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Open Access

This LibGuide introduces the basics of Open Access, including different pathways to making your work open, the benefits of OA, OA policies, OA at the University of Melbourne, and more...

Overview of the policies

Like other funding agencies worldwide, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are committed to ensuring the discoveries made via publicly-funded research are available to all members of the research community and the wider community. To this end, both agencies have introduced Open Access policies.


What do the policies require?

The policies of both agencies share a similar purpose and possess a number of shared requirements:

  • Eligible research outputs must be made openly accessible on the Internet within 12 months of publication. This will usually occur via a deposit to an institutional repository, however if a publication is fully open on the publisher's website or via a stable link elsewhere (ideally with a DOI) this is also acceptable.
  • Regardless of whether a copy of the output can be made open access, the metadata associated with the research output must be deposited in an institutional repository (at the University of Melbourne, the repository is Minerva Access).
  • Either the published version or accepted version of a work may be made open access to meet the policy (where peer-review applies, it must be a peer-reviewed version of the work)
  • Both funding agencies do not accept a deposit in a social networking site, such as ResearchGate or as complying with the policy.
  • It is desirable (but not mandatory at the time of writing) to apply a Creative Commons Licence to the research output.
  • If for some reason, a grant recipient is unable to make their research output open access within 12 months of publication, or at a later date, the CI/A or Fellow must account for this in their Final Report to the ARC or NHMRC and detail the steps they took to make the work open.
How do the two policies differ?

The two policies, whilst sharing the aspects in common outlined above, also possess a number of differences. These include:

  • The type of research outputs covered
  • The commencement date of the policies
  • Coverage of research data and patents

For more information, please see the overviews of the respective policies below.

The ARC Policy at a glance

The ARC Open Access Policy applies to all recipients of grants under funding rules from 2013 onwards.

Unlike the NHMRC Policy, the ARC OA Policy applies to all research outputs stemming from a grant. Journal articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, reports, theses, and creative works are all considered within scope of the policy.

The policy also applies to graduate researchers whose scholarships are funded in part or full by ARC funds.

The ARC policy only applies to 'research outputs' - the finished 'product' of research - it does not apply to research data or patents.

The current version of the policy (updated June 2017) can be accessed in full here via the ARC's website.

For assistance understanding the policy or for help complying with the policy, please contact the Minerva Access Team.

The NHMRC Policy at a glance

The NHMRC Open Access Policy possesses a different scope and commencement date to the ARC Policy.

The policy applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. Specifically, all journal articles published since July 1, 2012 and all conference papers published since January 15, 2018.

The policy, unlike the ARC Policy, does not apply to graduate researchers whose scholarships are funded by the NHMRC.

The recently revised NHMRC policy has also been extended beyond research outputs to cover research data and patents. Unlike research outputs, however, compliance for research data is 'strongly encouraged' rather than compulsory at this stage.

The current version of the policy (updated November 2018) can be accessed in full here via the NHMRC's website.

For assistance understanding the policy or for help complying with the policy, please contact the Minerva Access Team.