ARC Open Access Policy: How to Comply

This advice for ARC’s Open Access policy has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). This advice should be used in conjunction with your university open access supported policies.

The ARC Open Access Policy was updated on April 21 2015. The updated Policy now specifies that publication metadata should include the ARC Project ID and list the ARC as the funding source, as well as other relevant information. Any future Funding Rules and Funding Agreements will include this requirement.

D:  How to comply with the policy

D1: Which version of the work should I deposit to the institutional repository for open access?

Note that publisher agreement is not required for the deposit of work into a repository. There are however, different issues for making different publication output types openly accessible.

For journal articles, grant recipients must deposit a full text version of the reviewed and corrected final article. If the article was published in an open access journal, then the ‘Published Version’ can usually be submitted to a repository and made available.  However, if the article was published in a subscription-based journal the rights for deposit in a repository are usually different. Information about the rights for a specific article are contained in the publisher agreement, alternatively your Library can assist with determining these rights. This information can generally be found on the journal’s website.  Alternatively, consult the free SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies (for Australian journals, check OAKList). Usually the author’s  ‘Accepted Manuscript’ version (sometimes referred to as the ‘Postprint’) that is submitted can be placed in a repository and made available. Many journals offer authors the option of paying the publisher for the right to use the ‘Published Version’.  While the ‘Accepted Manuscript’ version may lack the page formatting and reference-linking provided by the publisher, the content is substantially the same as the Published Version. It is not acceptable to submit an un-refereed version (sometimes referred to as the ‘Submitted Manuscript’ or ‘Preprint’) as significant changes may be introduced to an article as a result of the peer review process.  See Glossary for version definitions.

The version of conference papers that can be deposited will depend on the agreement signed with the conference organiser. Commercially organised conferences often have clearly defined policies on what can be deposited, smaller conferences may be amenable to the final version being deposited – this will require some negotiation with the publisher. Your Library will be able to assist with this.

The deposit of books or book chapters is generally covered by the agreement with the publisher. Open access scholarly publishers such as ANU Press generally allow books or chapters to be included in repositories without any charge. Commercial publishers may not explicitly cover deposit in a repository and may require negotiation with the publisher. Your Library may be able to assist with this process. Some commercial publishers offer an open access option for example Palgrave Open.

D2: Who is responsible for depositing the work?

The Chief Investigator A is responsible for ensuring that the terms and conditions of the ARC grant are met, although compliance with the policy is also a matter for Administering Institutions of ARC-funded research. A full text version of the reviewed and corrected final work need only be deposited to one open access institutional repository.  Duplicate metadata (bibliographic details) may be deposited with additional repositories (with or without full-text) at the discretion of co-authors from other institutions.

However, ultimately 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).

Each institution should have policies or instructions regarding their repository with which researchers associated with the institutions are required to comply, so you should check with your repository manager if assistance is required.

Contact your library to seek advice on available assistance to submit publications to the university’s institutional repository.

D3: Whose approval do I need to deposit the article to an institutional repository?

The Chief Investigator A should ensure that all co-authors are aware of the ARC’s revised policy on the dissemination of research findings. See section C1 about permission from publishers.

D4: I plan to publish in an open access journal.  Must I deposit a full-text peer-reviewed version to my institutional repository?

No.  Articles made available via a publisher’s websites fulfil the authors’ obligations under the ARC open access policy.  In this case, to fulfill the ARC open access policy you still need to deposit the metadata (citation information) about the article to the repository and the institutional repository record should include a link to the journal website. Note that your institution may have its own open access policy which has alternate requirements.

D5: If I publish in a subscription-based journal but pay to have an open access copy of the article available via the journal website, do I still need to deposit a full-text peer-reviewed version to my institutional repository? 

No. Articles made available via a publisher’s web site fulfil the author’s obligations under the ARC open access policy. In this case, to fulfil the requirements of the ARC open access policy the institutional repository record should include a link to the journal website. Note that your institution may have its own open access policy which has alternate requirements.

D6: Some journals make articles available online before they are officially ‘published’ in a journal.  What is considered to be the ‘date of publication’ when calculating the 12 month embargo period allowed for under the new ARC open access policy?

A full-text peer-reviewed version of the article is required to be made openly accessible online no later than 12 months after the official publication date.

When a journal makes articles available online to subscribers ahead of the official date of publication, the 12-month embargo period commences from the official date of publication rather than the date the paper is first made available online.

D7: If an article has authors from multiple institutions, must every author deposit a copy to their institutional repository?

