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Open Access

A guide to support UQ researchers to understand the key points of Open Access as an option for publishing journal articles.


Welcome to the Open Access Research Guide. This guide provides information about Open Access publishing, options for researchers around article processing charges, the UQ Open Access for Research Outputs Policy and the matter related to policy and funding mandate compliance. It is intended for staff and students of The University of Queensland.

What is Open Access?

Open Access LogoOpen access (OA) refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly outlets. Types of open access publications available online include articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, theses, working papers, data, images and open educational resources including textbooks, video content, lecture notes, etc.

There are three different ways of obtaining open accessibility to scientific research results:

Self-archive an open access version  - Authors publish in the journal of their choice and archive or link to a freely available version of the manuscript in their institution's repository (UQ eSpace), or in a national repository (e.g. PubMed Central). A large percentage of publishers permit to archive a post-peer review author's version of the article in an institutional repository.

Publish in an open access journal - Authors publish in Open Access journals that provide free and immediate access to the articles via the publishers web site. Authors may be required to pay an article processing charge. 

Pay to publish open access in a traditional journal - a large percentage of subscription journals offer an Open Access publishing option, where articles can be made immediately available via open access. Authors are required to pay an article processing charge.

OA Glossary

Post-print: The post-print may also be called the Accepted Version or the Authors Accepted Manuscript. This is the version following peer review with revisions made but without copyediting or formatting contributed by the publisher.

Publisher PDF or the Version of Record: The published article is the version ‘as published’ in the journal (sometimes called the ‘publisher’s PDF’).  This version generally includes value added by the publisher, such as hyperlinked references, journal branding, typesetting (into columns) and pagination. Only a small proportion of all publishers will allow this version to be made open access, even after an embargo (unless it is published as an open access).

Embargo: Some publishers will allow the authors accepted version of a work to be made available after an ‘embargo period’. This is a period of time where the work can be deposited into an institutional repository but is not allowed to be made open access. Embargo periods can vary from 6 to 36 months, with 12 months being the most common in Science and Health Disciplines and 18-24 months in Social Sciences and Humanities.

Persistent identifiers:
 – stands for Digital Object Identifier, which is a unique persistent identifier for a published digital object, such as an article or a report, which is issued by the DOI Foundation and its registered agencies.  If you own the copyright on your work talk to the UQ eSpace Team about whether you may be eligible to have a DOI created for the research output (e.g. a data set).
ORCID – Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID is a persistent digital identifier for an individual researcher issued by ORCID.  See how to use your ORCID to maximise the benefits for you as a UQ researcher in the Researcher Identifiers and Profiles guide.

UQ Open Access Policy

Open Access for UQ Research Outputs

The Open Access for UQ Research Outputs Policy sets out the requirements for The University of Queensland researchers to make publications arising from their research openly available via UQ’s institutional repository, UQ eSpace, as soon as possible following acceptance of the publication, taking into account any embargoes imposed by the publisher. If publishers do not allow self-archiving, UQ authors are encouraged to request that the official UQ self-archiving addendum be included in the publishing contract:

'The Author has the right to publicly archive their revised, peer-reviewed personal version of their paper on their institutional website and their personal website, provided in all cases a link to the journal article on the Publisher website is included.'

Related UQ policies:

Find Open Access journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides an extensive index of open access journals and provides further information to assist with the selection process. The Directory aims to be comprehensive, however it does not cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a rigorous quality control system and ethical practices to guarantee quality content.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank is an openly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the journal information in the Scopus database. These indicators can be used to assess and analyse journals and provide ranking and publishing information. Applying a few filters to this information will allow you to identify Q1 open access journals and review the details for over 4,400 OA titles.

Screencapture of the SJR User Interface

Click on the screenshot above to open SCImago in a new window

The Journal Citation Reports module within InCites (UQ Library subscription access) also allows you to evaluate and compare journal data drawn from approximately 1000 scholarly and technical open access journals and conference proceedings, and titles are being regularly reviewed and added to database if deemed high quality publications. Journal Citation Reports includes specialties in the areas of science, technology, and social sciences. Information can be analysed using visualisation tools and compared against non-open access titles.