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Research impact guide: Open access

Open access and self-archiving repositories

'Self-archiving' means putting a copyright compliant version of your work in an open access repository. This gives the publication:

  • a permanent online home
  • a stable link for you to use when promoting your work

There are two different types of open access repository:

  • Institutional:
  • Disciplinary: examples include
    • SSRN (Social Science Research Network)
    • Arxiv (Physics, Maths, Computer Science)
    • PubmedCentral (Medicine, Public Health)

These repositories aim to provide free and open access to research outputs. Check OpenDOAR, the directory of open access repositories, to find repositories relevant to your research.

Self-archiving your research outputs in an open access repository can:

  • enhance visibility of your research, allowing you to reach a broader audience (e.g. researchers outside of your discipline)
  • allow free access to your research
  • increase the reach of conference papers beyond the days of the conference
  • provide long term preservation for your publication making it digitally secure for the lifetime of the repository
  • assist you in complying with Open Access Mandates

Publisher permission

Not all publishers allow you to self archive your research so it is important to check what your publisher permits before uploading a copy of your publication anywhere. 

For books and conference papers you should review your author agreements and you may need to contact your publisher to do this.

For journal articles you can check publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies using SHERPA/RoMEO (International journals).

Open access mandates

All publications associated with ARC and NHMRC funded research projects must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period from the date of publication.

Full details of both policies can be viewed at:

The two policies are very similar however there are some key differences. To help identify these differences, the Australian Open Access Support Group have produced a Comparison of ARC and NHMRC Policies

 Information about how to comply with these guidelines at UNSW is available from the UNSW Division of Research guidelines on Open Access


One way of managing your publications is to distribute or archive your work using open access repositories.

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