Open Access to University Research Policy

open accessThe University has a new Open Access to University Research Policy (2015).

The University supports the principles of open access (OA), and is committed to enabling the broadest possible access to its scholarly outputs, including journal articles, monographs, datasets and higher degree by research theses.

As part of the implementation of the new policy, the University has released all Sydney Research Online research publications collection metadata (2001–15), and will enable access to the publishers’ versions of items within this collection wherever publishers’ open access archiving polices allow.

In addition, researchers are encouraged to supplement the Sydney Research Online collections by self-archiving scholarly works in the Sydney eScholarship Repository. Researchers are encouraged to enable access to completed research data sets (unless this is prevented by privacy or other requirements). All Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students are encouraged to make their theses openly accessible wherever possible – after consulting with their research supervisors, of course!

The University Library provides a number of established platforms and services to support the implementation of the new policy and enable the broadest possible access to the scholarly output and digital collections of the University, including:
• Sydney eScholarship Repository
• Sydney Research Online
• Sydney Research Data Registry Service
• Sydney Digital Collections
• Open Journal Systems (Sydney eScholarship Journals Online)
• Sydney University Press

Search the University Policy Register or download a copy of the Open Access to University Research Policy.

If you have any questions please contact the Senior Manager, Copyright & Information Policy for more information.




Information Futures Series
Please join us at the Library to hear lightning talks from four academics about how they promote their research. Bring questions and share your own experiences. Stay to connect with colleagues and chat over lunch.

Venue: Exhibition Space, Level 2, Fisher North Fisher Library
When: 11.00am-1pm, Thursday 27 March 2014
RSVP: Due to overwhelming demand this event is now fully booked. We are taking reservations for possible places that may come up due to cancellations.
T 9114 0866
Lunch and refreshments will be provided

The difference between Green and Gold Open Access

Categories: Library
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 11 November 2013

by Sten Christensen

open accessIn recent times there have been a number of drivers that have placed the notion of open access centre stage in many Australian universities. The biggest driver has been grant funder “open access mandates” especially those of the NHMRC and the ARC with a the move to compliance. A second major driver has been the release of the “Finch” Report” (Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings in the UK), it’s very quick adoption by RCUK with its support of “Gold Open Access” and the subsequent challenge to the Report by the BIS Committee report on Open Access and its support for the “Green” Open Access option.

With this focus on open access, publishers are offering various publishing models to authors which is causing some confusion, so it is timely the we reiterate the definitions of “Green” and “Gold” open access. It should be noted that even in this space there are a number of definitions as what constitutes green and gold however,\ I have tried to state the ones that we think are the clearest remembering that you can always contact your Faculty Librarian or the Sydney eScholarship Repository for further clarification or advice.

The definitions:

  • Gold open access: refers to work that is immediately available free of charge at the site of publication to any member of the public. Post-Finch it is commonly taken to mean that such access is supported by author-side article processing charges (APCs) …” (Vincent & Wickham, 2013, p. 121). In general terms the “Article Processing/Publishing Charge” means an author, upon the acceptance of a piece of work, is required to pay a fee for publication. “Pure Gold” open access journals are not subscription based and only charge an APC as a means of recouping costs (Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Open Access. Fifth Report of Session 2013-14, 2013, p. 3)
  •  “Green open access: refers to work that is made publicly available in a repository, institutional or subject-based, after an embargo period. Variants of Green open access depend on whether what is made available after the embargo period is the author’s final submitted text (or ‘pre-print’) or the article in its post-refereed form (or ‘post-print’).” (Vincent & Wickham, 2013, p. 121)

Where things get slightly more “grey” is where a publisher who has not charged an APC will, for a fee, allow open access for the published work on top of the subscription that the Library has already paid. Vincent and Wickham, 2013 refer to this as a “Hybrid” model. Usually under this scenario the publisher will allow “Green Open Access” after an embargo period however for immediate open access an author can pay to have the work made available on open access most commonly on the publisher’s site. The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report refers to this as “Double Dipping” as the Library has already paid for the full subscription

Further complicating this is the fact that paying to have work made available on open access does not always mean you have full rights to your work, only that the work is openly accessible on the publishers site. This is important to note especially as authors may wish to increase the impact of their work through media such as institutional or subject based repositories.

