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PolyU Library

Open Access

This guide provides information and resources in open access and scholarly publishing.

FAQs on Open Access

1. Why do I need to make my research works Open Access?

Many of the research articles published by our authors are stuck behind a paywall - only accessible to readers who have subscription to the journal or pay to view the article. 

Making your research works Open Access, for example in PolyU’s Institutional Research Archive (PIRA), means a permissible version of your work is findable, accessible and readable by the research community and general public even though they do not have subscription. 

In doing so, you increase the visibility and accessibility of your research works, thus allowing an enhanced research impact and could result in higher citations for your article. 

2. How to make them Open Access (OA)?

There are two ways to make your works Open Access:

(1) Deposit your work in an institutional repository, i.e. PIRA.

Publishers generally do not allow us to put up a published version of the article in our repository. By depositing your Final Accepted Manuscript into PIRA, you can make your article open access while complying with Publishers’ policy to self-archive in a repository. This version of your manuscript should be the version that is after peer review and is the version closest to the final published version. Click here to learn more.

(2) Publish in OA journals.

Your work can be immediately available to the research community when you publish in OA Journals. Some journals have an option where authors pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) after the article has been accepted to remove the paywall. Some publishers offer a waiver or discount to PolyU authors for paying the APC. Click here to learn more.

3. Which file version should I deposit to PIRA for Open Access?

If you did not pay for APC or publish in an OA Journal, the Final Accepted Manuscript, or sometimes known as Post-Print, should be submitted to PIRA to be made open access. The characteristics of a Final Accepted Manuscript are:

  • Revised version after peer review and is closest to the published version
  • No formatting done by publisher

Most publishers allow the Final Accepted Manuscript to be self-archived in our institutional repository but with an embargo period (e.g.: 6 – 24 months after the paper is published). The Library’s PIRA team will help check publisher’s self-archiving policy and make sure the right version is available on PIRA at the right time. Click here to learn more.

Do note that the proof-reading version provided by publisher is also not considered as Final Accepted Manuscript, and not allowed for self-archival in PIRA.  

If you have paid for APC or publish in an OA Journal, you can then submit the publisher’s version (with publisher’s formatting) to PIRA.

4. Why can't I give you the published version?

Unless your work was published with an OA option, or in an OA journal, most of the publishers do not allow sharing the published version due to copyright restrictions. 

5. Do I always have to pay the Article Processing Charge to make my article Open Access?

Most of the publishers transfer the subscription costs to authors by charging an APC for publishing your work in open access. However, there are also some OA journals that publish articles without charging APC. To find the list of OA journals without charging APCs, click here.

Some publishers offer a waiver or discount to PolyU authors for paying the APC. Click here to learn more.