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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.
  • Publishing open access often means you retain the copyright to your work rather than signing it over to a publisher.

How to publish an article open access

In the journal-based open access publishing model:

  • Author publishes an article in an open access journal (a journal with no subscription cost to readers)
  • 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

Repository-based open access

Many publishers allow authors to share their Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in their institutional repositories, either immediately or after a certain embargo period has passed. At UWA, this is the UWA Profiles and Research Repository. This process is also known as self-archiving. Learn more about this option in the following tabs.

Also known as the post-print, the AAM is: 

  • the final draft version of a scholarly paper that has been accepted for publication by a journal, after peer-review and incorporating any suggested revisions

  • it typically includes all of the changes and edits that were made during the peer-review process, but has not yet been copyedited or formatted by the publisher.

It is NOT:

  • the submitted version, also known as the preprint. While preprints can often be made available too, they haven't been through the peer review process and do not meet the requirements of the  ARC and NHMRC Open Access funding mandates, or the UWA Research Integrity Policy.

  • the proof or the final published version that has undergone copyediting, typesetting and branding 

'Which version to upload' image courtesy of Digital Services, University of Cambridge used under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The image below compares a typical AAM with the published version of the same journal article: 

So how do you know if the journal you're hoping to submit to permits AAMs to be made available? And if yes, do they impose an embargo period? While some journals will permit AAMs to be made available immediately upon publication, others will specify a set period of time you have to wait before you can make an AAM accessible. To find out a journal's policy, try the following:

  1. Check the journal’s website for their policy on self-archiving/AAMs
  2. Sherpa RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.
  3. If you are already in the submission process, check the publishing agreement

Be sure to check a journal's policy before submitting! Especially if your funding/ grant requires immediate open access, like the NHMRC. If the journal you're wanting to publish with doesn’t permit AAMs to be made available, you can actually request the inclusion of an addendum to their publishing contract. On the Copyright and publishing webpage, there is suggested wording authors can use to request inclusion of an addendum to their publisher contract to ensure it allows self-archiving of the AAM. 

Remember! It is important that you save the AAM version during the publication process.

UWA authors are responsible for depositing copies of their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) in accordance with the UWA Research Integrity Policy. This not only allows your research to be made freely available to anyone with an internet connection, but also takes your research to a wider audience, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite your work. Making your publication open access also enables you to comply with funder requirements, particularly if your publication arose from ARC or NHMRC supported research. See these instructions on adding your AAMs to your publication records in the Repository. 

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:

  • ASME (commencing 01/01/2024) - 50% APC discount for UWA authors publishing under a CC BY license. Based on affiliation as listed in the submitted article 
  • BioMed Central (BMC)– 15% discount on APCs.
  • Elsevier - Titles not included in the 2023 Elsevier Read and Publish agreement for open access publishing may still benefit from a 15% discount on APCs. Check the full title list to see which journals offer a discount.
  • MDPI – 10% discount on APCs.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry – 15% discount on APCs.
  • Sage - Titles not included in the 2023-25 SAGE Read and Publish agreement for open access publishing may still benefit from a 20% discount on APCs for gold OA titles & titles not included in agreement. Check the full title list to see which journals offer a discount. 
  • 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".
  • Taylor & Francis  - Titles not included in the 2023-24 Taylor and Francis Read and Publish agreement for open access publishing may still benefit from a 10% discount on APCs. Check the full title list to see which journals offer a discount.

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 UWA Education academics since December 1950. All contents from 2000 are now available as OA articles.

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.

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 UWA Profiles and Research Repository Support guide for more information on adding your publications to the Repository.

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

Support for OA article publishing

Pathways to Open Access Publishing webinar

This webinar provides an overview of open access publishing and explains the different open access publishing options for UWA researchers. UWA login required. Click the image to access this recording.


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