This information is particularly relevant to ANZAMEMS members who are receiving grant funding from the Australian Research Council. The ARC has recently announced its new Open Access policy.
What is Open Access?
Open Access means making research publications freely available to the public without barriers such as subscriptions or copyright restrictions. There are various different types of Open Access, and the attitudes and practices of publishers and journals can vary considerably.
Useful information about Open Access from an Australian perspective is provided by the Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG).
What types of Open Access are there?
The main types of Open Access are:
- Open Access journals and books: free publication on the Web, without any payment by the author or the reader;
- Open Access funded by fees paid by authors: free publication on the Web, with the author(s) paying an Article Processing Charge or similar type of fee;
- Open Access permitted by traditional publishers: free distribution on the Web of specific articles or book chapters, where permitted by the policies of a specific publisher.
The quality and policies of self-styled Open Access publishers can vary greatly. Useful criteria for evaluating such publishers can be found at Beall’s List of Possible Predatory Open Access Publishers.
How can I find out the Open Access policy of a specific publisher?
Most publishers have a statement on their Web site setting out their approach to Open Access.
Specific publishers’ policies are also documented by the SHERPA/RoMEO Web site. If the publisher is not listed there, you can follow the procedure for requesting that they publicize their policy on the Web site.
A common Open Access approach adopted by many publishers is the following model:
- The author transfers copyright to the publisher;
- The publisher permits the author to make freely available the following versions of an article: pre-print (author’s copy before refereeing) and post-print (author’s revised final copy after refereeing);
- The publisher does not permit the author to make the publisher’s PDF version freely available, and may require the author to pay a processing charge in order to make the publisher’s PDF version freely available.
What are the Australian Research Council’s requirements?
The ARC requires that all publications derived from ARC-funded research must be made freely available through Open Access copies.
This applies to projects funded from 2015 onwards, and is not retrospective.
This does not mean that articles must be published in Open Access (“free to access”) journals. An acceptable alternative is to make available a copy of the “accepted version” (post-print) of an article published in a subscription journal.
The ARC requires that this Open Access copy be made available through an institution’s “research publications repository”, which is usually managed by the University Library, e.g. at Monash, Queensland, and Melbourne.
Can I use services like academia.edu and ResearchGate?
These services do not meet the ARC’s requirements for Open Access. The ARC requires that this Open Access copy be made available through an institution’s “research publications repository”, which is usually managed by the University Library, e.g. at Monash, Queensland, and Melbourne.
If you use services like academia.edu and ResearchGate to promote your research, please be cautious about posting articles or book chapters to them. Individual researchers are liable for any breach of copyright caused by posting copies of articles or book chapters – the owners of the services disclaim all legal responsibility.
What is Parergon’s approach to Open Access?
Parergon has an Open Access policy, which is stated on the Web site:
The main provisions are as follows:
- Authors retain their own copyright, rather than transferring it to Parergon/ANZAMEMS;
- Authors can make the “accepted version” (post-print) and the “submitted version” (pre-print) of their article freely available on the Web;
- They cannot use the Project MUSE PDF file for this purpose; they must use either their own Word/PDF copy or a copy derived from the printed version of Parergon.
The policy complies with the ARC’s Open Access requirements.