Scholarly Publishing

Tips for how to choose a journal to publish in, open access journals, pitfalls to avoid

Publishing open access

Open access publishing of research requires that:

  • the author/copyright holder/s to grant all users a free, irrevocable, world-wide, perpetual (for the lifetime of the applicable copyright) right of access to, and licence to copy, use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any reasonable purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

  • a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organisation that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.


Open access publishing with a publisher

Publishing with a publisher may be more complex due to the various models offered. See Open access publishing models for a summary of the three types.


Open access publishing without a publisher

Publishing open access under a Creative Commons license without a publisher is straightforward, no registration is required.

Creators select which of the Creative Commons (CC) licenses opens in a new window best meets your goals, and then mark your work using the license-choosing tool opens in a new window offered by CC Creative Commons for your selection.


Open Access publishing decision tree

Use our Open Access Publishing Choices guide to help you navigate this process.


I need an ISBN or DOI

For CQUniversity publications that require an ISBN or DOI contact TaSAC.


For further information about Open Access, including creative common licensing, visit our Creative Commons Library Guide.

Open access publishing models

There are different models for open access (OA) publishing, the AOASG (Australasian Open Access Strategy Group) opens in a new window definitions are listed below:

Green Open Accessopens in a new window

The author self-archives into a subject-based repository or an institutional repository at time of submission. Provides free open access at the time of submission.

  • Usually deposited in an institutional or subject-based repository
  • May be the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM), post print, or even a preprint

Gold Open Access opens in a new window

The author's or authors' institution pays a fee or Article Processing/Publishing Charge (APC); to the publisher to make the work available free of charge on the publication site. The authors retain copyright.

  • Generally published in open access journals
  • Journals conduct peer review
  • Authors retain copyright

Hybrid opens in a new window

A hybrid journal contains a mixture of open access and regularly published articles. An APC (Article Processing Charge) has been paid to include the open access article in a regular subscription journal. Authors need to take care to ensure the clarity of licensing and discoverability opens in a new window matches their needs.

Author rights

When your work is accepted for publication, there is a "Copyright Transfer Agreement" form. If you sign this, you are granting the full copyright of your work to the publisher. It is sometimes possible to retain some of your rights as the author of the work, for example the right to publish your work in the university's repository.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has created an author addendum to publication agreement opens in a new window which is free to use.

Find out more about retaining your author rights by watching the videos below.

A serious discussion of author rights. (about 2 minutes)

A humourous look at the serious matter of author’s rights. (about 3 minutes)

Questions to ask yourself when choosing an open access publisher

Publishing open access requires the same caution as publishing commercially. You need to verify the reputation of the publisher and their existing publications. Once you publish with them, their reputation is linked to yours.

Journal articles are the most common form of scholarly publications. You can find a number of tools to assess journals under the Journals tab of the Find yourself: Research metrics LibGuide.

Ask around

  • Is the publisher well known and well regarded in your field?
  • Have other people you respect published their work with this publisher?
  • Can your colleagues recommend this publisher?

Look at the About and Contact pages on the publisher’s website

  • Who is on the editorial board? What are their credentials / affilliations?
  • Do they have current, accurate contact details?

Look at the publisher’s information for authors

  • What is the timeframe from submission to publication? A very quick turnaround time is an indication of poor quality.
  • What is the review process? Who are the reviewers? How long does it take?
  • What is the open access policy? Use the SPARC OAS evaluation tool opens in a new window to analyse a journal's OA policy beyond just “is this article free to read?"
  • Are the publishing models and their fees and charges clearly explained?
  • What do they say about self-archiving? Are you going to be able to put a full text copy of your work into aCQUIRe?

Look at existing publications

  • What are some of their existing publications?
  • Are they good quality?
  • Are they well-presented, without spelling, grammatical and formatting errors?
  • If you are looking at journals, are they indexed in major databases?


More information on questionable publishers and publications:

SPARC - The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition

SPARC opens in a new window - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

  • Authors rights opens in a new window - learn about retaining rights and tools available to help authors to do so
  • Open access opens in a new window - more information about open access publishing
  • Resources opens in a new window - SPARC provides a full suite of resources for available for scholarly communication
  • Open data opens in a new window - find out about ensuring open access to data behind the literature

SHERPA - Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access

SHERPA opens in a new window - an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies. Provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors on a journal-by-journal basis.

SHERPA RoMEO: Publisher with paid options for Open Access opens in a new window - lists publishers with paid options for open access.

SHERPA RoMEO: Publisher copyright policies & self archiving opens in a new window - use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

SHERPA JULIET: Research funders' open access policies opens in a new window - use this page to find a summary of policies given by various research funders as part of their grant awards.