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Open Access to UNE Research Outputs   Tags: oa, open access, open access week  

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

About Open Access Print Page

Open Access Week 2016

open in action imageOpen Access Week 2016

24th-30th Oct

The 9th annual International Open Access Week theme of “Open in Action” is all about taking concrete steps to open up research and scholarship and encouraging others to do the same.

Have you tried:

Try some more activities at


What is Open Access?

The advent of the internet and electronic publishing has meant that information can now be exchanged globally, free of technological and economic restraints. Open Access (OA) aims to promote the dissemination of knowledge broadly and freely across the internet in a timely fashion.

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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').

There are two different approaches to Open Access publishing, known as 'Gold' and 'Green'. See right for more information on these.

Within Open Access, there is a spectrum of 'openness' - some journals and publishers are more open, and some less open.

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 Open Access?

Arguments in support of OA focus on the following benefits:

  • Authors: OA gives them a worldwide audience and increases the visibility of their work.
  • Readers: OA gives them barrier-free access to the literature they need for their research. This particularly assists people in developing countries and less wealthy institutions. 
  • Teachers and students: OA puts all teachers and students on an equal footing.
  • unlocked padlockLibraries:  OA addresses the pricing crisis for scholarly journals.
  • Universities: OA increases the visibility of their researchers and their research, reduces their expenditure on  journals, and advances their mission to share knowledge.
  • Journals and publishers: OA makes their articles more visible, discoverable, retrievable, and useful. An increasing number of commercial publishers are offering OA options.  
  • Funding agencies: OA increases the return on their investment in research, making the results of the funded research more widely available, more discoverable, more retrievable, and more useful.
  • Governments: As funders of research, governments benefit from OA in the same way that funding agencies do. OA also promotes democracy by sharing non-classified government information.
  • Public: OA provides fundamental fairness to taxpayers through public access to the results of publicly-funded research. Indirect benefits to the public may come from the acceleration of research transmission made possible by bypassing the traditional publication process, which can be slower.

See the Open Access Week handout,  'We Support Open Access,' for a range of perspectives on the benefits of OA.


Benefits of Open Access

Benefits of Open Access - from BioMed Central

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