The Optimal National Open Access Policy


The following optimal wording for a National Policy on Open Access for [country-name] is recommended:

The [country-name] Government expects the authors of papers reporting publicly-funded research to maximise the accessibility, usage and applications of their findings. To this end:

As a condition for research funding, the
[country-name] Government:


(1) requires electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Government funding, to be deposited into an institutional digital repository immediately upon acceptance for publication. This requirement will apply to all grants awarded after [date-1] and, from [date-2], to all grants regardless of award date;


(2) encourages Government Grant Holders to retain ownership of the copyright of published papers where possible;


(3) encourages Government Grant Holders to publish in a suitable Open Access Journal where one exists; the Government will cover the publication costs, if any.




What are the benefits to researchers of Open Access?

As authors, researchers benefit because their research papers are given a much wider dissemination and can be read without restriction by anyone with Internet access. This increases the impact of their research. Indeed, evidence is accumulating to show that open access articles are cited 25-250% more than non-open access articles from the same journal and year1. As readers, researchers benefit because they will increasingly be able to access and use the full text of all the research published in their area, not just the research available to them via the subscriptions their institution can afford.


What are the benefits to [country-name]?

First, [country-name's] research will be more accessible to global researchers, hence better known and more widely used and cited. The prestige of high-profile [country-name] researchers will increase; even lesser-known researchers will gain more exposure and impact. Second, all [country-name] research will be open to all [country-name] entrepreneurs and the general public with Internet access. This will be beneficial both commercially and culturally. Third, access, usage and citation data on this research will increasingly become available and analysable to help shape researchers', institutions' and nations' strategies and policies.


What should be deposited when I have a paper ready for publication?

The final manuscript of the author's research paper should be deposited. This is the author's own final draft, as accepted for journal publication, including all modifications resulting from the peer-review process. (In addition, depositing pre-peer-review preprint drafts is welcome, if the author desires early priority and peer feedback, but this is of course not a requirement. In some cases publishers may permit their own published version, either in SGML/XML or PDF, to be deposited as well; this too is welcome, but not a requirement.)


When should papers be deposited?

An electronic version of the author's final manuscript resulting from research supported, in whole or in part, by Government funding must be deposited immediately upon acceptance for publication.


Will authors still be able to publish in a journal of their choice?

Authors will of course still decide in which journal they choose to publish their research papers. They will merely have to ensure that a copy of the final, peer-reviewed paper is deposited in their institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication.


How can I find out whether my journal has a policy compliant with depositing my manuscript in my institutional repository?

You should consult the individual journal's policy which is given at: or at 


How do I ensure contractual compliance?

Authors' contractual obligations for receiving Government funding to conduct their research pre-date any contractual agreement with the journal in which the resulting research is published (apart from the brief transitional period when this new policy is first announced). Hence authors can ensure in advance that any later contractual agreement for publishing their research complies with the author's earlier contractual agreement for funding their research, informing the journal that they are under an existing obligation to deposit in an open access repository. The Government's Grant Conditions are mandatory and binding on institutions, grant holders, and all others supported by a grant.


What is an open access journal?

An open access journal makes articles it publishes freely accessible online2. Some open access journals also cover their costs by charging the author's institution or funder for publication. The Government will cover such open access publication costs where needed.


What kind of papers should I deposit?

The policy applies to peer-reviewed, original (primary) research publications and reviews that have been supported, in whole or in part, by Government funding. The policy does not apply to book chapters, editorials, or book reviews.


Do I need to deposit my paper if the journal publishing my research already provides immediate open access to my articles?

Deposit is not required but is still recommended even if a manuscript has been accepted by an open access journal. Your institution will still wish to have your work deposited in its repository to enable it to maintain a compete record of institutional research output.



1Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 4, December 2005


2 Directory of Open Access Journals