The Chief Investigator A is responsible for ensuring that the terms and conditions of the ARC grant are met.  To comply with the ARC’s policy on the dissemination of research findings, a final peer-reviewed manuscript need only be submitted to one institutional repository provided this is made openly accessible within 12 months of the official publication date.  Co-authors from other institutions should comply with the requirements of their own institution and may also submit a copy of the manuscript to their own institutional repository.

Co-authors may also provide a publication metadata link in their university’s repository to the publication that has been submitted in the lead university’s repository.

D8: I am not based at a university, where should I deposit my publications arising from an ARC grant?

Some non-university research institutes maintain an institutional repository. Your library will be able to advise you on this.  If your organisation does not have its own institutional repository, then one of the following options may apply:

  • If any of your co-authors are affiliated with an Australian institution that maintains a publicly accessible repository, deposit the article to that repository.
  • Some organisations have a memorandum of understanding with a university library and, under this arrangement, they will be allowed to submit works to their institutional repository. Your library will be able to advise you on this.
  • Other deposit options may become available over time.

If you have explored all of these options and are still unable to submit your article to an institutional repository, then you should include this explanation in the ARC Final Report for the relevant grant.

D9: Can I deposit the publisher’s version of my article to an institutional repository?

If you have or can obtain the rights to deposit the publishers version for deposit then that version can be included in an institutional repository.  For example if the article was published in an open access journal or under a Creative Commons Licence then you can deposit the ‘Published Version’ in an institutional repository.  If the article was published in a subscription-based journal then there may be an embargo period, or the publisher may charge a fee for the right to deposit a copy of the ‘Published Version’ in a repository.

Rights information can be found in the journal’s publication agreement or on the journal’s website.  Other useful sources include the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies on open access  and, for Australian journals, the OAKList.  Your library will be able to help.

D10: If a full-text copy of my publication is open access via a subject/discipline-based repository (eg PubMedCentral), do I have to deposit another copy to my university’s institutional repository?

No.  Articles made available via a subject/discipline-based repository fulfil the authors’ obligations under the ARC open access policy.

In this case, to fulfil the requirements of the ARC open access policy the institutional repository metadata (bibliographic record) should include a link to the journal website. Note that your institution may have its own open access policy which has alternate requirements.

D11: Who can help me to deposit my publication to the university’s institutional repository?

Ultimately, the onus is on individuals to play their part in ensuring compliance with Open Access policies and arrangements at their universities. Contact your library to seek advice on available assistance to submit publications to the university’s institutional repository.

Things to keep in mind when depositing publications:

  • Does it contain Cultural and Commercially sensitive material;
  • Do I know the correct metadata information for the publication;
  • Any embargo period
  • Including grant identification number, exact publication date and unique researcher identification number.

D12: How do I deposit my publication to the institutional repository?

The deposit process differs between repositories. Refer to your institutional repository web pages or contact your library for advice about how to deposit work to the repository at your institution.

D13: When should I deposit my publication to the institutional repository?

The publication should be deposited as soon as possible.  This could be immediately upon it being accepted for publication but it must be no later than 12 months from the date of publication.  For example, if published in July 2013 then the publication should be submitted to the open access repository no later than July 2014. Even if the publisher requests an embargo on open access, it is not necessary to wait until the end of the embargo period to deposit the publication as most institutional repositories have procedures for managing embargoes.   Consult your library for more information.

D14: I don’t have a final manuscript copy of my publication due to the automated online submission process used by the publisher.  What can I do?

Consult the journal’s publishing agreement (or website) to determine whether or not authors have the right to deposit a copy of the ‘Published Version’ to their institutional repository.  This could be the case if the article was published in an open access journal.  Even if the article was published in a subscription journal you may discover that the published version will be openly available via the publisher’s website within 12 months of the publication date.  Where this is the case, you can include a link to the publisher’s website in lieu of depositing an open access copy in an institutional repository.

If you find that the ‘Published Version’ will not be publicly accessible within 12 months then one option is to submit the latest manuscript version held.  In this case, you should add a note describing substantial differences between this version and the ‘Published Version’ (the formatting does not matter).  Your institution may have a policy on this; your Library will be able to assist.

D15: My publisher sent me a template to use to create the final version of my article. Can I submit that?

If the publisher has specified that the author’s final version (i.e. the ‘Accepted Manuscript’) can be submitted to an institutional repository then submitting the version created using the publisher’s template should not be a problem (as there is no other form of an ‘Accepted Manuscript’).  Generally an ‘Accepted Manuscript’ can be differentiated from a ‘Published Version’ by the absence of the publisher’s pagination and branding

D16: If I deposit my final manuscript version, will people be able to cite it?

