Open Access Mandate Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions

The guidelines only mentions a few types of outputs - what about the rest?

Although the guidelines only cover refereed articles, conference papers and book chapters, this does not preclude other scholarly materials and creative works being deposited in Research Commons. You can continue to deposit any type of item you have deposited in the past.

My output is not a conventional article, it is a performance/composition/exhibition/creative work etc. What does this policy mean for these types of outputs?

The repository can accept a wide variety of media types and files. The descriptive repository record for such items can be enhanced with copies of a programme, photographs, video etc. As with articles, what you can deposit will depend on your contractual arrangements with third parties such as publishers.

Why should authors deposit the accepted manuscript version?

Sometimes called a ‘postprint’, the accepted manuscript version of a paper incorporates the revisions made from the peer review process (if any), but has not had the changes to formatting and layout that will morph it into the final published article. Authors should deposit the accepted manuscript version as in most cases this is the one publishers allow us to make openly available.

The journal allows me to deposit the final published article, do I need to deposit the accepted manuscript version as well?

No, the final published version is all that is needed in this case.

The journal has not given me the rights to deposit an accepted manuscript version—what do I do?

Although you still deposit the accepted manuscript version the Library will ensure your item will not be publicly available, although there may be a metadata-only record. In some cases the publisher may allow you to deposit a pre-review version and (if available) a list of corrections; this is an acceptable alternative.

What happens if a mistake is made and an item is made open access against publisher copyright regulations?

The Library undertakes to carefully check publisher policies and apply an appropriate level of access. The University will assume responsibility for any errors. If a mistake has been made, the Library will receive a take-down notice from the publisher, which it will immediately comply with. In over five years of making material open access on Research Commons, the Library has never received a publisher complaint. Queensland University of Technology have had an open access mandate in place for 10 years; QUT Library staff check copyright policies on behalf of authors and they have also never received a publisher complaint.

Do I have to publish in Open Access journals?

No, you have the same freedom to choose your publication venues as before.

If I have published in an Open Access journal do I still need to deposit into the institutional repository?

Yes, if you have the rights to do so. There is some evidence that journals can disappear (Laasko et al, 2011) and the University is likely to outlast many journals; so long term availability is enhanced by using the institutional repository as well as the external venue.

I already put papers up on the web/personal pages/ anyway, why should I bother putting them in Research Commons as well?

The reputational benefits to the University are stronger when your research is clearly associated with a University service. Also, precisely because there are so many other services it is much simpler to deposit items in one place (where they will be curated indefinitely by the Library) and link to them.

External services can change their policies on the availability of deposited works or they can be acquired (for example, Mendeley was taken over by Elsevier in 2012). Research Commons, as part of the University, is not subject to these occurrences and so can assure your work of long term availability.

When you send outputs to Research Commons the copyright status of your work will be checked by trained professionals so you can be sure you are correctly complying with publishers’ policies. Further, Research Commons can deliver usage statistics to assess the impact of your work and is configured for visibility in search engines such as Google Scholar.

I have deposited an output in a subject-based repository (e.g, RePEc), do I still have to deposit in the institutional repository?

Yes, it is valuable to the University to have an institutional copy and, like journals, external locations may cease to exist or change their policies.

My external co-authors have already deposited the output in their repository - do I need to deposit it in Research Commons as well?

Yes, but you can just provide the URL of the external repository and Library staff will do the rest.

I can’t easily generate PDF files to submit, what do I do?

You can submit your work to Research Commons in any file format; the Library will convert it to an appropriate format for long term access (which is often PDF but for some types of content it could be other file formats).

Is depositing in a repository a form of prior publication?

Authors do not publish their work in a repository; authors deposit a version of their work that is published elsewhere, so that it can be disseminated to a wider audience.