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Open access publishing

This guide introduces open access, its benefits, the different models, APCs, policies and resources, and OA @ RMIT University.

Overview of policies

The Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Open Access policies aim to ensure that the discovery of publicly funded research is made available to researchers and the wider community.  Their Funding Agreements require all fully or partially funded research to be made publicly available in an Open Access institutional repository within 12 months of the date of publication. 

ARC and NHMRC mandates

The ARC and NHMRC Open Access policies mandate that research outputs be made openly accessible within 12 months of publication under the following conditions:

  • Research outputs can de deposited in either an open access institutional repository or in another acceptable locations (e.g. the publisher's website where the published version of the article is Open Access with a Creative Commons licence, or public digital archives, such as PubMed Central, or in an OA journal).
  • Metadata must be made publicly available through an institutional repository within three months of publication.
  • ARC requires all research outputs created since 1 January 2013 to be made publicly available, except for research data and research data outputs.
  • NHMRC requires peer-reviewed journal articles from 1 July 2012, and peer-reviewed conference papers from 15 January 2018, be made publicly available.
  • NMHRC requires patents from 15 January 2018 to be listed in Source IP when the full application has been filed.

Acknowledgement to Curtin University Library

Books and book chapters

Requirements for books/chapters differ slightly from those for journal articles and conference papers.

  • ARC's open access mandate may require that you deposit your work in an institutional repository even if you are publishing with a commercial publisher.  This may require negotiation with the publisher.
  • NHMRC encourages authors of books and book chapters to make them openly accessible where possible.

Research data

NHMRC acknowledges the importance of making research data publicly accessible and therefore strongly encourages researchers to consider the reuse value of their data and to take reasonable steps to share research data and associated metadata arising from NHMRC supported research. When sharing data, researchers should ensure that appropriate metadata accompany the datasets. This will allow users of the data to fully understand the data, the curation strategies, assumptions, experimental conditions and any other details relevant to the interpretation of the data. (NHMRC, 2018, p. 6).

NHMRC, (2018). Open Access Policy. 


Chief Investigator obligations

As a grant's Chief Investigator or Project Leader you are responsible for:

  • depositing the research publication in an Open Access institutional repository or another acceptable location (such as PubMed Central, publisher's website, or OA journal) within 12 months of publication
  • depositing the publication metadata in an Open Access institutional repository within 3 months of publication
  • ensuring that only the 'Accepted' or 'Published' version of your publication is available open access
  • ensuring in cases where there may be legal or contractual reasons that limit compliance with the mandate (e.g. publications that cannot be made open access or with an embargo period extending beyond 12 months) that you provide reasons for non-compliance to the funding body in the Final Report

Acknowledgement to Curtin University Library