Open Access Week 2023 | Open Access Australasia

“Open Access Week 2023 (October 23-29) is an opportunity to join together, take action, and raise awareness around the importance of community control of knowledge sharing systems. This year’s theme is  Community over Commercialization.

This theme encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not.

Chair of our OA Week planning committee, Richard White, has written a guest blog about the 2023 theme: What does the word “community” mean to you in the context of teaching and research?

Graphics for this year’s OA Week  can be downloaded from the International Open Access Week website here.

If you are planning events at your institution, please contact us here and we will add them to this website.”

Council of Australian University Librarians and Open Access Australasia Statement on the American Chemical Society’s new Article Development Charges

“The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and Open Access Australasia wish to express our joint concerns over the recent introduction of the Article Development Charge (ADC) model by the American Chemical Society (ACS). At the heart of CAUL’s mission is the commitment to facilitate connection and collaboration, and optimise collective knowledge, expertise, and resources, to achieve strategic outcomes at scale in priority areas for the university library sector. As an advocacy organisation for Open Access, Open Access Australasia is committed to working towards diverse approaches to open access that support equity – both to read and publish research. We believe that the equitable pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination should be at the core of any scholarly publication model. While we recognise that publishers need to evolve in the changing landscape of scholarly communication, the current ADC approach taken by ACS raises serious concerns….”

What do Australians affected by cancer think about oncology researchers sharing research data: a cross-sectional survey | medRxiv

Abstract:  Objectives To characterise the attitudes of Australians affected by cancer towards the sharing of de-identified research data with third parties, including the public.

Design, setting, participants Anonymous online survey between October 2022 and February 2023 of adult Australians previously diagnosed with cancer.

Main outcome measures Self-reported attitudes towards the sharing of human and non-human data, and the hypothetical sharing of their anonymised medical information and responses to the survey.

Results 551 respondents contributed data to the survey. There was strong support for cancer researchers sharing non-human and de-identified human research data with medical doctors (90% and 95% respectively) and non-profit researchers (both 94%). However, this declined when participants were asked whether data should be shared with for-profit researchers (both 64%) or posted publicly (both 61%). When asked if they would hypothetically consent to researchers at their treatment location collecting and sharing their de-identified data publicly, only half agreed (50%). In contrast, after being shown a visual representation of the de-identified survey data, 80% of respondents supported sharing it publicly. A further 10% also supported public sharing of some of the survey data, with the most frequently desired information to be withheld including education history and levels of trust in healthcare stakeholders.

Conclusions Australians affected by cancer support the sharing of research data, particularly with clinician and non-profit researchers. Visualisation of the data to be shared may also enhance support for making research data publicly available. These results should help alleviate any concerns about research participants’ attitudes on data sharing, as well as boost researchers’ motivation for sharing.

Research assessment exercises are necessary — but we need to learn to do them better

“Research evaluation at the Australian Research Council (ARC), one of the country’s main funding bodies, is set to get a makeover. Last month, an independent expert review recommended that the ARC scrap its 13-year-old research-scoring system, known as Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), and its companion exercise, the Engagement and Impact assessment, which grades the real-world benefits of institutions’ work. Both had been on hold since last August, awaiting the findings of the review.

This is a rare case in which an evaluation system can be rewritten from scratch. The ARC should take this opportunity to improve how it measures and communicates the value of Australia’s research workforce, on the basis of not just lessons learnt from the ERA’s deficiencies, but also principles that have been developed and implemented elsewhere in the world. In doing so, it will help to create a research culture that reflects the best possible values that research should represent….”

Guest Post: Start at the Beginning – The Need for ‘Research Practice’ Training – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Something is rotten in the state of research. And while retracting work that is fraudulent or incorrect is very important, it is expensive and too late. We should be nipping the problem in the bud much earlier – back with the training researchers receive at university. Achieving Open Research (and therefore increasing reproducibility) requires the provision of systematic research training that focuses specifically on research practice….”


Productivity Commission backs open access push

“Removing the paywalls on research literature would boost Australian innovation, according to the Productivity Commission, which is recommending the Albanese government give consideration to the world-first open access model being developed by the chief scientist.

Australia’s chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley is currently finalising her advice to government on an Australian open access model she says would go much further than global efforts to unlock research.

The Productivity Commission’s (PC) five-yearly productivity inquiry, published on Friday, throws support behind open access because of the “significant benefits for diffusion and productivity growth”. …”

Data Sharing Policy Development Guidelines | ARDC

“Read our guide to developing a data sharing policy (DSP), which can be crucial to good data management and the data governance framework for your research project.

Our Data Sharing Policy Development Guidelines provide information and guidance on developing a data sharing policy (DSP), a policy written by an organisation or a group to address: 

the types of data the agencies have in their custody 
the principles and strategy around the sharing of that data 
the governance and management procedures that should be followed when that data is being shared. 

It lays out, in general terms, how that organisation or group will respond to requests to share the data.

A data sharing policy should be agreed on whenever there is a need or an intention to share data created by a research project or projects. The policy ensures that all data requests are handled consistently and appropriately. It also ensures that both the data holder and potential data requesters understand the process of making and assessing requests.

These guidelines discuss the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of developing a data sharing policy, specifically how one can be created and what components it usually has….”

Understanding the source of funds used by authors in Australian

Abstract:  BACKGROUND: Read & Publish (R&P) deals with publishers consolidate the cost of subscription access and open access publication into a single payment. This is a significant shift in the way access to research outputs is managed, and has implications for university acquisition budgets. Currently funds used across institutions to pay for Article Processing Charges (APCs) are unquantified and their sources unidentified. 

OBJECTIVE: The study aims to identify the sources of funding for APCs across Flinders University. The findings are intended to stimulate debate across the sector to potentially replicate the study at other institutions. 

METHOD: The research outputs of Flinders University during 2020-2021 were filtered for a Creative Commons license on the assumption that these were available open access, and articles where the corresponding author was a Flinders University academic were identified. A survey tool was developed to understand the amount the author paid for the APC and the source(s) of that money. 


The amounts reported as payment for APCs were converted to AUD using a point in time exchange rate. The figures were extrapolated across the two years of research outputs of the university. The authors acknowledge this method provides a raw assumption, however this analysis is sufficient to identify the general scale of the issue. 

FINDINGS: A significant proportion of respondents did not pay any APCs for their article. Those that did funded their APC directly from the university, or from grants, consultancy funds or in rare cases, personal payment.

INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: R&P deals shift the responsibility of payment for open access from external funds to the university acquisition budget. It is essential that the extent of this financial shift be quantified and negotiation occur with funding bodies to ensure they contribute directly to supporting these deals.  This work indicates the need for evidence-based discussions about the risks associated with the sector embracing R&P deals and the value of reinvigorating the path to open access using repositories and strong rights retention polices.

Understanding the source of funds used by authors in Australian universities to pay Article Processing Charges — Research @ Flinders

Abstract:  Read & Publish (R&P) deals with publishers consolidate the cost of subscription access and open access publication into a single payment. This is a significant shift in the way access to research outputs is managed, and has implications for university acquisition budgets. Currently funds used across institutions to pay for Article Processing Charges (APCs) are unquantified and their sources unidentified. 


New from WorldFAIR: Cross-national Social Sciences survey FAIR implementation case studies report – CODATA, The Committee on Data for Science and Technology

“New from the WorldFAIR project (, this report provides an overview of the data harmonisation practices of comparative (cross-national) social surveys, through case studies of: (1) the European Social Survey (ESS) and (2) a satellite study, the Australian Social Survey International – European Social Survey (AUSSI-ESS).  To do this, we compare and contrast the practices between the Australian Data Archive and, the organisations responsible for the data management of ESS and AUSSI-ESS.

The case studies consider the current data management and harmonisation practices of study partners in the ESS, including an analysis of the current practices with FAIR data standards, particularly leveraging FAIR Information Profiles (FIPs) and FAIR Enabling Resources (FERs).

The comparative analysis of the two case studies considers key similarities and differences in the management of the two data collections. Core differences in the use of standards and accessible, persistent registry services are highlighted, as these impact on the potential for shared, integrated reuse of services and content between the two partner organisations.

The report concludes with a set of recommended practices for improved management and automation of ESS data going forward—setting the stage for Phase 2 of WorldFAIR Work Package 6—and outlines the proposed means for implementing this management in the two partner organisations.

These recommendations focus on three areas of shared interest:
• Aligning standards
• Establishing common tools
• Establishing and using registries
in order to advance implementation of the FAIR principles, and to improve interoperability and reusability of digital data in social sciences research….”

Trove in trouble: why does it cost money to keep the resource online?

“The online database Trove may go offline in the middle of the year without additional funding.

Trove, which is owned and operated by the National Library of Australia (NLA), is a free resource which provides access to billions of digital documents, images, media and records of physical documents. It also contains millions of digitised Australian newspaper pages and issues.

Trove receives around 22 million hits per year, and is widely used by both academic researchers and members of the public.

So what does it cost to run an archive like it?…

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NLA requires $7-$10 million per year to keep Trove running in its current form….”

Transformative Agreements in Australian Academic Libraries

Open access means making research available online, free of cost for anyone to access it. Open access is part of a wider ‘open’ movement to encourage free exchange of knowledge and resources to broaden access and encourage innovation, creativity and economic activity.  Publishing in academic peer-reviewed journals is a critical part of the academic process that maintains research integrity.[1] However, most academic journal articles are behind a paywall which means only those with subscription can access these publications. This blog post will discuss transformative agreements (TA) negotiated by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) which aims to provide authors the opportunity to publish open access immediately on acceptance, and free of any transactional Article Processing Charges (APCs).

Wikidata Fellowships – Wikimedia Australia

“Keen to try something with Wikidata! Got a crazy idea? Or a provocation? Or an idea that needs investigating?

Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand are offering two creative fellowships grants of $1000 (AUD) and one of $1000 (NZD) to curate a data set, develop a prototype or undertake an investigation using Wikidata. You will be matched with a Wikimedian who will mentor you throughout your project offering resources, feedback and support.

We are open to applicants from all backgrounds and skill levels, and support proposals that involve investigations. We are looking for proposals that are enthusiastic and innovative as opposed to requiring pre-existing technical skills.”