Open access

This guide provides information about open access publishing and sharing research data.

Open access (OA)

Open access (OA) refers to publishing research and data to provide unrestricted access in commercial and non-commercial sources. Material is shared through Creative Commons licences, often the Attribution CC-BY licence allowing the reuse and distribution of material, and requiring attribution to the original creator. Open access includes journal articles, books, chapters, artwork and images, data and software code. Open data enables the sharing and reuse of research data. 

University OA Policy and Guidelines

  • Open Access Policy
    The purpose of this policy is to provide details to the University's researchers and academics on the open dissemination of our scholarly research output - online, world-wide and free of charge. This is fundamental to the University’s drive to be a global leader in discovery, innovation, impact and thought leadership.
  • Open Access Guidelines
    The purpose of these guidelines is to assist in compliance with the Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington Open Access Policy.

Publishing OA: Tips and Tricks

Open Access publishing has many benefits beyond increased citation rates. By removing access barriers such as cost, you can make your work freely available to a wider, more diverse audience, including researchers and students in disadvantaged communities.

It is important to build Open Access options into your strategic publishing plan when you start your research. These tips are designed to get you thinking about how to organise and manage your publications across the research lifecycle, from start to finish.

Increasingly, funders now have an Open Research Policy, which requires research outputs (including data sets) to be made publicly available after your project’s completion. Developing a strategic publishing plan includes targeting open access journals and archiving work in Victoria University of Wellington’s Open Access Institutional Repository to ensure you are compliant with funding agencies.

You can publish Gold Open Access free of article processing charges (APCs) in select journals, as part of our Read and Publish Agreements. A full list of journals is available on the Library website.

During the publishing process you should archive all article versions: pre-print, post-print, and published. If you are a co-author, it is critical to maintain communication with your article’s corresponding author in order to retrieve the correct version for your own personal archive.

You can deposit a post-print version (peer-reviewed, author-accepted manuscript) into Victoria University of Wellington’s Open Access Institutional Repository, free of APCs. This is known as Green Open Access: there is no cost associated with putting your work in our institutional repository. However, there is often an embargo period, set by the journal. You can use Sherpa Romeo to determine your journal’s embargo period.

All research items shared in our Open Access Institutional Repository have a unique, persistent identifier (DOI). They also link to the published version of the article and the preferred citation.

With a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), researchers can share their work across several platforms and track the reach, visibility, and engagement online using Altmetric Explorer: a DOI will collect citation metrics and downloads from academic sources, as well as mentions in news and blogs, social media including Twitter and LinkedIn, government policy and patents, and other sources including Wikipedia.

Advantages of OA publishing

Credible OA publications are peer-reviewed, with editorial standards. Some benefits can include:

  • reducing cost barriers to research
  • expediting wider sharing of research and related data
  • faster publication and increased visibility of research
  • providing public access to publicly funded research
  • an increase in citations, both scholarly and alternative

Delegates at the Communication Strategies for Open Research conference (CISPC) 2019 offer opinions on what open research means to them and their institutions.