COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 18 October 2021, 7am (AEST)

Open Access Policy

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The University values intellectual discovery and, recognising that knowledge has the power to change lives, supports the Open Access principle that research outputs should be freely accessible online.

To ensure that JCU authors meet the requirements of funding bodies, e.g. Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council, to make the results of their research publicly accessible.

To meet the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, for responsible publication and dissemination of research outputs to other researchers, professional practitioners and the wider community.

The University encourages JCU staff and students to:

  • publish their research outputs in Open Access journals;

  • deposit their publications into Open Access repositories; and

  • support Green Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU.


Normally applies to the research outputs authored by JCU staff or students including:

  • academic, professional and technical staff;

  • adjunct appointments; and

  • research higher degree students.

The following exclusions apply:

  • Research outputs intended for commercialisation

  • Research outputs intended for individual royalty payment or revenue for the author or JCU

  • Copyright, publisher embargoes or other legal and/or licensing conditions that restrict Open Access.

Hybrid Open Access publication is not supported by this policy.


Accepted Version is the manuscript version of an article/paper, accepted for publication, following peer review and revision but prior to the inclusion of publisher formatting. Many publishers allow the Accepted Version but not the Published Version to be deposited in institutional repositories.

Article Processing Charge is the payment required by a publisher for the work to be published.

ERA, the acronym for Excellence in Research for Australia, is the system through which the Australian Government assesses research quality within Australia's higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees.

Gold Open Access is the Open Access model of publishing which conforms with the definition of Open Access, as defined in this Policy. Business models for Gold Open Access may vary. The publisher may charge the author (or the author’s institution or the funding body) an Article Processing Charge; the costs may be covered by direct and indirect subsidies from institutions and scholarly societies; or the content may be freely available online after a specific period of time (delayed Open Access).

Green Open Access is the self-archiving of the Accepted Version in an institutional (or subject) repository.

HERDC, the acronym for Higher Education Research Data Collection, is used to assess the relative research and research training performance of Higher Education Providers (HEPs) and in turn drives the allocation of Research Block Grant funding to HEPs.

Hybrid Open Access is the enabling of Open Access for specified articles within a fee-based subscription journal, following the payment of an Article Processing Charge to the publisher. A major criticism is that the Article Processing Charges may be added to the normal subscription cost, instead of reducing the subscription cost, and is often regarded as double-dipping. Publishers may continue to require exclusive rights over distribution and repackaging of articles.

Open Access means immediate, permanent, unrestricted, free online access to the full-text of refereed research publications.

Refereed means articles or papers that satisfy the external or peer review requirements of a scholarly journal or conference proceedings prior to publication, as defined for HERDC / ERA.

Research Outputs means refereed research literature, including articles, conference papers, and selected creative works created by JCU staff and students.

ResearchOnline@JCU is the James Cook University research repository.

Policy and Procedures

The University recognises that adoption of Open Access may vary considerably depending on discipline and research culture and services may be established to facilitate the shift to Open Access over time.

  1. In order to facilitate Open Access to publicly funded research, the University will:

    1. Provide advice, services and infrastructure to encourage JCU staff and students to publish research in Open Access journals.

    2. Encourage JCU staff to use available grant funding to publish in Open Access publications including payment of Article Processing Charges if the following conditions are met:

      1. Where the publishing medium (e.g., journal) is deemed to be Gold Open Access;

      2. The research publication is eligible for HERDC or ERA.

    3. Provide information to staff and students on how to retain the copyright of their work and not assign exclusive rights to any third party so they are able to control and reuse their work.

  2. JCU staff and students are required to deposit research outputs into ResearchOnline@JCU to ensure compliance with any grant funding requirements of public and private research funding bodies.

  3. JCU staff and students are encouraged to deposit the Accepted Versions into ResearchOnline@JCU.

  4. Support may be provided by the Library and Information Services, Research Office and the JCU Copyright Officer.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Copyright Policy and Procedures


Higher Education Research Data Collection

Intellectual Property Policy

JCU Research Repository Policy

Statement of Strategic Intent

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:


Approval authority:

Academic Board

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History


Revision date

Description of changes



Changes made to reflect headline restructure 30/04/2018.

Quality, Standards and Policy



Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework


Version no.

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Approved by VCAC