Find out about:

  • the different versions of open access (Green, Gold and Hybrid)
  • complying with policy and funding mandates including for the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • UQ eSpace, the University of Queensland's open access institutional repository for research outputs
  • article processing charge (APC) options.

1. What is open access?

Open access (OA) refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly outlets. Types of open access publications available online include articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, theses, working papers, data, images and open educational resources including textbooks, video content and lecture notes.

Benefits of OA

  • Increases the visibility and exposure of your research
  • Helps researchers to meet the mandate of major funding bodies like Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Helps enable the University of Queensland's key research objectives, such as achieving international recognition through high-quality research, encouraging and supporting research collaboration, fostering excellence from young researchers, and enhancing UQ's research environment
  • Provides free online access to research, not restricted to what your organisation can afford to purchase.

Different versions of OA

Green open access

For Green OA, you self-archive an author accepted version of the article:

  1. Publish in the journal of your choice
  2. Archive or link to an author accepted (post-print) version of the manuscript in your institution's repository (UQ eSpace), or in a national repository (e.g. PubMed Central).
  3. Exercise your Rights Retention Strategy (RSS) to achieve immediate OA by depositing a copy of the author accepted manuscript in UQ eSpace. This intent must be clearly communicated to the publisher before or at submission of the manuscript. NHMRC recommends including the following statement at submission, to ensure licensing arrangements are set up before a publishing agreement is in place:

This research was funded in whole or part by the National Health and Medical Research Council [Grant number]. For the purposes of open access, the author has applied a CC-BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. (NRMRC Open Access Policy 2022, p. 12)

A large percentage of publishers permit the archiving of a post-peer review author's version of the article in an institutional repository. An embargo period may apply. In UQ eSpace, the deposited manuscript will be set to automatically become openly available at the end of the embargo period. Article versions and embargoes are explained further at the end of this section.

Benefits of Green OA

Gold open access

For Gold OA, you:

  1. Publish in a fully open access journal 
  2. Pay an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher who makes the article immediately open, findable and accessible.
  3. Deposit the article details (including the DOI link to the published article) in UQ eSpace. 

Hybrid model of Gold open access

For the hybrid model of OA, an APC is paid to make an individual article immediately open access in a subscription-based journal. The article will be made available via the journal's website but other articles in the journal may NOT be available via open access.

This model gives the publisher the opportunity to "double dip" into the [limited] pool of research funds by charging:

  1. The Library a subscription for the journal, on behalf of the UQ community, to access other articles in the journal that are not open access and,
  2. The author an APC for a particular article in the journal. 

Before you commit to paying an APC you must be aware of why the journal is charging for you to publish your research article. There may be no requirement at all for you to pay an APC. Find out more in the Article processing charges (APC) section.

Diagram of different open access alternatives, illustrating the previous text.



Article versions

There are different versions of an article as it goes through the publishing process.


The preprint is the author’s version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review. It is recommended to check preprint policies of the journals to which you are considering submitting your manuscript. While UQ recognises there are many benefits to posting preprints and in many disciplines they are an important part of the scholarly record, they do not meet UQ or funders’ open access requirements.


The post-print may also be called the Accepted Version or the Author Accepted Manuscript. This is the version following peer review, with revisions made, but without copy editing or formatting contributed by the publisher.

Published PDF or the Version of Record 

The published article is the version ‘as published’ in the journal (sometimes called the ‘publisher’s PDF’).  This version generally includes value added by the publisher, such as hyperlinked references, journal branding, typesetting (into columns) and pagination. Only a small proportion of all publishers will allow this version to be made open access, even after an embargo (unless it is published as open access).


Some publishers will allow the Author Accepted Manuscript to be made available after an ‘embargo period’. This is a period of time where the work can be deposited into an institutional repository but is not allowed to be made open access. Embargo periods can vary from 6 to 36 months, with 12 months being the most common in Science and Health Disciplines and 18-24 months in Social Sciences and Humanities. 

Check Sherpa Romeo for publisher's embargo periods.

Diagram of different versions of an article as it goes through the publishing process, illustrating the text description.