Skip to Main Content

JCU logoLibrary Guides

Open Access Publishing

Open Access

What is Open Access

Benefits of Open Access

What Open Access actually 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.

Orange Open Access Lock explaining benefits of Open AccessWhat are the benefits of Open Access?

Individual benefits of Open Access

  • Maximise distribution, visibility and impact
  • Citation advantage
  • Collaborations and funding opportunities
  • Researcher and institutional profile
  • Compliance with funders

Global benefits of Open Access

  • Equitable access to knowledge
  • Global advancement, innovation and discovery
  • Return on Investment and maximum public benefit
  • Solutions to challenges (e.g., Covid)


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 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

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

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.