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
Updated in July 2023, the Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne commit the University and its researchers to disseminating 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 the University’s open access institutional repositories, Minerva Access and Melbourne Figshare, 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 research output of our staff and students 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, reports, and other digital assets.
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.
Our Research Outputs team supports tools and information to help you manage your research outputs. Find out more on the Research Gateway (staff and student access only).
- Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) / Accepted version
- Article Processing Charge (APC)
- Book Processing Charge (BPC) / Chapter Processing Charge (CPC)
- Creative Commons licences
- Gold open access
- Green open access
- General repository
- Hybrid journals and publishers
- Institutional open access publishing agreements
- Institutional repository
- Minerva Access
- Non-Traditional Research Output (NTRO)
- Open access
- Open access journals and publishers
- Plan S
- Read and Publish (R&P) agreement
- Research output
- Rights retention
- Subject repository
- Submitted manuscript
- Subscribe to Open (S2O)
- Version of Record (VoR)
Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) / Accepted version
The version of an article, paper, book, or book chapter that has been accepted for publication. It is the author’s final manuscript version after peer review and revisions, but prior to the publisher’s copyediting, typesetting, and formatting results in a proof.
Find out more about article versions on the Minerva Access website.
Article Processing Charge (APC)
Fees levied by a journal for publishing an article open access. They are sometimes charged by open access journals and may be their only source of income. Hybrid journals always charge APCs for an article to be available open access, this is an additional income source to subscriptions.
APCs may be paid by an author, their institution, or a funding body. These charges may be waived if an institutional open access publishing agreement is active.
Book Processing Charge (BPC) / Chapter Processing Charge (CPC)
Fees levied by a book publisher for publishing a book or individual book chapter open access. Most major academic book publishers will publish open access for a BPC or CPC. Some open access book publishers do not levy BPCs or CPCs, instead being supported by institutions, organisations, or grants. BPCs, and CPCs may be paid by an author, their institution, or a funding body.
Creative Commons licences
Open licences that have become best practice in open access publishing. They are built using a combination of elements: BY (Attribution), SA (Share-Alike), NC (Non-Commercial), and ND (No Derivatives). All licences are detailed on the Creative Commons website.
The most open of the licences is the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. This licence allows authors to retain their copyright while granting others permission to distribute, use, adapt, remix, and build upon the material, so long as attribution is given to the creator. This is the preferred, and sometimes required, licence of the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), as well as many international research funders.
The most restrictive is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence. This licence does not allow for any commercial uses or the creation and sharing of any adaptations or derivative versions. It greatly restricts how others can use the work and, when adopted as part of an exclusive licence to publish with a publisher, can result in a significant loss of author rights.
The University of Melbourne’s internal research outputs management system. The Elements platform is used for the collection and reporting of metadata on the University’s research outputs. Publications details in researchers’ Find an Expert profiles are drawn from their Elements profile.
Depositing Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) in Elements is one pathway to making research outputs open access in Minerva Access, our institutional repository.
In the context of open access publishing and sharing, embargoes are a restriction imposed by publishers on the public release of an output. Most scholarly publishers will allow the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of a journal article or book chapter to be made open access in a repository after an embargo of between 12 and 36 months.
Staff at our institutional repository, Minerva Access, will determine and manage embargoes before making any version of a research output publicly available.
Gold open access
Definitions vary, but “gold” open access typically refers to publishing with fully open access journals or publishers. The research output is made freely available to the public immediately upon publication, usually under a Creative Commons licence.
Note that some publishers use the term “gold” to refer to paid open access in subscription journals. Today, this is more commonly referred to as “hybrid” open access.
Green open access
“Green” open access is when a paywalled research output is made freely available to the public in a repository. At the University of Melbourne, we tend to refer to this as “repository open access,” and we maintain an institutional repository, Minerva Access, to facilitate green open access to our research outputs.
Most academic publishers allow the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of a journal article, conference paper, or book chapter to be made available in a repository after an embargo period (usually 12-36 months). A rights retention approach can be adopted to allow immediate green open access.
A comprehensive list of reputable repositories can be found in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).
