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Open Access Toolkit: Publishing an article OA

Why make your article open access?

  • 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 and the general community to find, read, engage with and cite your work.
  • Many authors need to meet open access requirements set by their funding body; for example, the NHMRC and ARC policies on open access.

How to publish an article open access

In the journal-based open access publishing model:

  • Author publishes an article in an open access journal
  • Author may have to pay an article processing charge
  • The publication is immediately available for all readers to access freely
  • Preferred option for some funders (e.g. Wellcome Trust)
  • Free or $

See Where to publish an OA article below for more information on journal-based OA.

In the repository-based open access publishing model:

  • Author publishes an article in a subscription journal and shares a manuscript version via a repository (e.g. the UWA Profiles and Research Repository)
  • An embargo period may be imposed by the journal publisher as outlined in the author/publisher agreement
  • NHMRC and ARC preferred option
  • FREE

See Where to publish an OA article below for more information on repository-based OA.

In the hybrid open access publishing model:

  • Author publishes an article in a subscription journal but the publisher will make the article OA immediately if you pay an APC
  • If the author chooses not to pay the APC, the article is only available to readers with access to an institutional subscription or who have purchased access
  • No funders prefer this option - however, there are several "read and publish" agreements that enable you to publish OA without paying an APC. 

It's not necessary to pay for open access unless you want to make you research findings available immediately in a specific journal, in which case you may need to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC).  This page outlines the options for publishing your article OA, including those that are free of charge. 

Your University Library team can assist you with any of these options. UWA staff can contact us at and research students at

How to fund an OA article

Library-funded open access publishing for UWA authors - "Read and Publish" agreements

Transformative agreements, also known as "Read and Publish" agreements, are a key strategy adopted by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) in moving Australian research towards open access. They bring the research community, academic libraries and scholarly publishers together to work towards an open access publishing model. 

For more information about the Read and Publish agreements available to UWA authors, see the Read & Publish Agreements tab.

Article Processing Charge discounts

UWA researchers can publish Open Access with these services at a reduced rate:

  • BioMed Central – 15% discount on APCs. 
  • Elsevier - For 2022, a 12.5% discount on APCs for eligible journals. See the list of eligible journals here.
  • MDPI – 10% discount on APCs.
  • Nucleic Acid Research – 50% discount on APCs. (note: Nucleic Acids Research will cease offering APC discount from 2023)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry – 15% discount on APCs.
  • Through partnership with SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), UWA researchers can publish Open Access at no cost in selected High-Energy Physics journals. 
  • SpringerOpen –15% discount on APCs. No discount is available for Springer "Open Choice".

How to obtain the APC discount with these publishers

Upon submission of an article, UWA corresponding authors are recognised by their institutional email address or by specifying their University of Western Australia affiliation. Ensure you always use your UWA email address (ending in "", "" or "") to ensure you're eligible for these discounts. 

Where to publish your article Open Access

Use these directories to find open access journals.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAG)

An independent, community curated directory that indexes and makes accessible high quality, open access peer reviewed journals. Use it to find open access journals in which to publish or search for journals and articles you wish to read. It includes search functionality that allows you to find journals that do not charge article processing fees.

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory 

An easy to search source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types. Conduct an initial keyword search and then use the narrow results feature to limit to open access publications.

UWA Open Access Journals

Cerae: An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Australasian journal of medieval and early modern studies.


Showcases the research of first year students at The University of Western Australia (UWA) enrolled in a biology unit.

Education research and perspectives

A 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)

Limina: a journal of historical and cultural studies

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

Outskirts: feminisms along the edge

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

Tenderfoot (formerly Trove)

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

Westerly ​(issues become Open Access after three years)

Since 1956, Westerly has been publishing lively fiction and poetry as well as intelligent articles. It covers literature and culture throughout the world, but maintains a special emphasis on Australia, particularly Western Australia, and the Asian region.

Institutional Repositories

Institutional repositories are digital collections of the research outputs created within a research institution. UWA's institutional repository is the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, an open platform facilitating the discoverability of UWA staff profiles, their research outputs, teaching, grants and activities. Authors usually add the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM), also known as the post-print version of an article to the repository and this is allowed by most journals.

Publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository are freely available to anyone with an internet connection and are discoverable through GoogleGoogle ScholarOAIster and Trove. Repository based open access satisfies the open access mandates of funding bodies including the ARC, NHMRC, NIH and Wellcome Trust. Find out how to contribute your research publications to the Repository.

Although most institutional repositories aim to make research outputs openly available, they usually contain a combination of OA full text, embargoes full text, and metadata only records which contain bibliographic information about the research outputs, with links to published versions. As a result, research publications included in institutional repositories may or may not be peer-reviewed. Publishers' policies on versions of outputs permitted in institutional repositories may include pre-prints, post-prints and published versions. See the "Making your publications Open Access in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository" section in the UWA Research Repository FAQs.

Subject Repositories

Subject repositories (also known as centralised or discipline repositories) are digital collections of the research outputs within particular subject areas or disciplines, developed specifically to meet the needs of these communities. Like Institutional Repositories, research publications included in subject repositories may or may not be peer-reviewed and may contain a mix of pre-prints, post-prints and published versions. 

Where to find institutional and subject repositories

Over the last decade many new publishers and journals have appeared hoping to attract authors who wish to publish open access. This trend was described in this article - Beall, Jeffrey, 2012,  'Predatory publishers are corrupting open access', Nature News, vol. 489, no. 179.

If you decide to publish in an OA journal, it is important to carefully evaluate the scholarly credibility of both the publisher and the journal.

Assessing OA publishers and their journals:

  • Is the journal in Cabell's Scholarly Analytics? The Predatory Reports (previously known as the Blacklist) contain entries for journals that do not meet the Cabell's criteria for scholarly publishing, which may be minor, moderate or severe. More information on using Cabell's can be found in the Publish and Disseminate Research guide
  • Is the journal listed in Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory? Ulrichsweb is a comprehensive listing of 300,000 periodical titles.
  • Are articles from the journal indexed in journal databases relevant to your field, or in citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science?
  • Who is on the editorial board? You may decide to contact a member to check that their affiliation is legitimate.
  • Are the articles of a scholarly standard? Are they written in a scholarly style typical of the relevant field? 
  • Does the publisher have a clear peer review process and provide details about their peer review panel?
  • Are the publisher’s rejection rates comparable with other publisher’s rates?
  • Do web searches involving the publisher name and keywords, like complaint, scam, or fraud, retrieve results?

A useful summary of this process is provided by the Think - Check - Submit site.


Check the publisher’s website against these guidelines for publishers:

Support for OA article publishing


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