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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)

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. At AUT, our research repository is part of Tuwhera Open Access
  • 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.

Platinum Open Access - open access journals that are free for authors to publish with and free to everyone to read online. Some of these journals may ask for a minimal processing charge. Platinum OA journals are usually funded by non-profit organisations (e.g. universities) or by donations.

Benefits of Open Access

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

OA Principles and Statements

FAIR Open Access:

The Fair Open Access Principles: finalised by a group of researchers and librarians In March 2017. 

 "Fair Open Access principles for journals" by Mark Wilson and Alex Holcombe.

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

Key Open Access statements

Australian Research Council Open Access policy version 2017.1

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.

Plan S 10 principles  (4 September 2018): From 1 January 2020 scientific publications funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies must be published in compliant open access journals or on compliant open access platforms.

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."