Skip to main content

Open access

Making your publications more visible to the world


Open access at the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney supports open access (OA) to scholarly literature produced by researchers of the University. It recognises that the widest communication of research outputs will maximise the usage and outcomes of this work. See Open Access to University Research Policy 2015.

What is open access?
  • Open access means making scholarly works freely available via the internet, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the work, crawl them for indexing, parse them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

    The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. Apart from journal articles, theses, books, book chapters, monographs and other content may be released open access.

    (Adapted from: Australasian Open Access Support Group)

Benefits of open access
  • To the individual:

    • Access to infrastructure support to meet the requirements of various funding bodies for open access to research outcomes
    • Increased exposure of research through search engines and higher citations of papers
    • A means of recognition, and date-stamping of intellectual precedence of individual’s research
    • Capacities to link or enable more complex or non-traditional forms of research publication outputs or data

    To the university:

    • Demonstration of leadership through an explicit statement and commitment on the principles and importance of open access to publicly funded research
    • Means of compliance with new funding rules and requirements of the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
    • Means of compliance with the open access requirements of major international public and private funding bodies (National Institutes of Health (NIH); Wellcome Trust; European Research Council (EU-ERC), CERN, Research Councils UK (UK-RC), etc.)
    • Positioning to meet the requirements of the Accessibility Framework and Innovation Fund programs proposed by the Australian Government
    • Maximising the profile, exposure and citation of University of Sydney research

    To the community

    • Direct open access to publicly funded research from Australia’s leading research institution, for free use with due acknowledgement
    • Increased 'public value' from publicly funded research
    • Communication of new research and ideas into the public arena
    • Institutional responsibility to communicate scholarship as widely as possible
    • Ease of discovery through the major open web search engines as well as by major research indexing services
    • Increased profile and exposure of quality Australian research
What you can do
  • Self-archive in a subject-based repository

    The focus of subject-based repositories is the dissemination of digital research outputs in a specific area. In undertaking online distribution of scholarly outputs the material is free to the public.

    Publish in open access journals

    The main premise for publishing in open access journals is that your research is freely available online upon publication. Open Access journals have a number of advantages over conventional journal publications, including:

    • Retention of your copyright. Unlike most subscription-based journals many open access publications allow you to retain the rights over your work.
    • Removal of barriers to access. Subscriptions to journals can be expensive, and can therefore restrict the audience to your work. Making your research openly accessible increases exposure and readership.

    Open access journals, like other scholarly publications, can be subject to peer review and article processing charges. Please check publication details before submitting your work.

Don’t sign your rights away

  • Publishers may ask you to assign exclusive copyright when you publish with them. Generally, for commercial purposes, publishers only need the right of first publication of your work, and normally do not need to control how your research is used and distributed beyond.

    The University of Sydney encourages researchers to negotiate their publishing agreements, to retain author rights and control. As author and copyright owner you may not need to assign exclusive rights to a publisher. Non-exclusive license agreements allow more flexibility in the use of your research.

    To assist the University of Sydney Library has developed an author addendum tool which can assist in negotiating your agreements. Retaining your rights does not adversely affect the commercial interest of the publisher.

    Where possible, it is important to retain your copyright. Many funding agencies support open access to scholarly literature, making it an imperative to preserve control over the future use of your work. Please refer to the Copyright Services team for further support.

Support for open access
  • The Library supports open access by providing:

    • Assistance to researchers in locating information on open access and possible open access publications
    • Advice on selecting the appropriate open access repository for outputs
    • Advice on publisher’s copyright policies and the use of tools such as Sherpa/ROMEO
    • Access to the contract addendum tool to assist in the negotiation of open access in the publishing contract
    • Access to the Sydney eScholarship repository the University of Sydney Library’s open access repository
    • Please read Open access to University research policy 2015