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Open access

This guide provides information about open access and new models of scholarly publishing, funding policies and compliance, and issues associated with copyright.

Funding Mandates and Scholarly Monographs

Australian Research Council (ARC)

All publications arising from an ARC supported research project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period of the date of publication. This policy commenced on 1 January 2013 and includes books, book chapters, and journal articles.

Publishing Open Access Books

Books, like journals, can also be published on an open access basis.

Here are various models under which OA books operate:

  1. Hybrid models – common to OA book publishers, these models provides free access to the OA editions and offers other editions for sale. It can include e-book (online or as PDF’s) where the content is freely accessible, but extra services or features are available for purchase.

  2. Institutionally supported publishers – most common to library-based or university presses. Support can be provided by direct financial subsidies, infrastructure or staff. This approach generally avoids the need to charge authors with an OA publication fee. Author publication charges – with this model, a publisher charges a publication or processing charge which allows the book to be made OA. The author’s funder usually pays this cost, whether this is via their institution or funding grant. This approach  resembles the “Gold OA” publishing approach for journals, in which the author pays an APC (article processing charge).

  3. Library-based models – these models develop using the library acquisition budget as a source of support. An example would be a consortia approach such as Knowledge Unlatched.  In this model University Libraries share the cost of supporting OA publishing charges for the selected Humanities publication, subsiding their access via a Creative Commons license. Libraries can also pay for ‘open access licensing’, which gives their clients access to “freemium” services within OA e-books. 
    Knowledge Unlatched authors Eugene Coyle, Richard Simmons and Anke Timmerman describe their open access publishing experience.

  4. Crowdfunding - this allows publishers to invite crowdfunding towards a level where a title (often a back title)  is released OA.

  5. Green OA – the model is not often used. It allows a version of the book to be made open access, with the cost recovered from later printed editions.

Developments in OA Monograph Publishing

The Australasian Open Access Support Group  provides current and indepth information about trends and developments in open access monograph publishing.

Search for Open Access Books


Selecting a publisher

To be eligible for HERDC books must be published by a commercial publisher or peer reviewed.  A commercial publisher is one for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale.

Print-on-demand, vanity press and companies that specialise primarily in the publication of theses are not considered commercial publishers

The ACU Research Office has produced a guide to commercial and book publishers that provides information for staff seeking to publish a scholarly monograph.