Yes.  When the ‘Accepted Manuscript’ is available via a repository it allows researchers, who do not have subscription-access to the journal, to read it to determine if it is useful for their work.  If they wish to cite the work they may choose to source a copy of the ‘Published Version’ via their library, or through other means.  Alternatively, they may choose to cite the bibliographic details for the published article but include a link to the repository version to show that this is the version they read.

D17: What should I do if the journal publisher does not allow any version to be made open access via an institutional repository?

It is sometimes possible to vary the terms of the publication agreement via direct negotiation with the publisher or by attaching an addendum (a legal instrument which modifies the terms of any agreement or contract to which it is attached).  Alternatively, authors may wish to consider publishing in a journal of equal status and suitability which allows open access, if one exists.  Consult the SHERPA/RoMEO database to check the publishing terms of different journals or, for Australian journals, check OAKList.

Some universities have copyright advisors that can assist with copyright and publisher issues.  Your library may be able to provide or refer you to a suitable publication agreement addendum (to try to amend the terms of the agreement) or information about other journals in your discipline which allow open access.

An example of a publication agreement addendum is the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) addendum.

If you have explored all options and are still unable to disseminate an open access copy of the article within 12 months of the publication date, then an explanation can be included in the ARC Final Report for the relevant grant.

D18: What should I do if the journal publisher requires an embargo period longer than 12 months before the full-text can be made openly accessible?

Deposit a copy of the ‘Accepted Manuscript’ in an institutional repository as soon as possible even if public access will be delayed by an embargo. The repository will check for such an agreement and set the appropriate embargo on access.

In other cases, it may be possible to shorten the length of the embargo via direct negotiation with the publisher or by attaching an addendum (a legal instrument which modifies the terms of any agreement or contract to which it is attached). Note that the ARC does not require that any fees be paid by an author or an institution to reduce an existing embargo period.

You could consider publishing in an alternative journal of equal status and suitability which allows open access, if one exists.  Consult the SHERPA/RoMEO database to check the publishing terms of different journals or, for Australian journals, check OAKList.

Your library may be able to provide or refer you to a suitable publication agreement addendum (to request an amendment to the terms of the agreement) or information about other journals in your discipline which allow open access.

If you have explored all options and are still unable to disseminate an open access copy of the article within 12 months, you can include an explanation in the ARC Final Report for the relevant grant.

D19: How will I report compliance with the policy to the ARC?

Any publications that have been or will be made openly accessible should be identified in the ARC Final Report for the relevant grant.

When listing publications arising from the ARC grant, you should include the links to the open access copy in each reference.  The link can point to an open access copy in a repository, an open access journal or an open access copy on the website of a subscription-based journal.

If you have explored all options and are still unable to disseminate an open access copy of the article within 12 months, you can include an explanation in the ARC Final Report for the relevant grant.

D20: Is research data relating to ARC funding also mandated as part of the ARC Open Access policy?

No, At this stage the ARC is not mandating requirements for Open Data.

However, the ARC strongly encourages the depositing of data arising from a Project in an appropriate publicly accessible subject repository. Funding Rules and relevant advice to applicants encourages researchers to consider the ways in which they can best manage, store, disseminate and re-use data generated through ARC-funded research.

D21: How do I comply with the Open Access Policy for Non-Traditional Research Outputs?

Non Traditional Research outputs have the same compliance requirement as traditional research outputs.

When depositing Non-Traditional Research outputs into repositories, it is important to include the ‘whole’ item in the repository. For example, pictures of the program for a production, or tickets for a performance are not classified as research outputs.

Check with your institution, as steps are being taken in universities to ensure researchers have the appropriate rights for material that they are using and consents from performers and other artists/contributors.

D22: I am having trouble finding a publisher that will accept my book or monographs that will also allow me to abide by the ARC’s Open Access Policy?

The deposit of books or book chapters is generally covered by a publisher agreement.

Commercial publishers may not explicitly cover deposit in a repository and may require negotiation. Your Library may be able to assist with this process.

Open access scholarly publishers such as ANU Press generally allow books or chapters to be included in repositories without any charge.  Some commercial publishers offer an open access option for example Palgrave Open.

There is also a collaborative initiative enabling open access books. Knowledge Unlatched is helping stakeholders to work together for a sustainable open future for specialist scholarly books.

Published 24 June 2014 Updated 27 April 2015
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