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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.

What is open access?

Open access padlock symbolOpen access is the free, online availability of scholarly content that is free from most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Open access permits users to read, download, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the output, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers.

Open access availability can apply to articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, theses, working papers, data and images and is made possible by the consent of the author or copyright holder. 

Open Access Pathways

Green open access: self-archive in a repository

Publish research in the publishing outlet of your choice and archive a freely available version of the manuscript in your institution's repository (ACU Research Bank). A large percentage of publishers permit authors to archive a version of their article in an institutional repository, to be made freely available after an embargo period. Authors are not required to pay for this option.

Gold open access: publish in an open access journal

Publish research in an open access publishing outlet. Author usually pays an article processing charge (APC). There is no embargo period; access to the article on the publishers website is immediate upon publication.

The Library has a BioMed Cental Supporter Membership which gives a 15% discount on the article-processing charges of all research articles accepted for publication in journals published by BioMed Central, Chemistry Central and SpringerOpen. Contact your librarian for more information.

Hybrid open access

Publish research in an outlet of your choice and pay publisher to make the article available open access. Hybrid journals contain both closed access and open access articles. There should be no embargo period for Hybrid Open Access.

Open Access Explained

Need some help?

Contact your Librarian - they can assist you.

Research Bank and Open Access


Research Bank is ACU's institutional research repository. It serves to collect, preserve, and showcase the research publications and outputs of ACU staff and higher degree students. Where possible and permissible, a full text version of a research output is available as open access.

Research Bank supports the Green Open Access model of OA.  Green Open Access occurs when an author deposits a full-text version of their article in an institutional repository or a subject repository, thereby making it freely available online to readers.

Why deposit your research publications in ACU Research Bank?

  • To increase access - all Research Bank entries are discoverable using Google Scholar
  • To increase research impact - when your work reaches a wider audience, it can often lead to an increase in citations and other impact measures
  • To enable compliance with Funders' Open Access mandates - deposit of the post print version of your article meets the conditions of both Australian and International Open Access funding mandates.
  • To keep track of your work - have access to all of your research outputs wherever you are
  • For ERA reporting - Publication data for the ACU ERA submission is sourced from Research Bank

To deposit the authors accepted manuscript version of your manuscript into Research Bank, send via email to Library Research Services.

The Benefits of Open Access

CC-BY Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown