Open Access Pathways in 2024

This blog was written by Dr Zachary Kendal (Scholarly Communications Specialist, Scholarly Services).

You can also register now for an upcoming Researcher@Library webinar exploring the 2024 open access publishing agreements on Wednesday 14 February 2024, 1:00-2:00PM. The session is open to all University of Melbourne academic staff, graduate researchers, and professional staff.

In this post, we’ll explore a range of options for making research publications open access, any of which can be used without author-facing fees. Let’s frame these options around the University’s Principles for Open Access (updated July 2023), which establishes four supported pathways for open access:

  1. Depositing research outputs to repositories;
  2. Publishing in open access venues;
  3. Publishing in journals and with book publishers covered by institutional open access publishing agreements; and,
  4. Publishing under models that involve publishers transitioning from paywalls to open access, including Subscribe to Open models.

We’ll begin with the first of these – repositories…

1. Repository open access

Using an open access repository, you can make your research publicly available at no cost to yourself or your readers. Also called ‘Green’ open access, you can use this pathway for most paywalled or subscription-only journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. The version of the article, paper, or chapter that can be made open access in line with publisher policy is usually the peer-reviewed and revised Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM). This is your final manuscript before the publisher undertakes their copyediting, typesetting, and formatting.

An embargo will usually apply to the AAM, unless you used a rights retention statement in your submitted manuscript. Such a statement allows authors to secure rights to share their revised AAMs under a CC BY licence. For this reason, the use of rights retention statements is encouraged by the University of Melbourne and required of NHMRC grant holders.

The easiest repository pathway for University of Melbourne authors is to deposit AAMs in Minerva Access, our institutional repository. The Library’s Research Outputs and Metadata teams will ensure that your deposited files are only made open access when permitted by publisher policies, and will manage any embargoes that may apply. You can read more about this pathway on our Repository Open Access page.

2. Publishing in open access venues

When it comes to journal articles, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a quality-controlled index of over 20,000 fully open access journals. Although many large open access journals levy Article Processing Charges (APCs), you’ll find that almost 70% of the journals listed in DOAJ do not, being free for authors and readers alike. Sometimes called ‘Diamond OA’ journals, these tend to be financially supported by institutions, organisations, societies, or grants.

There are also a growing number of high-quality open access book publishers that have emerged over the years. Many of these publishers likewise do not levy Book Processing Charges (BPCs) for open access book publishing, being supported by institutions and libraries via supporter memberships. Such publishers include Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, Language Science Press, and Punctum Books.

3. Open access publishing agreements

The University’s open access publishing agreements can help you to publish journal articles open access without facing APCs. We estimate that over 50% of journal articles with corresponding authors affiliating primarily with the University of Melbourne will be eligible for having open access APCs waived under our agreements this year.

In 2024 there are new agreements with ACM, APA, ASME, and John Benjamins. All 2023 agreements will continue, including agreements with Wiley, Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Sage, Oxford University Press, and Cambridge University Press.

Each agreement has its own limitations and exclusions, so please read agreement details carefully. In most cases, articles are eligible if the corresponding author’s primary affiliation (used in the publisher’s submission platform) is with the University of Melbourne. Whenever possible, authors should use an institutional email address ( or, as this helps verify affiliation.

You can find details of each agreement, including an A-Z list of covered journals, on our Open Access Publishing page.

4. Other open access pathways and initiatives

Another open access publishing model that does not involve author-facing fees is called Subscribe to Open (S2O). Under S2O models, a journal or publisher commits to making future content open access at no cost to authors if their annual subscription or revenue targets are reached. The University of Melbourne supports S2O initiatives with various journal and book publishers, including Berghahn, MIT Press, Annual Reviews, and Practical Action Publishing.

From this year, the Library is also participating in JSTOR’s Path to Open pilot (2023-2026). In this program, JSTOR has partnered with 38 small- to medium-sized university presses to create open access pathways for 1,000 peer-reviewed scholarly monographs. Included titles become open access three years after publication, prior to which University staff and students have subscription access through JSTOR. Participating publishers include Bristol University Press, Manchester University Press, Leuven University Press, University of Michigan Press, and our own Melbourne University Publishing.

You can explore other open access initiatives supported by the University of Melbourne on our Open Access Publishing page.


For enquiries relating to open access, including the publishing and repository pathways outlined above, please contact your discipline’s Faculty and Liaison Librarians.

2 Responses to “Open Access Pathways in 2024”

  1. Jonathan O'Donnell says:

    Keep track of your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM). When I’ve asked people to provide the “…final manuscript before the publisher undertakes their copyediting, typesetting, and formatting”, they often have to ferret around for it, or can’t find it because they can’t distinguish it from the bazzillion other drafts of the paper.

    For my own papers, I’ve started to make a Zotero record with the Author Accepted Manuscript attached. This stores it somewhere that I know how to find, and acts as a little celebration of the publication process.

  2. Prof. Simon Batterbury says:

    Thanks. The fact remains, though, that the big commercial publishers are still charging universities a lot of money as part of their ‘agreements’. My 2020 discussion in UniMelb’s OA Week raised this.
    The DOAJ is a good place to start to look for alternative outlets, and in accordance with our signing of the DORA Declaration, those overseeing hiring and promotion should recognise article or book quality, not just place of publication. This does appear to be happening, as long as staff remind assessors on their applications. I curate an alternative list for the social sciences called Socially just publishing outlets
    There is also a strong movement to ‘decolonise’ publishing by assisting and using Global South journals these days, by making excellent submissions to them. This is still in the early days in Australia.

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