Skip to main content

Open Access Publishing: What is Open Access?

This guide explains the importance of Open Access publishing of research publications, how to go about Open Access publishing and suggests useful Open Access resources.

What is Open Access anyhow?

Benefits of Open Access

Open Access publishing

What can you do to support Open Access?

  1. Submit your article to an Open Access journal
  2. Deposit Open Access versions of your publication in ResearchOnline@JCU
  3. Serve on the editorial board of an Open Access journal
  4. Work with your professional societies to make sure they understand and support Open Access
  5. Discuss Open Access with your colleagues

Why is Open Access important

Published research results and ideas are the foundation for future progress. Open Access publishing leads to wider dissemination of information and increased efficiency in any research area, by providing:

Open Access To Ideas
Whether you are a patient seeking health information, an educator wishing to enliven a lesson plan, or a researcher looking to formulate a hypothesis, making papers freely available online provides you with the most current peer-reviewed information and discoveries.

Open Access To The Broadest Audience
As a researcher, publishing in an open access journal allows anyone with an interest in your work to read it - and that translates into increased usage and impact.

What Open Access is . . .

Open Access is . . .

If an article is "Open Access" it means that it can be freely accessed by anyone in the world using an internet connection. This means that the potential readership of Open Access articles is far, far greater than that for articles where the full-text is restricted to subscribers. Evidence shows that making research material Open Access increases the number of readers and significantly increases citations to the article - in some fields increasing citations by 300%.


Open Access is not . . .

It is important to point out that Open Access does not affect peer-review; articles are peer-reviewed and published in journals in the normal way. There is no suggestion that authors should use repositories instead of journals. Open Access repositories supplement and do not replace journals. Some authors have feared that wider availability will increase plagiarism: in fact, if anything, Open Access serves to reduce plagiarism. When material is freely available the chance that plagiarism is recognised and exposed is that much higher.

Open Access models

Green Open Access: Self-Archiving of Accepted Versions (aka Postprints) by authors in their institutional repository (i.e. ResearchOnline@JCU) or some other Open Access site. Green Open Access publishers endorse immediate Open Access self-archiving by their authors, allowing authors to make the final version of their manuscript freely available despite being published in a subscription-based journal.

Gold Open Access: Unrestricted and immediate online access to the full content of a scholarly journal via a publisher's website. This model usually requires an Article Processing Charge paid by the author or their institution.

Hybrid Open Access: Unrestricted and immediate online access to individual articles for which authors or their institution pay an Article Processing Charge. This option does not meet the true definition of Open Access if the author is still required to assign copyright ownership to the publisher or if the article is only available from the publisher's website.If the subscription fee for a journal is not proportionately reduced by the number of articles that are (Hybrid) Open Access, publisher profits will be increased further with limited benefit to authors.

Origins of Open Access

The Open Access movement is the worldwide effort to provide free online access to scientific and scholarly research literature, especially peer-reviewed journal articles and their preprints.

The Open Access movement started out with a series of statements or declarations. Historically the movement has progressed and gained momentum since 2002 through three major statements made in Budapest, Betheseda and Berlin.

Funding mandates have further strengthened prospects for Open Access to all research.

  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health (the world’s largest research funder) now requires that all NIH funded research be placed in an openly accessible database.
  • In Australia, the ARC and NHMRC encourage researchers to consider the benefits of depositing their data and any publications arising from a research project in an appropriate subject and/or institutional repository. . . . . Any research outputs that have been or will be deposited in appropriate repositories should be identified in the Final Report. Any research outputs that have been or will be deposited in appropriate repositories should be identified in the Final Report (ARC Discovery Project Funding Rules and NHMRC Dissemination of Research Findings).

View the full timeline on the Open Access Directory.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country