Open Access Publishing

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) refers to scholarly content which is made freely available through the Internet. It removes barriers to access and reuse. Open access works on the premise that publicly funded research should be publicly available.

The Budapest Initiative’s definition of open access:

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

Additional explanations:

Benefits of Open Access

Open access not only benefits you as a researcher, but also benefits many other people including those beyond the traditional scholarly communications ecosystem, such as practitioners, journalists and the general public.

Diagram showing benefits of open access

Image description

Further benefits of open access

Open Access Publishing Models

There are two dominant open access models: green and gold.

Gold Open Access Publishing

In Gold open access publishing the publisher makes the article available on its website. Gold open access publishing usually involves a fee called an article processing charge (APC). APCs vary widely between publishers and journals. A newer, less common, form of open access publishing (called Platinum or Diamond) has either no or a minimal processing charge.

If you wish to make your work open access through the Gold model, you will need to arrange payment of the article processing charge (APC). Please note that the Library is not funded to pay APCs for Massey University researchers.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Green Open Access Archiving

In the Green open access model, the author(s) archive their work in either an open access subject repository or an institutional repository (e.g.  Massey Research Online or MRO).

How to archive in MRO

The Green open access model does not usually involve a fee but may involve embargo periods, delaying the publication’s availability.The Green model may also set conditions on which version of the article may be made available (e.g. submitted version, accepted version, published version etc.)

You should consider copyright implications when using Green open access archiving:

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR)

Be aware of fraudulent or predatory publishing in the open access environment - check for fraudulent or predatory journals and publishers

Institutional Policies and Mandates

Massey University has no policy mandating deposit with the University of full text files with outputs. However, if you have received funding from an external source, the contract may require you to comply with open access conditions.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation with strong ties to the open access movement.  Creative Commons provides free and easy-to-use licences that help people share their copyright works for reuse by others, on terms the authors choose.

The licenses are legally robust, and work within the boundaries of copyright law.  Authors retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work. Authors also get the credit for their work because attribution is a requirement under all the licenses.

When considering a Creative Commons licence, ask yourself whether you:

  • wish to allow your work to be changed and adapted
  • want to limit how people release their remixes
  • wish to allow people to make money out of their reuse   

Six Creative Commons licences mix and match the points listed above. Creative Commons provides a tool that helps you select the appropriate licence.

This diagram summarises the permissions granted by each of the licences; more detailed information is available on the Creative Commons' Licences page:

Creative Commons Licences


The seventh ‘licence’ in the diagram  – Public Domain – is for material that the author or copyright holder wishes to be in the public domain with no copyright restrictions at all.

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Open Access

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