This guide was developed by staff in Research Publication and Data Services in the UWA Library. In preparing this guide, information was gathered from numerous Open Access guides available in this area. Our thanks go to our colleagues in the Open Access community.
Under LibGuide agreements the material in this guide can be shared within the LibGuide community. The material may also be re-used for non-commercial purposes beyond LibGuides, however we would ask for acknowledgment and notification from the user.
Please note that The University of Western Australia is not responsible for the content of any external links within this guide.
In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative initially communicated the principles of 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.
A closely related movement is Open Data - the idea that research data and government data should be made freely available for sharing and reuse.
These different initiatives are now being drawn together under the banner of Open Knowledge, especially through the work of the Open Knowledge Foundation.
Why make my work 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.
Advantages of the Green route:
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.
The legal basis for open access is the consent of the copyright owner (or where the copyright term has elapsed – the notion of the 'public domain').
Within Open Access, there is a spectrum of 'openness' - some journals and publishers are more open, and some less open.