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Open Access


Does the UNSW Open Access Policy apply to all research outputs?

No. The policy mandates deposit of refereed journal articles, refereed conference papers and digital theses. While not mandated, researchers are encouraged to deposit all types of research outputs, including those published prior to introduction of the policy. The UNSW Open Access Policy took effect from 1 June 2017 and does not apply to outputs published prior to that date. 

I published in an open access outlet. Does the UNSW Open Access Policy still require deposit in UNSWorks?

Yes. Open access publications should still be deposited into UNSWorks for the purposes of preservation and further dissemination.

My paper is on ResearchGate. Is that sufficient to comply with the ARC, NHMRC or UNSW open access policies?

No. Services such as ResearchGate and are commercial social networking platforms whose primary aim is to connect researchers with common interests. On the other hand, institutional repositories such as UNSWorks are committed to making your work as widely available as possible and follow practices that ensure long-term archiving.

  UNSWorks ResearchGate
Fulfils requirements of ARC/NHMRC/UNSW OA policies Yes No No
Supports export or harvesting Yes No No
Long-term preservation Yes No No
Business model Non-profit Commercial Commercial
Sends frequent emails No Yes Yes

(Adapted from A social network is not an institutional repository by the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication)


How do I find the copyright and self-archiving policy of a particular journal?

Use the SHERPA/RoMEO database to search by journal title. If SHERPA/RoMEO doesn't have information about a particular journal, check the following documents:

  • publisher/author agreement
  • author information pack
  • journal and/or publisher website

How can the content in UNSWorks be used?

Materials deposited in UNSWorks are licensed under a Creative Commons licence. For further details see the UNSWorks copyright page.


Does UNSW have a fund for article processing charges (APCs)?

No. UNSW does not have a central APC fund. In line with UNSW Library's Collection Development Policy, UNSW Library does not subsidise author publishing costs for any open access journals or publishers. Researchers may be able to claim the costs of dissemination of outputs using grant funding.

UNSW is a partner in several open access programs, which are listed under guidance for journal publishing.

Author rights

What rights should I look to retain in my publisher/author agreement?

The UNSW Open Access Policy encourages researchers to retain copyright in their works where possible, or negotiate the terms of author agreements with publishers. This ensures that creators retain the right to use and self-archive the work with an access embargo no greater than twelve months after the date of publication.

Similarly, for Australian Research Council funded research, the ARC Open Access Policy recommends that authors retain the copyright in their research outputs and negotiate a non-exclusive right to use/make available the publication in an institutional repository.

What if a publisher rejects an addendum? 

If a publisher rejects an addendum you could explain why it is important for you to retain these rights in your own work and ask the publisher to articulate why the license rights provided under the addendum are insufficient to allow publication.

This guidance is based on an article by Peter B. Hirtle. It is provided for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

Further reading:

Further support

Contact your Outreach Librarian.