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Open Research

This guide provides information and how-to advice on a number of different ways you can embed open practices into your research.

Open access publishing agreements

The University of Melbourne has numerous open access agreements with scholarly publishers. These include read-and-publish (transformative) agreements, agreements with open access publishers, and subscribe-to-open models supported by the University. Under these agreements and models, University of Melbourne authors can often avoid facing article processing charges (APCs), although limits and exclusions may apply.

Details of the University’s open access publishing agreements can be found on the Open Scholarship website. The website also lists publishers with whom we have article and book processing charge (APC and BPC) discounts.

Article and book processing charges (APCs & BPCs)

If your journal article is not covered by an open access publishing agreement, you may need to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) if you wish to publish open access. However, not all open access journals require the payment of APCs – over two thirds of the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) do not charge APCs.

Publisher websites should clearly state if they charge an APC and how much the cost is. Larger publishers will often have an APC finder or downloadable spreadsheet of current APCs for each of their journals. Some common ones include:

For smaller publishers or on individual journal websites this information is often recorded in the 'Author Guidelines' section.

For open access book publishing, a Book Processing Charge (BPC) is usually required. Many hybrid academic publishers also allow individual book chapters to be published open access.

The University of Melbourne has APC and BPC discounts with several publishers. These are detailed on the Open Scholarship website.


Find an open access journal

There are many different Open Access publishing models and it is important to know which type a publisher endorses, as well as your rights as an author when entering into publishing agreements. Most journals will have the various publishing models listed on their websites under sections such as 'author guidelines' or 'submission guidelines'. It is useful to know the terminology that publishers use. Check the Open Scholarship (link) page for more information on the different publishing models.


Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a database of OA journals that have met certain criteria to be indexed. DOAJ is independent, non discipline-specific, and indexes journals in several languages.

By searching DOAJ based on journal or article title, publisher, subject, or ISSN you can find out the last recorded APC a journal charged, as well as if authors maintain copyright of their work.

Image of a journal in DOAJ

If a keyword search in DOAJ is retrieving too many search results, try using the Open Journal Matcher which finds appropriate journals in DOAJ through analysing your draft abstract


If a journal is not indexed in DOAJ it may still be a reputable, peer reviewed, Open journal. Some quick research should help you make an informed decision. We recommend;

  • Talking to peers and colleagues who may have published with the journal;
  • Looking up the journal in academic databases; and
  • Using the Think Check Submit checklist

To ensure you are paying an APC to an academic publisher, read more about predatory publishing on our Scholarly Publishing Lib Guide.

Find an open access book publisher

Similarly to journal publishing, the open access book publishing landscape is extremely diverse. While many publishers have pursued an author pays model for the funding of OA books and chapters, others have opted for a membership structure where organisations such as libraries financially support the publisher in making their books openly accessible. How a publisher is funded will have considerable implications on the cost for an author wishing to publish OA.

If you are seeking to publish an OA book, before making any decisions, ask the publisher:

  • What is the financial cost to the author(s)?
  • How does the publisher support the discoverabilty of the OA ebook?
  • Do you offer print on demand or is there an initial print run?
  • What license can I release the book under?
  • In what formats will the ebook be released?

The cost of publishing a book or book chapter OA can vary greatly between publishers. If you do not have the funds to publish an OA book with your chosen publish, you can often deposit a chapter into Minerva Access. It is good to have these conversations with a potential publisher early on as you may need to negotiate these rights into your publishing contract.

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a database of OA books that have met certain criteria to be indexed. DOAB is independent, non discipline-specific, and indexes books and book chapters in several languages.

By searching DOAB based on book or chapter title, publisher, subject, or ISSN you can find which publishers are making books openly accessible, the format they are in, and if authors maintain copyright of their work.

Comply with a funder's open access policy

If you receive funding from the ARC or NHMRC, you will need to comply with their respective open access policies. The most recent version of these policies can be found on the ARC website and the NHMRC website.

The ARC open access policy applies to all research outputs except for preprints and data, whereas the NHMRC open access policy only applies to peer-reviewed journal articles and peer-reviewed conference papers. Also note that the ARC policy applies to scholarship holders, whereas scholarship holders are exempt from the NHMRC policy.

Both ARC and NHMRC open access policies require that:

  • Publication details (metadata) is added to an institutional repository within 3 months of publication. The University of Melbourne's institutional repository is Minerva Access.
  • The publication is open access within 12 months of publication. This can be either the published version of the publication, or the author accepted manuscript.

Below is a policy snapshot. For more comprehensive guidance, please see our ARC and NHMRC compliance guidelines.

ATTENTION: NHMRC has released a new Open Access policy. It comes into immediate effect only for NHMRC grants awarded under Grant Opportunity Guidelines issued on or after 20 September 2022. For existing grants, implementation date is from 1 January 2024. We will be updating our support guidance as soon as possible.

A diagram illustrating the ARC and NHMRC open access policies, as described above.


