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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.

Questions to ask when publishing open access

It is important to consider open access early in the publication process. This way, you can make use of the most suitable pathway for your research.

Ask questions such as:

  • What are the open access policies or expectations of my institution and any grants that have been used in this research?
    See, for example, the Principles for Open Access to Research Outputs at Melbourne.
  • Are there appropriate open access journals in my field? Do they levy open access publishing fees?
    See "Find open access journals" below for guidance.
  • If the most suitable journals are subscription ones, do they support OA publishing or allow OA deposit in a repository?
  • Is there an open access publishing agreement I can use to avoid publishing costs?
    See the agreements detailed on our Open Access Publishing page.

If open access publishing is ultimately not possible for the article, and it will end up being published behind a paywall, ask:

  • Can I add a rights retention statement to my submitted manuscript?
    This would enable you to make your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) open access immediately upon publication. Note that this may be required by your grant funder.
  • What are the embargo periods of relevant subscription journals?
    If an embargo period would apply to your AAM, and you are unable to use rights retention to avoid it, is publishing in this journal compliant with funder open access policy obligations?


Open access publishing agreements

The University of Melbourne now has 20 active open access agreements with academic journal publishers. These include Read and Publish agreements with major publishers, negotiated by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). Under these agreements, University of Melbourne authors can avoid Article Processing Charges (APCs) on eligible articles.

Details of the University’s open access publishing agreements can be found on the Open Access Publishing page of the Open Scholarship website. Read the details of agreements carefully prior to submission to a journal, as each agreement has its own limits, exclusions, and eligibility requirements.


Find an open access journal

There are many different open access publishing models in play today. Some open access journals rely on Article Processing Charges (APCs) to fund their operations, while others are fully funded by institutions, associations, societies, or grants (eliminating the need for APCs). Some are run for profit, while others are not-for-profit. Some previously closed/subscription journals have recently adopted Subscribe to Open (S2O) models, wherein they agree to publish their coming year's articles open access (at no cost to authors) if they meet their annual subscription target.

When deciding where to publish, it is important to know which models and open access pathways are being used, and to understand your rights as an author when entering into publishing agreements. Most journals will describe their models on their website, usually in their "author guidelines" or "submission guidelines." 


Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a quality-controlled database of open access journals. It is independent, not discipline specific, and indexes journals in various languages. Journals that follow the best practices of open access publishing may be awarded the DOAJ Seal.

There are over 18,000 journals in the DOAJ, which you can search by title, publisher, keyword, or subject. The DOAJ also displays journals' Article Processing Charges (APCs).

It's worth noting that almost 70% of the journals in the DOAJ do not levy APCs. When searching journals on the DOAJ, you can limit your results to journals without APCs using the filters on the left. Click here to browse journals without APCs.


Searching other journal directories

Most major journal directories will allow you to filter to only show open access journals. For example, Elsevier's SJR (Scimago Journal & Country Rank) can be filtered to only show open access journals, then further filtered by subject or country. Click here to browse open access journals in SJR.


Other open access journals

If a journal is not indexed in DOAJ it may still be a reputable, peer reviewed, open access 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 evaluate the journal.

Read more about evaluating journals and avoiding predatory publishers on our Scholarly Publishing 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.

Open access publishing fees

If your journal article is not covered by one of our open access publishing agreements, you may need to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish open access. Note, however, that many open access journals do not levy APCs (see above).

Publisher websites should clearly state if they charge for open access publishing and be up-front on the cost. Larger publishers will often have an APC finder or downloadable spreadsheet of current APCs for each of their journals. Some common ones include the Elsevier APC Price Listing, the Taylor and Francis Open Access Cost Finder, and the Wiley APC Price Listing. For smaller publishers or individual journals, this information is often found in the "author guidelines" section of the website.

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

Note that the University does not have central funds available for APC, BPC, or CPC payment. If you are seeking support for paying an APC, you may wish to check with your faculty or grant funder.

When publishing in a hybrid journal not covered by an open access publishing agreement, however, the University would prefer authors pursue repository open access in Minerva Access, rather than pay an APC.


Discounts for University of Melbourne staff and students

The University of Melbourne has open access fee discounts with several publishers. These are detailed on the Open Access Publishing page of the Open Scholarship website.

To be eligible, the article's corresponding author must be affiliated with the University of Melbourne and have provided this affiliation upon submission. Publishers usually verify this eligibility by checking the author's email address uses a domain. Other limitations and eligibility criteria may apply, so please read the details of each agreement carefully.


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