There are numerous issues with both green and especially gold open access options and also the whole notion of what open access means to different disciplines within academic community. While there is not enough space in this post to cover it all we will be inviting a number of academics and researchers across the University to provide their views and issues. Many are already contributing to the debate see:

If you have anything that you would like to contribute please contact me, Sten Christensen. We hope that you will join the discussion and debate the issues.


  1. Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings. “Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications. Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings “, 2012. []
  2. Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Open Access. Fifth Report of Session 2013-14, House of Commons (2013). []
  3. Vincent, N., & Wickham, C. (Eds.). (2013). Debating Open Access. London: British Academy, The.

Original post by Sten Christensen:

How to get ‘Open Access’ into your publishing contract

Categories: Library
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 31 October 2012

Negotiating a publishing contract can be difficult at the best of times. However, now that grant funding bodies such as the NHMRC are making it a requirement that resulting research publications be made publically available on open access, the negotiations around the publishing contract becomes even more important.

To make the potential negotiation process a little simpler the University of Sydney Library, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, have developed an Addendum Generator which creates the addendum for you.

All you need to do is to complete the four fields on the form and the ‘generator’ will create the text. Then sign the form and add it to the original contract.

Essentially the addendum allows

You to:

  • use, reproduce, distribute, create derivatives of the  work  in electronic, digital or print form in connection with your teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and for all your academic and professional activities.
  • authorise others to make, the final published version of the work available in digital form over the Internet,

Your institution to:

  • provide an electronic version of the work to be made publicly available in an  open access repository for any scholarly purpose only.
  • authorise the NHMRC, the ARC or any other public research funding body to make a copy of the peer-reviewed manuscript of the work available for public access no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Next time you come to sign a publisher contract think about what you are signing and remember to not sign your rights away.

Sten Christensen, Repository Coordinator, Sydney eScholarship
T 02 9351 7407

Open data and content mining

Categories: Library
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 29 October 2012

picShould data used in scientific articles be available to all? Are we losing opportunities – and dollars – by not being able to extract and re-use names, numbers, places, chemicals, organisms, graphs and tables in published articles?

Peter Murray-Rust (University of Cambridge and Open Knowledge Foundation) believes so. In this seminar he’ll outline why he thinks we need to change to an open access model and how it can be done.

Find out more about the seminar

When: 2pm, October 31 2012
Where: Seminar Room, Level 2, Fisher Library
RSVP: not required. All welcome.
Host: Dr Mat Todd, School of Chemistry

Make your PhD thesis available on Open Access. The sky won’t fall on your head!

Categories: Library
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 16 July 2012


Sten Christensen, Sydney eScholarship, University of Sydney Library

“If I make my thesis available on open access I won’t be able to publish it.”
Wrong, you will still be able to publish it.

There are many misconceptions in relation to making your thesis available on open access, this is the main one and it’s incorrect. Any reputable publisher will take the thesis as a raw manuscript and will edit it so that it is palatable to a wider audience. As such there should be a marked difference between the thesis and the published work; therefore there should be no issue, see Thesis into book. Advice to the desperate (more…)

Unleash numbers! Social media and OA repositories

Sten ChristensenSten Christensen, Sydney eScholarship, University of Sydney Library

Oscar Wilde famously stated “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” This is quite poignant when one considers the open access institutional repository movement, for what is the point of archiving and making your research available on open access if nobody knows it’s there!


Researchers choose to provide free online access to their publications, is Open Access(OA) a critical new global trend?

Open Access (OA) is an important global trend where researchers choose to provide free online access to their publications. (more…)

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