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Open Access (OA) promotes free public access to research publications and data on the Internet without financial, legal, or technical barriers. It offers authors control over the integrity of their work, and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. OA is focused on high-quality, peer-reviewed academic publications, such as journal articles, conference papers, books and theses. Increasingly, the raw data underlying these research publications is also being made available openly: in a closely related movement, Open Data is increasing the accessibility of research data via Open Data archives.

Defining “openness” in terms of publishing and data is a complex issue, which is influenced by publishers and funding agencies. The Public Library of Science has developed a guide to the Open Access Spectrum, which explains this in greater detail. 

There are two options when deciding to provide Open Access to your research, known as Green (Deposit) and Gold (Publish). See the FAQs tab above for further information.

Open Access has many benefits for communities, institutions and individuals.

For individual researchers and their institutions, making research openly available can increase:

  • the visibility and impact of the author and their work
  • opportunities for collaboration
  • the likelihood of practitioners applying their findings
  • compliance with the policies of grant funding agencies.

For the wider community, access to current and high-quality knowledge:

  • improves the pace, efficiency and efficacy of research
  • fulfills a basic human right to education and intellectual freedom
  • provides fairness to taxpayers through access to publicly-funded research.

Why make it Open Access

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Benefits of Open Access

How Open Access Empowered a 16 Year old to make a cancer breakthrough

R2RC – 4:00

Use these links to find more information about Open Access:

What is Green OA?

  • Authors publish their work in a peer-reviewed journal of their choice, and then deposit a version of the work in either an institutional repository such as OPUS,  or a central repository such as arXiv.org which makes it freely available.
  • The version deposited will depend on the agreement signed with the publisher.
  • Learn more about Green OA in the Deposit section.

Advantages of Green Open Access include:

  • You can publish in the ‘best’ journal for your research.
  • You don’t have to pay any article processing charges.
  • Your research will be more widely discoverable and accessible.

What is Gold OA?

  • The author publishes their work in an Open Access journal that allows free and immediate access to its articles via the publisher's website.
  • Gold OA publishers use various business models, including the hybrid model; authors pay an article processing charge (APC) to publish their article as Open Access. Approximately 70% of OA journals listed in DOAJ don't charge an APC.
  • Learn more about Gold OA in the Publish section.

What is an Article Processing Charge (APC)?

  • Some publishers charge a fee to make an article available through open access. Some journals, known as Hybrid Open Access Journals, charge subscription fees and/or APCs. This can be seen as 'double-dipping' and is a controversial practice. 

As an author can I use both an Open Access repository as well as a journal?

  • Yes. Open Access repositories supplement but do not replace journals. You can choose to publish in either a traditional or Open Access journal, as well as deposit your work in an OA repository. You must, however, be aware of the conditions of any licence you have signed with a publisher. Learn more about depositing your work in an Open Access repository in the Deposit section.

Are Open Access journals the same quality as traditional journals?

  • Open access journals are peer-reviewed in the same way that traditional journals are. To learn more about evaluating OA journals and deciding where to publish your research, visit the Publish section. 

Is my research still protected by copyright in Open Access journals and repositories?

  • Open access allows authors to retain copyright over their material, rather than transferring the rights to publishers. Many OA works make use of Creative Commons licences, which permit the reuse of material, provided that the original author is cited. Creative Commons licenses ensures the maximum visibility and impact for works, with proper attribution of the author. To learn more, visit the Your Rights section.

Can people plagiarise my work if it is published Open Access?

There is a risk of plagiarism with any published scholarly work, however, Open Access serves to reduce plagiarism. When material is freely available, the chance that plagiarism is recognised and exposed is increased.

Where can I get help?

  • Contact the UTSeScholarship team for support on any Open Access enquiries.
  • Attend one of our Research workshops. Visit the Events calendar to see upcoming workshops.

Accepted manuscript

The accepted manuscript is the final draft of your research, after peer review and prior to publication.


UTS reports annually to the Australian government about its research outcomes. The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) (requires UTS authentication) is the reporting mechanism by which UTS receives block funding (requires UTS authentication). The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation scheme is an Australian Research Council (ARC) reporting requirement that is additional to HERDC reporting requirements.  It was introduced to identify internationally competitive areas within institutions and disciplines.

Published Version

The final version of a paper, formatted for publication.


RIO is the Research and Innovation Office at UTS, which is responsible for reporting research outputs to the Australian government. RIO also manages research ethics, grants, collaboration with industry, and research systems including RMENet.

Symplectic Elements

Symplectic Elements is the UTS publication management system used to record new publications. (This system replaced RMENet in 2014). All staff and higher degree research students have access to Symplectic Elements.

At UTS, data from Symplectic Elements is used in reporting to government (Higher Education Research Data Collection), which affects UTS block funding and therefore the resourcing of research in your area.