What do NHMRC and ARC require and why?
The funding councils want to ensure that the findings of publicly funded research are made available to the general public as soon as possible. Their policies therefore require that publications arising, in whole or part, from NHMRC and ARC grant funding be made freely available online via an Institutional Repository [IR] within 12 months of the date of publication.
The NHMRC policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles published on or after 1 July 2012, and as of 15 January 2018, the policy also includes peer-reviewed conference papers. The ARC policy applies to all publications arising from grants incorporating the ARC Open Access policy statement. In practice, this applies to grants awarded from 2013 under the 2014 [and later] Funding Rules.
The Chief Investigator [CI for ARC, CIA for NHMRC] on the grant is responsible for providing the data which ensures compliance. Compliance requires [if a journal article] that a peer-reviewed version of the paper, as defined by publisher policies, be deposited into the CI/A’s IR. If an appropriate version of the paper is already available at another repository or at the publisher site, it will be sufficient to record and link to this version.
What is Open Access?
Open Access (OA) in this OA Policy context means that access to published papers is available online freely and permanently to all rather than requiring personal or institutional subscription.
Are there any exemptions from the policies?
Yes – as follows:
- Papers funded in whole or part by NHMRC but published before 1 July 2012 are not subject to the policy.
- ARC funded papers where the grant was awarded before 2013 are not subject to the policy.
- NHMRC Scholarship holders are not required to participate.
- Some publishers may not have author rights policies compatible with these policies. While the bibliographic details of the output must still be recorded, it will be sufficient for the publisher’s non-compliance to be noted in the IR record and explained in the CI/A’s Final Scientific Report to the relevant funding agency.
Do the policies apply to all publications or just journal articles?
The NHMRC policy applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles. Researchers are, nevertheless, encouraged to deposit any other peer-reviewed publication, funded or otherwise, into the Repository.
The ARC policy refers to all outputs funded in whole or part by their grants.
What do I have to do to comply with the policies?
If you are the CI/A you should:
- Read and understand the publication agreements with your publisher[s]. In particular, check that the agreement gives you the right, especially in the context of a funder requirement, to deposit a peer-reviewed version of your paper into an IR.
- Ensure that the “accepted manuscript” version of your NHMRC or ARC funded papers are retained at least until deposited into the Minerva Access Repository system.
NHMRC and ARC grantees should deposit papers subject to the OA policies via Minerva Elements into the Minerva Access repository. You will require your NHMRC or ARC GrantID Number[s], basic bibliographic detail (including DOI) and the version [accepted manuscript or published version] being deposited.
To deposit research publications, open your web browser at the Minerva Elements login page. Sign in with your UoM staffID and follow the instructions on screen. See the RIC Research Publications page for more information on Elements, including user documentation and training opportunities.
Your publications will not be made openly available without appropriate checks being made by Minerva Access staff of their copyright status and any embargo periods which may apply.
Which version of my article can be deposited?
The NHMRC and ARC policies require that a version of the paper post-peer review be made available.
This will, for subscription journals, usually be the Author’s Accepted Manuscript [AAM] version of the paper.
[Author’s] Accepted Manuscript / Post-print version
The [author’s] accepted manuscript is the version of the paper returned to the author after peer-review but before copy-editing and journal issue assignment has occurred. It is the version required for policy compliance for a high proportion of papers published in subscription journals. Sometimes referred to as the “Green” version of the paper, most publishers will allow authors to make this version freely available via repositories.
If you are unsure of the policy of your publisher, check your publisher agreement or check the SHERPA/RoMEO registry of publisher author-rights agreements for guidance. Contact Minerva Access staff for further guidance if you are unsure.
- In a few cases, the accepted manuscript may already be available at PubMed Central if funded by NIH or other funders with Open Access policies. Again, it will be sufficient to provide a link [such as the PMCID] from the Repository to the PMC site to comply with the policy.
Final, Published [Publisher] Version of the Paper
- A paper published in an Open Access [“Gold’] journal, such as the PLoS or BioMed Central journals. This is the final published version of the paper.
- A paper published as Open Access in a subscription [or “Hybrid “] journal, usually paid for by author or authors associated with the research. This is the final published version of the paper. In the above cases, while you are welcome to deposit a copy of the paper into the Repository it will be sufficient to provide an “OA Location” link [such as the article DOI] from the Repository to the publisher site to comply with the policy.
- A paper published in a subscription journal where the publisher makes all papers freely available at or within 12 months of the date of publication.
- in this case, it will be sufficient to provide an “OA Location” link [such as the article DOI] from the Repository to the publisher site to comply with the policy.
- A paper published in a subscription journal where the publisher allows the author to deposit the published version of the paper in the Repository. Only a small number of publishers will allow this, many of them listed here.
Which versions of the article cannot be deposited?
- Submitted Version. This version [also known as the ‘Submitted Manuscript Under Review’ or ‘Preprint’] is NOT acceptable for NHMRC or ARC as it has not been through the peer-review process.
- Published Version – unless permitted as outlined in Which version of my article can be deposited?.
What is my publisher’s Author Rights policy?
Publisher policies for authors, describing what they can and cannot do with the various versions of their papers, are often described in the publisher’s agreement with the author, at the publisher website and in the SHERPA/RoMEO registry of publisher author-rights agreements. Minerva Access staff can be consulted for further guidance if you are unsure of your rights.
What if I no longer have the AAM available?
The corresponding author may be able to retrieve the AAM from the publisher’s manuscript management system. Publishers such as Elsevier make this option available. Approach the editor of the journal if the above option is not available or contact Minerva Access staff for further advice.
What if my publisher does not allow me to make any version Open Access?
NHMRC and ARC understand that some publishers do not allow any version of the paper to be made openly available at or within 12 months. In such cases you should provide an explanation in the Final Scientific Report to your funding council that, for legal or contractual reasons, you could not comply with the OA policy.
Do I have to pay to make my article Open Access?
No. Some publishers are contacting authors suggesting they pay an Article Processing Charge to make their paper compliant with the NHMRC [and ARC] policies. You may choose to do this but it is not part of either the NHMRC or ARC policies to require that you pay such Article Processing Charges. Many of the same publishers will allow for the accepted manuscript version to be made available at no cost. If, after enquiry, the publisher will not allow this you are still not compelled to pay to make the paper OA. Rather, you should provide an explanation in the Final Scientific Report to NHMRC.
ARC Grants and Books or Book Chapters?
The ARC OA policy covers all forms of research publication, including books and book chapters. While the economics of publishing make it much harder for commercial publishers to allow entire books to be made available OA, more and more publishers will allow “accepted” versions of chapters from edited or authored works to be made available. Publishers like Brill, Cambridge, OUP and Taylor & Francis have policies helpful in this context. If unsure about your publisher’s position, please ask Minerva-Access staff.
I am with an Affiliated Medical Institute – what should I do?
Researchers working on grants administered by the University of Melbourne will need to place at least a link to an accessible version of any journal articles in the University Institutional Repository. The University is developing a response for affiliated researchers where an external body administers the grant.