Open Access

Research Commons is the University of Waikato’s Open access repository, and our Open Access Mandate encourages all academic staff to deposit the full text of their peer-reviewed academic publications.

View the University of Waikato
Open Access Mandate Guidelines

Open Access is making peer-reviewed published scholarly research freely available online to the public and the global scholarly community. It brings research results out from behind the subscription paywall so they can be accessed by all.

How to Publish Open Access

Gold and Green Open Access routes

There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles: OA journals (often referred to as Gold OA) and OA archives or repositories (Green OA):

  • OA journals perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author's sponsor (employer, funding agency).
  • OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain unrefereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both. Archives may belong to institutions, such as universities and laboratories, or disciplines, such as physics and economics. Authors may archive their preprints without anyone else's permission, and a majority of journals permit authors to archive their postprints.
    (adapted from "A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access" by Peter Suber).

Benefits of Publishing Open Access

benefits of open access

Making research accessible through Open Access has far reaching benefits across academia and society as a whole. Some of the main groups include:

  • Authors:  As an author it means that your research can reach a wider audience and have a greater research impact, both Academic Research Impact and impact on policy and practitioners. OA gives you a worldwide audience larger than that of any subscription-based journal, no matter how prestigious or popular, and demonstrably increases the visibility and impact of their work. Green OA articles (deposited in a OA repository such as the Research Commons) received over 30% more citations than expected (Piwowar et al, 2018).
  • Readers:  OA gives them barrier-free access to the literature they need for their research, unconstrained by the budgets of the libraries where they may have access privileges. OA increases reader reach and retrieval power. OA also gives barrier-free access to the software they use in their research. Free online literature is free online data for software that facilitates full-text searching, indexing, mining, summarizing, translating, querying, linking, recommending, alerting, "mash-ups" and other forms of processing and analysis.
  • Funding agencies:  OA increases the return on their investment in research, making the results of the funded research more widely available, more discoverable, more retrievable, and more useful. When funding agencies disburse public funds, OA helps in a second way as well, by providing fundamental fairness to taxpayers or public access to the results of publicly-funded research.
  • Governments:  As funders of research, governments benefit from OA in all the ways that funding agencies do (see previous entry). OA also promotes democracy by sharing non-classified government information as widely as possible. (adapted from

Open Access Resources

AOASG: The Australasian Open Access Support Group website contains excellent information and resources explaining and supporting open access.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available.

OAD Open Access Directory: A wiki compiling lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community.

Institutional Repositories

Research Commons: The University of Waikato's Institutional Repository. Search across the institutional repositories of New Zealand's universities and polytechnics.

OpenDOAR: The Directory of Open Access Repositories. OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic Open Access repositories.

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR): Provides timely information about the growth and status of repositories throughout the world.

Trove: Provides access to Australian university and government repositories

A social networking site is not an open access repository: What’s the difference between ResearchGate,, and the institutional repository? (from University of California)

SHERPA RoMEO: Find publisher’s copyright and archiving policies

Subject Specific Repositories

For a list of collections of open access research based around specific disciplines, see the Open Access Directory page on Disciplinary repositories.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are materials used for teaching and learning that are available for anyone to use without paying. Some OERs are also licensed to allow modification, improvements and redistribution. Often OERs are used alongside, or instead of a traditional textbook.

Benefits of using OERs include:

  • Reduced cost for students
  • Ability to remix, improve and make relevant to context where license allows, for example by adding locally relevant cases
  • More student uptake
  • Flexibility to read online or in print
  • Accessible through Moodle or the internet without copyright repercussions

OERs take many forms (full courses, text-based material, audiovisual material, collections) and can be found using a range of search engines:

There are many high quality OERs written by well regarded authors. For an example, see Fundamentals of Business - 2nd Edition