Open Access Policy questions and answers

The aim of AUT's Open Scholarship Policy is to ensure that AUT research is disseminated as widely as possible, thereby increasing its impact. This goal has significant potential benefits for both readers and authors of research articles. The importance of disseminating AUT research is included in AUT Directions to 2025 themes 2 and 5.

Some questions and answers about the policy:

This is an author’s rights policy. By adopting this policy, faculty retain rights to their scholarly articles and proceedings. By including scholarly articles in an open access repository, authors increase their readership and citation rates. Articles in the Tuwhera Institutional Repository are indexed by search engines, receive a stable hyperlink, and are archived for safekeeping. This policy also helps authors comply with funding-related public access policies.

By providing access to articles by AUT faculty members, this policy increases the impact of AUT research and creativity both on a local and global scale. Furthermore, by including works in the institutional repository, faculty members can ensure that scholarship is preserved and accessible long after journals and publishers move, consolidate, or cease publication.

Readers including practitioners and researchers who cannot afford subscriptions to all of the relevant professional journals, benefit by being able to freely access manuscripts of articles by AUT faculty. This access can help to accelerate the research and discovery process in various fields, and improve practice.

No. Many universities have adopted similar policies, including Harvard University, MIT, Cal Tech, Duke University, the entire University of California System, McGill University (Canada) and Simon Fraser University (Canada). The policy would be unique in Australasia. The policy is based on “Good practices for university open-access policies” produced by the Harvard Open Access Project and endorsed by the Association of Research Libraries, the Australasian Open Access Support Group, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and the UK Open Access Implementation Group among others.

No. The policy does not mandate publication in open access journals or any other venues. AUT faculty members are free to choose the journals in which they publish.

When AUT faculty members publish an article, they are required to also deposit the author’s accepted manuscript of that article into the Tuwhera Institutional Repository, which is managed by the AUT Library. Once in the repository, the article manuscript will be made freely accessible, considering any publisher embargo periods on such versions. The manuscript will have a descriptive record associated with it in the repository that includes a reference to the published version and the journal in which it appears.

Yes. There is a waiver option through which a faculty member can request that an article not be subject to the policy. The waiver is easy to request and automatically granted upon request.

Including a waiver option acknowledges faculty members’ academic freedom without impeding the underlying commitment to improving access to faculty articles through open access. The policy articulates an expectation that faculty observe the policy by depositing the author’s accepted manuscript of their articles into the Tuwhera Institutional Repository. In this way the policy sets the default to “opt-in” with the option to “opt-out” via a waiver. Harvard and MIT, which have had long-standing open access policies, report waiver request rates of less than five percent.

Most publishers allow authors to post the author’s accepted manuscripts in repositories, though sometimes the publisher requests that access is restricted through an embargo period that can generally vary from six to twenty-four months. If the publisher of the article requires an embargo period before the manuscript is made accessible, the Library will observe that embargo unless otherwise instructed by the author.

The Library already manages the Tuwhera Institutional Repository, which will easily accommodate the deposit of article manuscripts by AUT faculty. The Library has staff who will be dedicated to implementing the policy, including working with faculty members to deposit their article manuscripts, issuing waivers when requested, monitoring publisher embargoes, maintaining use statistics for faculty authors, and ensuring the repository is functioning at optimal levels to facilitate the discoverability of article manuscripts.

Libraries have traditionally committed to archiving and preserving the scholarly works in their collections. This is also true of the works deposited in the Tuwhera Institutional Repository and separates such institutional-based repositories from social networking sites and discipline-based repositories.

Commercial sites like Academia.edu or Research Gate are social networking platforms whose primary aim is to connect researchers with common interests and are not open access repositories. Their terms of service make it clear they could alter their service model or terminate the service without notice. Disciplinary repositories such as arXiv, PubMed Central, and SSRN have a long track record and there is every expectation that they will be around for a long time. However, each of them is subject to uncertain funding from volunteer contributors or the whims of government spending. It is conceivable that these could shut down at any time and the works deposited there would disappear.

It applies to scholarly articles such as those typically presented in peer reviewed scholarly journals and conference proceedings.  .

Many written products are not encompassed under this specific notion of the scholarly article, such as books, popular articles, commissioned articles, fiction and poetry, encyclopaedia entries, ephemeral writings, lecture notes, lecture videos, or other copyrighted works. The policy does not impact these kinds of works.

The author’s accepted manuscript of the article; that is, the author’s manuscript with any changes made as a result of the peer-review process, but prior to publisher’s copy-editing or formatting.

Note: Authors may also deposit pre-print versions of articles in addition to the author’s accepted version of the manuscript.

The policy does not apply to articles that were completed before the policy was adopted.

Yes. In the case of co-authored articles, AUT authors will need to decide the degree to which they want to seek permission from co-authors before depositing the manuscript, but the policy does cover co-authored articles and there is an expectation that those works will be deposited into the Tuwhera Institutional Repository.

Contact Tuwhera

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more:

Email: tuwhera.openresearch@aut.ac.nz

Twitter: @Tuwhera