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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 copyright to third-party material included in the research output. More information on copyright is available on the Copyright at UWA webpage

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.


Listen to UWA and other researchers discuss the importance of making research openly accessible:





How can I publish Open Access?

If you wish to make your research open access, you have three options:

Where to publish Open Access

UWA Profiles and Research Repository

UWA authors should deposit their work in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository. 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. The contents of the repository are indexed by Google and freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Repository based open access is encouraged by the NHMRC and ARC and meets their requirements regarding open access. Visit the Repository FAQ page to find out more. 

Other Research Repositories

Research organisations such as universities usually have their own repositories. There are also subject based repositories such as arXiv, PubMed Central or Social Social Science Research Network. 

OpenDOAR is a global directory of repositories where you can search by organisation name and type, content type, subject, software type, country or region.

Open Access Australasia keeps a list of Australian and New Zealand Research Repositories.

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.

Open Access journal directories

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

Open Access Australasia

"Open Access Australasia (previously Australasian Open Access Strategy Group – AOASG) advocates for and supports practical initiatives on open access in Australia and New Zealand. They do this through raising awareness of why open access is important, collaboration regionally and internationally and by helping to build capacity and expertise within this region." See for more information. 


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