How to comply in two easy steps

Fulfil your ARC and NHMRC OA obligations in two easy steps

  1. Has my publication been linked to a grant in Elements?

  2. Is an author accepted manuscript or published version of my publication openly available online?

    [e.g published in an OA journal, deposited in ePMC or a subject repository such as arXiv]

    Don't know how to deposit into Minerva Access? The next section of this guide provides you with email and self-service options.

Note: if you cannot provide an OA location URL or author accepted manuscript, you should still deposit a metadata only record into Minerva Access. However, you will need to explain why you could not make your publication OA when reporting to your funder.


International funders

Numerous international funding bodies have similar OA policies as Australian-funded research. For example, in the United Kingdom, the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF)- often likened to Australia's ERA- will only be assessing research outputs that have the author accepted manuscript submitted to an institutional repository.

To search for a list of funder policies in regards to OA publishing, see Sherpa Juliet.


Plan S

Plan S is an OA initiative launched by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations. If you have a grant from a cOAlition S funder you will need to make your scholarly articles OA immediately upon publication.

We advise that you check if your chosen publication outlet is compliant with your funder’s Open Access policy before you submit. You can verify journal compliance through the Plan S Journal Checker Tool.

Additional information:

NB: Application of Plan S principles varies by funder, some are applying these rules for grants awarded from 01/01/2021, whereas others are applying it to any publications submitted from 01/01/2021: 

Make your research publications open through Minerva Access

The below instructional video shows you how to upload your publications to Minerva Access via Elements. Alternatively, you can send through your file or OA location URL via this ServiceNow form or via email and the Research Outputs team will deposit this on your behalf.

Having your work indexed in Minerva Access;

  • Ensures your work is more discoverable (Minerva Access is indexed in Google, Google Scholar, library catalogues and by OA plugins such as Unpaywall);
  • Allows you to use the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to achieve open research practice;
  • Fulfills your commitment to the University of Melbourne's Principles for Open Access Research and;
  • Fulfills ARC and NHMRC grant requirements (if applicable)

Make Your Research Open In Minerva Access from University of Melbourne Library on Vimeo.


When you deposit in Minerva Access, the repository team will check publisher permissions via Sherpa Romeo. If the team cannot find the relevant policy here, they will check the publisher website or contact the publisher for permission. Consequently, University of Melbourne researchers do not need to check permissions themselves before depositing their files. Nonetheless, if you wish to consider the embargo period when choosing in which journal to publish, then you may want to check Sherpa Romeo. This is easier than navigating multiple publisher websites.

Sherpa Romeo is an online resource that aggregates and presents publisher and journal OA policies from around the world and allows you to search via a journal's title, ISSN, or a publisher name.

By looking up a journal on Sherpa Romeo you can often find out the types of OA the journal offers and different ways you can achieve this.

Looking at the below example, there are three options in achieving OA:

  1. submit the Submitted Version (peer review has yet to take place) to a pre-print registery (for more information on this go to how to: register a pre-print)
  2. upload the Accepted Version (peer review has taken place) to a personal website or institutional repository (note, there will be a 12 month embargo period if the institutional repository is chosen)
  3. pay an APC to have the Published Version immediately open via the publisher's website


Image of the different archiving options of a journal in Sherpa Romeo


The Sherpa Romeo User Guide has a number of videos that show you how to use the website and familiarise yourself with the terminology used.

Make your thesis open through Minerva Access

Making your thesis OA in the university's repository, Minerva Access, results in it being indexed in Google, Google Scholar, the National Library of Australia's Trove database, and other discovery tools. This allows your thesis to be discovered and read easily by students, researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, and others all over the world.

Making your thesis publicly available via Minerva Access has the following benefits;

  • Raise their profile​;

  • Increase their audience reach;

  • Increase engagement and impact​;

  • Allows your research to be directly downloaded from your Find an Expert profile; and
  • Increase citations, downloads, and altmetrics​


Things to consider when making your thesis open;

  • You may be using the data and findings for future publications;
  • Sensitivity of content covered (such as human health data); and
  • Future potential book publishers may have a policy on open theses and prior publication


Submitting your thesis

The Thesis Examination System (TES) is where you both deposit your thesis for review and for final submission. This is then automatically fed into the University of Melbourne's institutional repository, Minerva Access​. More information on this process is available via the Graduate Research Hub.


Research Higher Degree (RhD) students are required to make their thesis OA via Minerva Access, but may choose to temporarily embargo their work. Detailed information about the thesis deposit policy can be found on the My Thesis in the Library page.

The library also holds regular seminars covering the deposit process and choosing to make your thesis OA, 'Public Access and your Thesis' (bookings can be made via the Graduate Research Hub). Students with coursework degree theses or other projects may also deposit their work with support from their supervisor. Students deposit their coursework degree theses directly into Minerva Access.

Detailed information regarding the Minerva Access platform can be found on the FAQ page.