ARC and NHMRC mandate Open Access
As of 1st January 2013, two of Australia’s major research funding bodies —the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC)—have both implemented open access policies which are now in effect.
The NHMRC’s policy was announced in 2012 and requires that journal articles, accepted after 1st July 2012 and arising from an NHMRC supported research project, are to be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a 12 month period from the date of publication. This means articles accepted anytime after 1st July 2012 are subject to the NHMRC’s policy, regardless of when funding was granted. The NHMRC understands that some researchers may not be able to meet the new requirements initially, because of current legal or contractual obligations.
The ARC’s policy, which has taken effect from 1st January 2013, requires that any publication arising from an ARC supported research project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within 12 months from the date of publication. It is important to note that the ARC’s policy:
- Applies to all publications (not just journal articles)
- Will take effect on publications arising from 2013 funding grants
QUT’s institutional repository, QUT ePrints, can assist authors in complying with these new policies by storing open access copies of their publications and ensuring they are discoverable. For more information about QUT ePrints and open access, contact your Liaison Librarian.
Why provide Open Access?
If you share information, you end up with more of it. Providing Open Access to research literature may increase the rate of knowledge generation and knowledge transfer. If you remove the cost barrier, your research output can accessed by the widest possible audience.
Recent research indicates that Open Access significantly increases the likelihood that an article will be cited. This is becoming increasingly important now that bibliometrics feature so prominently in research assessment exercises.
Choosing a Journal
Choosing a journal to publish in requires consideration of a number of factors including:
- Journal quality. Is it peer reviewed? Is it indexed by Scopus and/or Web of Science?
- What are the publisher's policies on Open Access?
- Will I be able to comply with funder and/or institutional obligations on open access?
- How long does it take from submission to publication?
What is Open Access?
The provision of "Open Access" to research literature is generally understood to mean free online access to copies of peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, theses and working papers.
It is not self-publishing nor a way to bypass the peer review process. Open Access is simply a means of making traditional research publications available to all would-be readers.
How is Open Access provided?
Open Access can be provided by various means but the two main options for research articles are:
- Authors publish their research articles in open access journals that provides immediate, free access to all of its articles on the publisher's website. Examples of open access publishers include BioMed Central and Public Library of Science.
- Authors publish in any journal and then deposit the 'Accepted Manuscript' (author's refereed, revised final draft) version of the article for free public use in their instutional respository (eg QUT ePrints ) or a central repository such as PubMed Central.
For more information, see the JISC briefing paper on Open Access
Open Access Repositories
Open Access repositories provide free access to scholarly content such as journal articles, conference papers, research monographs and datasets. The subject coverage of central repositories, such as PubMed Central will reflect the theme of the repository. Institutional repositories, such as QUT ePrints , provide free online access to the scholarly output of the institution. The subject coverage of content in an institutional repository will reflect the research strengths of the institution. Repository content is indexed by search engines which means that people will discover the content via a Google search. This brings a much wider audience to the a journal article than would be the case if the work was only available to subscribers of the journal in which it was published.
Repository records are also harvested by aggregators that pool the content of multiple repositories into a single search interface. Examples include the National Library of Australia's Trove and BASE, the world's largest search interface for academic open access resources, which now has over 40 million records.