Information for Applicants
ARC Open Access Policy
The ARC has introduced a new open access policy for ARC funded research which takes effect from 1 January 2013. According to this new policy the ARC requires that any publications arising from an ARC supported research project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve (12) month period from the date of publication.
The ARC understands that some researchers may not be able to meet the new requirements initially because of current legal or contractual obligations. In these cases, Final Reports must provide reasons why publications derived from a Project, Award, or Fellowship have not been deposited in an open access institutional repository within the twelve month period. The policy will be incorporated into all new Funding Rules and Agreements released after 1 January 2013. It will not be applied retrospectively to pre-existing Funding Rules and Agreements.
The Australian Government makes a major investment in research to support its essential role in improving the wellbeing of our society. To maximise the benefits from research, publications resulting from research activities must be disseminated as broadly as possible to allow access by other researchers and the wider community.
The ARC acknowledges that researchers take into account a wide range of factors in deciding on the best outlets for publications arising from their research.
Such considerations include the status and reputation of a journal, book, publisher or conference, the peer review process of evaluating their research outputs, access by other stakeholders to their work, the likely impact of their work on users of research and the further dissemination and production of knowledge.
Taking heed of these considerations, the ARC wants to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the research supported by ARC funding, in the most effective manner and at the earliest opportunity, taking into 'account any restrictions relating to intellectual property or culturally sensitive data*.
- On Monday 10 September 2012, the ARC sent out a draft Open Access policy for consultation to all Vice-Chancellors. The ARC has taken into account the major issues raised during the consultation.
- It should be noted that the ARC is aware of copyright and licensing arrangements currently in place between authors, institutions and publishers. The ARC is also aware that institutions and individuals will need to develop mechanisms to ensure compliance with ARC's policy that take into account agreements already in place between authors and publishers.
Why has the ARC introduced an open access policy?
- The overarching aim of ARC's Policy is to ensure that the findings of publicly funded research are made available to the wider public as soon as possible. Both the research community and the public gain from knowledge derived from ARC funded research, and both wish to derive maximum benefit from these outputs.
- This policy brings ARC further into line with the NHMRC and with other international research funding agencies such as those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
When does the ARC Open Access policy commence?
- The policy commences on 1 January 2013, but the first publications are not potentially due to be made available in an institutional repository until after 1 January 2014.
- The policy will be incorporated into all new Funding Rules and Agreements released after 1 January 2013. It will not be applied retrospectively to pre-existing Funding Rules and Agreements.
Who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the revised policy?
- Compliance with the policy is a matter for the Administering Institution to discuss with the ARC—the ARC will not routinely check compliance with individual Chief Investigators (CIs). The Chief Investigator (CI) on any given grant will be responsible for providing the publication metadata (i.e. journal name, title, author list, volume, issue, page numbers and such like.) and, as and when it becomes available, the appropriate copy of the publication to the institutional repository (although this may be managed via the institutional research administration office). This is independent of the CI's authorship role (first, last or middle) on a given paper.
Which publications should be included in the institutional repository?
- The ARC does not intend to place restrictions on the types of publications that can be included in an institutional repository. The Administering Institution should assist researchers to identify and to capture appropriate information.
- In line with ARC Funding Rules any material published in respect of an ARC-funded research activity must include acknowledgement of ARC's funding, including the grant identification number. Similarly, it is expected that any material published in respect of an ARC-funded research activity will be included in the institutional repository.
- Researchers should ensure that all publications are listed in the Final Report for each grant. If a publication cannot be included in the institutional repository, a justification for its non-inclusion must be provided in the Final Report.
What information needs to be submitted to the institutional repository and when?
- Publication metadata (that is – journal name, title, author list, volume, issue, page numbers and such) must be submitted to the institutional repository as soon as possible after the paper is accepted for publication, no matter when (or if) the paper itself will become openly accessible.
- The manuscript/journal article should be submitted to the institutional repository as soon as possible after the publication date. The repository manager will ensure that the manuscript/journal article is made available at a date that complies with the journal's copyright transfer agreement.
- If the copyright transfer/licence agreement does not allow the article (or manuscript) to be made available within twelve months of the date of publication, it needs to be made available as soon as possible after that date. If the journal never allows the article to be made available, this information must be provided at the time of Final Report submission. Institutions may wish to use a publicly available 'holding note' to explain that copyright/licensing restrictions prevent inclusion of a particular article on the repository until a specific date.
Which version of the manuscript/journal article do I need to make available via the institutional repository?
- There are numerous versions of the manuscript/article that can be made available via the institutional repository. Both the author's version of the article (Word document) after peer-review, with revisions having been made and the publisher's version (for example journal version with final pagination and formatting) are acceptable under this policy.
- Publishers may have different policies regarding what version of a manuscript or article can be made available, and timing of this availability. This information should be included in any copyright/licensing agreement.
- To find further information regarding which version of a paper can be uploaded to your institutional repository, consult your librarian or the SHERPA/RoMEO database of international publisher policies. OAKList covers the policies of Australian journals.
Green or Gold?
- The ARC does not advocate a particular route to Open Access, and recognises instead that there are a diversity of options available to achieve compliance with the ARC Open Access policy. The ARC Open Access policy does not prescribe where authors should publish their work. Paying an ‘author fee’ to publish in a Gold Open Access journal is one way to comply; depositing the article in your institutional repository is another.
If I publish my article in an Open Access publication or in an openly accessible digital database, for example PubMed Central or ArXiv, do I also need to submit the manuscript/article to my institutional repository?
- No. If the print version (journal version) of the article is openly accessible via the publisher's website or via a service, it is sufficient to just make the article metadata available in the institutional repository and provide a link to the site where the print version is available. However, Administering Institutions may require this of their researchers, and in that case it should also be submitted to your institutional repository.
What do I do if my institution does not have an institutional repository?
- If no institutional repository is immediately available to a Chief Investigator, this will need to be recorded in the grant Final Report.
- ARC will then discuss the implementation of this Policy with Administering Institutions that do not currently provide researchers with access to a repository.
The ARC recommends the ‘ARC & NHMRC Policy Compliance Flowchart by an Institution’ developed by the Australian Open Access Support Group as a useful guide to making publications available in an institutional repository.