Hybrid journals and publishers
A hybrid journal charges a fee (an Article Processing Charge, or APC) to publish a journal article open access in an otherwise subscription journal. The journal is hybrid because it contains both open access and paywalled content. The APCs levied by hybrid journals are, on average, higher than those levied by open access journals.
Similarly, hybrid book publishers levy a Book Processing Charge (BPC) or Chapter Processing Charge (CPC) to make the book or one or more chapters open access, when they would otherwise be paywalled.
Institutional open access publishing agreements
A contract entered into by an institution and a publisher that allows affiliated authors (usually affiliated corresponding authors only) to publish open access without facing Article Processing Charges (APCs), Book Processing Charges (BPCs), or Chapter Processing Charges (CPCs).
The most common kind of institutional open access publishing agreement today is the Read and Publish agreement with hybrid publishers. However, agreements with fully open access publishers can also be negotiated.
The University of Melbourne's current open access publishing agreements are detailed on the Open Access Publishing page.
Repositories hosted by institutions to collect the research outputs of that institution. They often collect a broad range of digital items including articles, papers, books, book chapters, reports, data, and creative outputs.
The University of Melbourne has two institutional repositories: Minerva Access for research outputs, and Melbourne Figshare for research data, reports, supplementary research materials, and non-traditional research outputs (NTROs). You can find out more about Minerva Access and Melbourne Figshare on our Repository Open Access page .
Metadata is information that describes an item or asset – that is, data – such as a research output or research dataset. This metadata may be compiled into a publications management platform such as Elements, or a repository such as Minerva Access.
The metadata of a journal article, for example, will usually include information such as: the author(s) and their affiliations, article title, date of publication, journal title, journal ISSN, publisher, volume, issue, page range, DOI, licence and access rights, and funder grant ID.
The University of Melbourne’s institutional repository for research publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and theses. Through Minerva Access, University of Melbourne researchers can make their research outputs open access.
University staff can deposit their research outputs in Minerva Access by uploading files in Elements, completing a ServiceNow form, or emailing the Research Outputs team. Find out more on the Research Gateway (internal access only).
Non-Traditional Research Output (NTRO)
A broad term encompassing research outputs that do not take the form of typical peer-reviewed scholarly publications (journal articles, books and book chapters, conference publications).
Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs) include visual artworks, creative writing, films, performances, recordings, music composition, building and design projects, curated exhibitions, and portfolios. They may also be referred to as Artistic and Practice Based Research Outputs (APROs).
To be considered a research output for reporting purposes, an NTRO must meet the definition of research established in the Australian Research Council's 2018-19 ERA report:
Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.
University of Melbourne researchers can find out more about reporting their NTROs on our Research Gateway: Add Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs) to Find an Expert.
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. Best practice in open access is to use open licences, such as Creative Commons licences, that permit users to copy, distribute, print, search, link, crawl, mine, and otherwise use and reuse the research output, as long as proper attribution is provided. Find out more on our What Is Open Access? page.
Open access journals and publishers
Journals or publishers that release all their content open access. Research outputs are made freely available online such that anyone can find, access, download, read, use, and share the output. Sharing and reuse is facilitated through open licences, such as Creative Commons licences, and always subject to proper attribution.
A comprehensive list of open access journals is available through the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), which is quality controlled and clearly displays any Article Processing Charges (APCs) levied by journals. Almost 70% of the journals listed in DOAJ do not levy APCs, instead being supported by institutions, organisations, associations, or grants.
Plan S is an international initiative to require grant funded research articles to be fully and immediately open access upon publication. There are three compliant pathways:
- Publishing in a fully open access journal or open access platform.
- Immediate repository open access (green open access) under a CC BY licence. The rights retention strategy has been designed to support this pathway.
- Publishing in a journal that is under a transformative agreement, and is therefore moving from hybrid publishing to fully open access publishing.
Plan S was initiated in 2018 by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding organisations that includes the World Health Organization, the European Commission, the NHMRC (from 2022), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and various European funding agencies.
A version of an article or paper that is shared openly prior to formal peer review or publication. Preprints are typically shared on preprint servers, such as arXiv.org, bioRxiv, OSF Preprints, SSRN, or Zenodo.
