerations for your thesis. We cover open access deposit in the University's institutional repository (Minerva Access), embargo and restricted access options, considerations for theses with publications and publishing thesis material after submission, and third-party copyright and permissions. (Previously ran as Public Access and Your Thesis.)
Break Free! An Open Access Escape Room
An interactive online escape room that explores pathways to making research publications open access. Together, we help three fictional researchers liberate their work from behind paywalls!
The University of Melbourne Library also has a number of recordings of past events and training sessions that you can also view at Researcher Connect. The program last ran in July 2022; stay tuned for more information on the next Researcher Connect program.
Note that the Researcher@Library program and Researcher Connect events are presented for University of Melbourne staff and students only. For more information, email email@example.com.
Researcher@Library program for graduate researchers and academics
Develop your library research skills and digital capabilities as a researcher – from database searching and managing references, to publishing strategically and tracking research impact.View
A program of digital research tools & skills.View
Contact a librarian
For enquiries relating to open scholarship, including open access, open research, and open educational resources (OERs), please email your discipline's Liaison Librarians, or arrange a time to consult a librarian.
The Scholarly Communications team can assist with complex enquiries relating to open scholarship and provide individual consultations. They can also work with library colleagues to organise seminars and workshops for reserachers on topics including open access and open educational resources (OERs).