Frequently Asked Questions about the Open Access Principles and the available services to support open access.
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?
Currently there are three primary methods to make work openly accessible:
- through the deposit of a copy of the work in an institutional or subject based repository
- through the open access publication of the work in a fully open access journal
- through the payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make a work openly accessible in an otherwise subscription journal (discouraged by the University of Melbourne)
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?
The University has a well-established Institutional Repository as a means for sharing research outputs openly called Minerva Access. This has been integrated with the University system for managing publications and grants, called Minerva Elements.
The University currently has workflows in place to ensure that the deposit of works into the repository is compliant with publisher copyright.
Which version of the work do I upload?
Please deposit your Author’s Accepted Manuscript(AAM) - the final, peer reviewed and corrected version of a paper. This version is also sometimes referred to as a ‘post-print'.
Do not deposit the Submitted Manuscript, the version of an article sent for peer review, as substantial changes may exist between this version and the published version.
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, or if you own the full copyright of the work.
I don’t want to break my agreement with my publisher
Publishers allow the Authors Accepted Manuscript to be made available in institutional repositories. If there are requirements to keep the output closed down for an embargo period, this will be processed by the Minerva Access team.
Does the university provide funds to support OA publication?
University of Melbourne researchers have access to a number of discounts and waivers on article processing charges which are detailed on the Open Research Libguide. The University does not currently have central schemes in place to support the funding of Article Processing Charges. If unsure of what might be available locally, please discuss with your Academic Division.
I have already put my work in a repository, do I need to upload it again?
No. The point of the Principles is to ensure University of Melbourne research is openly accessible. Those researchers who have made their work available in an accredited 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.
- My research outputs don’t ‘fit’ with Minerva Elements
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.
But no-one will look for my work in Minerva Access!
Very few people access work in institutional repositories from within the repositories. They are very well indexed, and items are discoverable with a simple search engine. In fact, 70% of the traffic to Minerva Access comes via Google and Google Scholar. As a demonstration of the discoverability of University of Melbourne open access work, in 2019 and 2020 there were over 1.5 million downloads annually out of Minerva Access.
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).
At the University
Why can’t the university negotiate a better deal with publishers?
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 OA 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. For now, some publishers do offer discounts and waivers on APCs to University of Melbourne researchers. A list can be found on the Open Research LibGuide.
How much are we spending on APCs?
This is difficult to establish, but a recent analysis by the Council of Australian University Librarians indicated that across the country the University of Melbourne is spending the greatest amount on Article Processing Charges with an annual figure of more than $1.4 million in 2017.
How much of our research is in Minerva Access? Are people depositing to it?
University of Melbourne researchers have increasingly been making their research available in Minerva Access. Over the past six years the percentage of deposits to Minerva Access that are openly accessible have risen from below 40% to over 80%.
According to the Leiden Ranking on open access, University of Melbourne is number 1 in Australia (and 33rd in the world), with 46% of our research output made open. This is an excellent start, but we would like to increase our percentage of work that is open access so that our research is disseminated as widely as possible. Increased visibility is instrumental to research impact.
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.
What training and guidance is available?
The longstanding and high-quality training and advice provided through key staff members will continue, with additional offering as needed by the community.
Further information on open access and scholarly publishing is available through the following Libguides:
Guidance for deposit of research through Minerva Elements can be found on the Research Outputs Management page:
For advice and training requests on open access, please contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian.