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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.

Are there copyright issues?

While open access relies on the consent of copyright holders to share their work, making material open access will not deprive copyright holders of any rights. Copyright laws still apply.

Copyright holders normally consent to the unrestricted reading, downloading, copying, sharing, storing, printing, searching, linking, and crawling of the full-text of the work.

Authors can choose to attach licenses to their work to protect themselves, that is, to block the distribution of mangled or misattributed copies or commercial re-use, for example, while retaining the uses required by legitimate scholarship.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons have developed a series of licences that cater for the differing access and re-use wishes of copyright owners. Offering your work under a Creative Commons licence does not mean giving up your copyright. It means permitting users to make use of your material in various ways, but only under certain conditions. A copyright owner can select the type of licence that best suits their needs.


A CC licence can promote dissemination and high visibility. The limited copying and dissemination rights in the Copyright Act make most sense where a copyright owner wants to retain maximum control over, for example, a commercially produced copyright work.

What content is covered?

A CC licence covers any content that you are the copyright owner of including original written, photographic and artistic content that you have created and which you control the rights to.  If you have previously had the content published elsewhere, or entered into any type of assignment or licensing agreement, it is likely you do not control the relevant rights.

How do I assign a Creative Commons licence?

  1. Decide which licence you want to use
  2. Use the CC tools to create the icon, an acknowledgement and short licence description suitable for your chosen licence.
  3. Insert the CC details into your work: Paste the icon and other automatically generated details into your work.


Logo of Creative Commons by attribution, non-commercial use licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
© 2014 Hocking et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited



Author Rights

Hear how researchers can maximize exposure and dissemination for their peer-reviewed article manuscripts in this video produced by the Institute on Scholarly Communication in association with SPARC