Open Access Policy

Document Number000900
Date Approved29 April 2009
Date Last Amended25 July 2012

1.      Introduction

An open access approach to the dissemination of research and scholarly outputs facilitates the free exchange of information and worldwide communication of the University/s research and scholarship.

Major national and international competitive research funding agencies have adopted mandatory open-access policies based on the expectation that publicly funded research outcomes will be made publicly available.

The policy supports the expectation articulated in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Revised Policy on the Dissemination of Research Findings, that the results of publicly funded research activities should be made widely available.  This policy is supported by the University’s Authorship of Research Policy and Research Publication Responsibility Guideline and should be read in conjunction with these documents.

2.      Policy Intent

This policy supports the principles and promotes the dissemination of research findings in an international open-access environment through the lodgement of metadata describing research findings and/or post-print publications into the University’s institutional repository.

3.      Scope

This policy applies to the research findings of the following as outlined below:

  1. academic, teaching and professional staff;
  2. those with an honorary academic title conferred by the University through the Honorary Appointments Policy; and
  3. research higher degree and professional doctoral candidates.

4.      Definitions:

In the context of this policy:

NOVA is the University of Newcastle's digital institutional repository;

open-access means immediate, permanent, free online access to scholarly research outputs; 

post-print means the manuscript version of an article/paper, accepted for publication, following peer review and revision.  In terms of appearance this may not be the same as the published article, as publishers often reserve their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting.  Typically this means that the author cannot use the publisher-generated .pdf file (for example), and must submit their own accepted manuscript version to the repository. A 'post-print' is also known as the 'Accepted Manuscript' or the 'Accepted Version';

refereed means papers or articles that satisfy the external or peer review requirements of a scholarly journal or conference proceedings prior to publication.

metadata means the information describing a research output, e.g. author, title, keywords, date

5.     Policy Provisions / Principles

5.1      Material which represents the total publicly available research and scholarly output of the University is to be deposited in the University's digital institutional repository (NOVA) by the author, subject to the exclusions noted.

5.2      The following materials are to be included:

  1. refereed research articles and contributions at the post-peer review stage (known as the 'post-print', the 'accepted version' or the 'accepted manuscript');
  2. un-refereed research literature, conference contributions, chapters in proceedings, etc. (known as the 'post-print', the 'accepted version' or the 'accepted manuscript');
  3. Research Higher Degree (RHD) theses.

5.3      Access to these contributions will be subject to any necessary agreement with the copyright owner.

5.4      Material to be commercialised, or which contains confidential material, or of which the promulgation would infringe a legal commitment by the University and/or the author should not be included in the repository.

5.5      If the requirements of a funding agency have been met by publishing the research findings in a peer-reviewed open access journal, only the metadata describing the publication will be included in the repository.

6.     Copyright, Compliance and Access           

6.1     The deposit of material into NOVA does not transfer copyright to the University of Newcastle. Inclusion, use and access of full-text material in the repository is subject to copyright law and agreement with the copyright owner.

6.2     The following conditions for full-text access apply:

  1. The author owns the copyright and authorises deposit in the repository, or
  2. Permission has been obtained from the copyright owner to deposit within the repository; or
  3. The publisher as copyright owner allows it to be held in an institutional repository.

6.3      Where the deposit of the full material is not possible due to copyright restrictions, a citation, abstract and descriptive information including a link to an alternative location such as to the publisher's version of the material may be added to NOVA.

6.4      As far as practicable journal publication agreements should not prevent compliance with the University's open access policy by prohibitin publication in an open access repository.

           If necessary a suitable publication agreement addendum, which allows compliance, should be attached to the agreement before signing.

7.     Further Information and Support

Information concerning the deposit of material in the institutional repository is available from the NOVA web site:

Library Services staff can also assist with copyright issues and preparation of publication addenda.

8.      Essential Supporting Documents

Authorship of Research Policy 000856

Research Publication Responsibility Guideline 000857

Responsible Conduct of Research Policy 000873

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (external site)

Revised Policy on the Dissemination of Research Findings (NHMRC) (external site)

FAQs for NHMRC's Revised Policy

9.     Related Documents

Rules Governing Research Higher Degrees 000830


Approval AuthorityAcademic Senate
Date Approved29 April 2009
Date Last Amended25 July 2012
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Policy OwnerDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Policy ContactDirector, Research Services
Amendment History

Amendments (as per Doc RC12:67) approved by Academic Senate, 25 July 2012.

Change in terminology from "general" to "professional" staff, approved by the Vice-Chancellor 21 February 2012, effective 1 January 2012.

Approved Academic Senate (AS09:026) 29 April 2009