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Open Access: Home

Open Access

What is open access?

A popular definition in Peter Suber's article summarised that "Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions".

Open Access is a growing worldwide movement: 

  • universities and research institutions provide open access to their research via repositories
  • many journals are open access
  • some research funders operate a mandate that funded research be disseminated via OA
  • universities are also beginning to implement mandates for research outputs to be OA

Open Access in Aotearoa - a guide from Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand (PDF, 12 pages)


Benefits of Open Access:

  • OA publications reach a more diverse audience and disadvantaged communities
  • Research shows that OA publishing leads to increased rates of citation
  • Open Access enhances universities research profiles 
  • Open Access enables publicly funded research to be made publicly accessible
  • Research funders will achieve better returns from their investment

Budapest Open Access Initiative (Feb. 14, 2002)

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (Apr. 11, 2003),

Berlin Declaration on open access to knowledge in the sciences and humanities (22 October 2003)

Open Access 2020 - OA2020 is an initiative under the umbrella of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, which has been embraced by more than 540 signatory institutions.

The Tasman Declaration on Open Research (March 2013) "recommends key actions through which New Zealand and Australia can coordinate and advance their respective open approaches to research towards greater economic, societal, and environmental impact."

Policy statement on F.A.I.R. access to Australian's research outputs

Australian Research Council Open Access policy version 2017.1


The Fair Open Access Principles was finalised by a group of researchers and librarians In March 2017.  You may also like to read the article "Fair Open Access principles for journals" by Mark Wilson and Alex Holcombe.

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Types of Open Access

Green OA often refers to research papers deposited in a digital archive/repository by authors. There are two types of repositories:

  • An institutional repository (IR) is provided by a research institution. The repository at AUT is Scholarly Commons.
  • Discipline-specific repository. Well-known examples include arXiv for physics and mathematics and PubMed Central for biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

Gold OA: peer reviewed articles published in online open access journals that are free to the public. Author or the author's institution is usually required to pay an article processing charge (APC) fee in order to publish articles in OA journals.

Hybrid OA - some subscription-based journals are "hybrid" with a portion of articles being open access and the rest of articles are available to subscribers only. Authors of accepted articles in the hybrid model are often required to pay an article processing charge (APC) fee. 

In recent years, "Platinum Open Access" has been used for those open access journals that provide no article processing charge or authors pay for a minimal processing charge. Generally these journals are free to authors and readers. Platinum OA journals are usually funded by non-profit organisations (e.g. universities) or by donations.

Many university libraries provide an open access platform for open access journals published by their academic staff. Tuwhera is AUT’s open access publishing website which was launched in October 2016. We now host two peer-reviewed open access journals and more to come in 2017.

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Research Support Coordinator

Geraldine Hay's picture
Geraldine Hay
City Campus Library, WA Building
921 9999 ext 8573