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                                         Open Access

      A Response to Changes in Modes of Scholarly Communication




The Australian National University has a primary commitment to the conduct and promotion of
high quality research, nationally and internationally within a global community of scholars. In
fulfilling this commitment, the University seeks to provide its staff with the best possible support
in both the conduct of research and the dissemination of research outcomes. Recent changes in
modes of scholarly communication, occasioned largely by the transition to a digital environment,
give promise of a world in which research outcomes are more easily shared, times to publication
much reduced, and citation data accessed more quickly. It is critical that the University should
strengthen its response to this rapidly changing environment in order to enable its researchers to
take advantage of new opportunities, to increase the impact of their research, and to meet the
requirements of funding agencies.

The introduction of a policy framework designed to encourage the provision of open access to
ANU research and a less restrictive approach to the assertion of copyright is seen as an essential
step in responding to this new environment. Policies of this kind do not affect in any way the
ability of researchers to choose the publication channel through which to disseminate their work.
The provision of open access to research outcomes through, for example, self-archiving should be
seen as proceeding in parallel with standard publication in research journals.


Definition of open access

The signatories to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and
Humanities (October 2003) defined open access as ‘a comprehensive source of human knowledge
and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community’ and made available
under a guarantee of worldwide access. Open access ‘contributions’ were themselves seen to
include ‘original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital
representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.’ The
Declaration further required that such contributions should satisfy the following two conditions:

        1) The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a
           free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use,
           distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute
           derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to
           proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide
           the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the
           published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of
           printed copies for their personal use.

        2) A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a
           copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic
           format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using
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            suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is
            supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society,
            government agency, or other well established organization that seeks to enable
            open access, unrestrictive distribution, inter operability, and long-term
            archiving.


Development and application of open access principles

The Berlin Declaration was preceded by two other international statements, the Budapest Open
Access Initiative issued in February 2002 and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
in June 2003. The following year, at a meeting of the OECD Committee for Scientific and
Technological Policy in Paris, the Hon. Peter McGauran, Minister for Science, signed a
Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding, on behalf of Australia. The
signatories to this declaration recognised that ‘an optimum international exchange of data,
information and knowledge contributes decisively to the advancement of scientific research and
innovation’, that ‘open access to, and unrestricted use of, data promotes scientific progress and
facilitates the training of researchers’, and that ‘open access will maximise the value derived from
public investments in data collection efforts’. More recently, the National Institutes of Health in
the United States and Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom
have introduced policies under which funded researchers are required to deposit copies of their
research results in approved open access repositories.

In Australia the Group of Eight Vice-Chancellors issued a Statement on Open Access to
Scholarly Information in May 2004 which declared their support for the ‘ongoing development of
open access initiatives in Group of Eight universities’, ‘digital publishing practices that underpin
the timely, cost-effective dissemination of the highest quality scholarly information with a
commitment to good practice’, and ‘further examination of criteria for promotion in new
publishing models’. In January 2007 the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National
Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued a joint media release calling on
researchers ‘to make the results of research funded by the Australian Government publicly
available, whenever possible and appropriate.’ In particular the two councils sought to
‘encourage researchers, at the earliest opportunity, to deposit their data and any publications
arising from government-funded research in an appropriate repository that has free public access.’
Subsequently, the ARC included the following guideline in its Funding Rules for Discovery
Projects beginning in 2008:

        The ARC therefore encourages researchers to consider the benefits of depositing
        their data and any publications arising from a research project in an appropriate
        subject and/or institutional repository wherever such a repository is available to the
        researcher(s). If a researcher is not intending to deposit the data from a project in a
        repository within a six-month period, he/she should include the reasons in the
        project’s Final Report. Any research outputs that have been or will be deposited in
        appropriate repositories should be identified in the Final Report.

In March 2007 the Productivity Commission declared that ‘funding agencies should take an
active role in promoting open access to the results of the research they fund, including data and
research papers.’ While commending the ARC and NHMRC policy of promoting voluntary open
access, the Commission considered that the ‘progressive introduction of a mandatory requirement
would better meet the aim of free and public access to publicly-funded research results.’



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Open Access at the ANU

In accordance with the principles and practice outlined above, the University encourages
researchers to make their research results available to all under open-access conditions. This may
be achieved through self-archiving in a digital repository, by publication in an open access
journal, or by a combination of both self-archiving and open access journal publication.

To support self-archiving, the University has established an institutional repository, Demetrius <
http://demetrius.anu.edu.au >. It provides a stable, secure and easily accessible repository for the
long-term preservation of digital resources created by members of the ANU community.
Research papers are deposited in the ePrints collection and other materials in appropriate subject-
oriented collections. The repository is maintained by the Division of Information and Divisional
staff will assist in setting up collections and helping with the deposit of materials. The Division
also operates an open-access electronic press, the ANU E Press established in 2003. In a broader
context, since 2003 the ANU has led a DEST-funded national project, the Australian Partnership
for Sustainable Repositories (APSR), and has recently agreed to participate as a core partner in an
NCRIS-funded project to establish the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).

In the case of published journal articles, the versions (pre-print, post-print, publisher-generated
PDF) that may be deposited in institutional repositories vary from publisher to publisher. A
summary of permissions given by individual publishers may be found on the SHERPA website <
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php >. The SHERPA site also provides a summary of the
policies promulgated by research funders (including ARC and NHMRC) as part of their grant
awards (< http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/juliet >).

Advice on open access journals may also be sought from Division of Information staff. In many
cases open access journal publishers will seek a contribution to the cost of publication from
authors or their parent institutions. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which lists
about 3,000 titles in a range of disciplines may be found at < http://www.doaj.org >.




Vic Elliott
25 November 2007




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