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Publish: Open Access

Introduction to Open Access (OA) publishing

Open Access (OA) ensures peer-reviewed scholarly outputs are available to all researchers,

not just those that have access to paid subscription databases.

Toolkit created by Australasian Research Management Society / Council of Australian University Librarians


Created by Wellcome Trust

Information about outputs can be provided in our institutional repository with a link to the published version, where copyright and licencing arrangements allow the full text is included, allowing Open Access to the research.

Most publishers have policies that allow the Author's Accepted Manuscript to be shared on an Institutional Repository, like Research Online, after an embargo period. This is referred to as Green Open Access or Self-Archiving and for this reason it is important that you keep the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of your publications. More details about the differences between AAMs and the Published Version are below:

Publishers often allow you to upload an Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version of your article to your institutional repository as open access, following an embargo period.

An embargo is a set length of time following the publication date, where only paying subscription users may access your article via the publishers website. This restricts/prevents the sharing of earlier versions of the article such as the AAM as open access, until the conclusion of the embargo period.

  • Embargo's are determined by the publisher.

  • Embargo's often range between 12 and 24 months, but can also be longer or shorter lengths of time.

  • Each journal title may have a different embargo length.

  • Some publishers also require you to request permission to share the AAM of your article beforehand.

  • Embargo information can be found on the publisher's website.

Before publishing it is important to determine which Open Access type applies to the Journal title that you wish to publish in, so that that you are aware of the rights that you have as the author. A publisher may utilize any of the below Open Access types for their journals.


Gold Open Access  

Your article will be published and is freely available online for anyone to read, generally under a Creative Commons license. However, the journal will charge you or your funder, an article processing charge (APC) for each journal article to be made available with gold open access.

  • The APC rate varies between journal titles.
  • There are some journals where all of the articles are available as gold open access.

Green Open Access 

When you publish your article in a traditional subscription journal readers will need a subscription to access the published version of the article. However, the publisher may allow you, as the author, to make available an open access version of your article either on your personal website or your institutional repository.

  • This version is generally the "author's accepted manuscript" (AAM) which is your final peer reviewed, corrected copy, but without the journal's typesetting, logo, etc. (This is not the final published version).
  • There may be an embargo period before the AAM can be made publicly available as open access.
  • Not all green open access journals allow the AAM to be made available.
  • The publisher's policy on green open access and embargo length is usually available in the Author's Information section of the journal's website

Hybrid Open Access

A subscription journal title that contains some articles which have been published as Gold Open Access articles

  • Sometimes the current articles are available by subscription only, but after an embargo period previous issues are made openly accessible.

Bronze Open Access

Articles made free-to-read on the publishers website, without an explicit Open (Creative Commons) license.

  • While both are free to read, bronze open access articles may not offer the same author rights as gold open access articles.

The guide below illustrates how journal's policies on a number of aspects of OA can influence how open your publications can be: 

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Imago fro How open is open 2

Brochure available from

What is a CC licence?

The CC licences provide a simple standardised way for individual creators, companies and institutions to share their work with others on flexible terms without infringing copyright. The licences allow users to reuse, remix and share the content legally.

Offering your work under a Creative Commons licence does not mean giving up your copyright. It means permitting users to make use of your material in various ways, but only on certain conditions.

Use the Creative Commons Licence Chooser


For More Information on Licences, Go To:

Attribution CC BY  

This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the licence used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivatives CC BY-ND

This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives CC BY-NC-ND

This licence is the most restrictive of the six licences, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

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