Find out more on our Preprints page.
Read and Publish (R&P) agreement
Contracts entered into by institutions and publishers wherein institutions pay for both read access to specified subscription journals and for affiliated academics to publish open access in those journals. The publishing component may be uncapped (unlimited) or capped (limited) and may cover only a select titles list from the publisher. In many cases, the agreements only cover select hybrid journals, with APCs still being levied for open access journals. These agreements are sometimes called transformative agreements when they aim to transform the publisher’s underlying business model to make their journals fully open access.
Most of the R&P agreements in place at the University of Melbourne were negotiated by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and have also been adopted by other Australian universities. All of the University’s current R&P agreements are detailed on our Open Access Publishing page.
An online digital archive, usually open to the public, that stores and provides access to research outputs. Common types of repositories include: institutional repositories, general repositories, and subject repositories.
A work produced during a research project. Research outputs are diverse in nature and range from journal articles, conference papers, books, and book chapters, to research data, code, software, protocols, and artistic and creative works.
Rights retention involves authors pre-emptively asserting copyright and sharing rights over Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) at the time of initial submission to a publisher, usually through the application of a CC BY licence to the AAM. Upon article publication, the AAM is deposited in a repository for immediate open access.
In alignment with the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy, the 2022 NHMRC Open Access Policy requires authors submitting to subscription journals to include a rights retention statement in their submitted manuscript. Upon article publication, authors are expected to make their AAM open access under a CC BY licence in a repository. This strategy is also strongly encouraged by the University's Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne.
For more information on author rights retention, see our What is rights retention? page. Further guidance on the NHMRC's rights retention requirements can be found on our Funder open access policies page and in the NHMRC’s Open access and retention of ownership rights document.
Discipline-specific research repositories that can be used to share AAMs or preprints.
Examples include PubMed Central, ERIC from the Institute of Education Sciences, Humanities Commons, and RePEc EconPapers for economics research, as well as preprint servers such as arXiv.org, bioRxiv, and medRxiv.
Subject repositories are usually non-commercial and supported by institutions, organisations, or grants. A comprehensive list of reputable subject repositories can be found in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).
The submitted manuscript is the version of a research output originally submitted to a venue, such as a journal or book publisher. This version typically undergoes editorial review and may subsequently be sent on for peer review.
In the past, submitted manuscripts were sometimes called preprints, although this term now has a different meaning: early versions of article or papers shared prior to peer review on preprint servers.
Find out more about article versions on the Minerva Access website.
Subscribe to Open (S2O)
A publishing model wherein a journal or publisher makes the coming year’s content open access at no cost to authors, if their annual subscription target is reached.
Although more common with journals and journal publishers, the model has also been adopted by some book publishers, as in the case of MIT Press’s Direct to Open (D2O) program. Participating institutions receive access to the publisher’s backlist/archives and, if revenue targets are met, the coming year’s monographs and edited volumes are published open access at no cost to authors.
Some of the S2O initiatives currently being supported by the University of Melbourne are described on our Open Access Publishing page
The venue in which a research output is published is the journal, conference proceedings, book series or imprint, or website that publishes the final work. Venues have different scopes in what they publish – for example, research articles, conference papers, or monographs – and typically have different audiences.
Version of Record (VoR)
The final published version of a research output – usually the publisher’s final PDF.
Unless the work is published open access under a Creative Commons licence, this version cannot generally be shared or made open access in a repository.
Find out more about article versions on the Minerva Access website.
Training and Events
The Researcher@Library program for graduate researchers and academics runs throughout the year and features several webinars on open scholarship.
The open scholarship webinars of the 2023 Researcher@Library program have all been delivered. New iterations of the webinars below will run in 2024.
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.)
2023 Open Access Publishing Agreements
Using our open access publishing agreements, University of Melbourne staff and students can avoid open access Article Processing Charges (APCs) for eligible articles. In this webinar, we look at the University’s 2023 open access publishing agreements, including new CAUL-negotiated Read and Publish. We will cover the scope, limitations, and eligibility criteria of the agreements, and how you can use the agreements when publishing your research.
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!
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.
Alternatively, visit the contact the library for other ways to get in touch.
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).