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Open Access Toolkit: What is Open Access?

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) refers to the availability of Research Outputs via the internet, such that any user can find, freely access, read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link, crawl, mine and otherwise use and reuse the Research Outputs both manually and using automated tools. Any use or reuse is subject to full and proper attribution, and usually will have an appropriate licence, such as any of the options available through the Creative Commons suite of licences, and should not infringe any copyrights to third-party material included in the Research Output. Further information on copyright. 

OA can incorporate the same features as traditional scholarly publishing including peer-review of articles, copy-editing and quality assurance. The primary difference is that the publisher does not charge for access to the journal or other type of publication. Anyone can read, copy, print, download or link to the publication free of charge.

Why make my work Open Access?

  • The University of Western Australia supports the principle of Open Access by making publications available online within twelve months of publication through the UWA Profiles and Research Repository. UWA authors are responsible for depositing copies of their publications in accordance with this policy
  • Open access makes research results freely available to anyone with an internet connection rather than keeping those results hidden behind a subscription paywall.
  • Open access takes your research to a wider audience and makes it easier for other researchers to find and cite


How can I Publish Open Access?

If you wish to provide Open Access (OA) to your research, you have two options. These are commonly known as the 'Gold' and 'Green' routes.


  • Here the author publishes their work in an OA journal that allows immediate access to its articles on the publisher's website. BioMed Central is an example of an OA publisher.
  • There are various business models for OA journals.
  • Some journals have a hybrid model, whereby authors pay an article processing charge (APC) to publish their article as OA. This model is used by many major publishers. UWA has arranged discounts with some publishers and there is a UWA APC fund to help with the costs of publishing Gold OA.


  • Here the author first publishes their work in a journal of their choice, and then deposits, or 'self-archives', a version of the work in either an institutional or subject repository, making it freely available.
  • The version which can be deposited is specified by the publisher.

Advantages of the Green route:

  • You can still publish in the 'best' journal for your research.
  • You don't have to pay article processing charges.
  • Your research is more widely accessible.


UWA OA journals

Australasian journal of medieval and early modern studies

An multi-disciplinary Open Access journal, published continuously by the Faculty of Education since December 1950. All contents from 2000 are now available as OA articles. (Host: Faculty of Education)

A refereed academic journal of historical and cultural studies based in the Discipline of History at UWA: (Host: Faculty of Arts)

A peer-reviewed feminist cultural studies journal published in May and November. (Host: School of Humanities)

An online interactive creative arts journal created for, by and with students. (Host: UWA Cultural Precinct)

Open Access journal directories

Journal directories help you to locate appropriate Open Access (OA) journals in your discipline area.