ANU launches new Open Access policy

16 October 2020

Open Access enables the communication of research across boundaries of national borders and publication systems. It is fundamental to the role of the Australian National University. In establishing the University, Minister Dedman spoke of the Government’s vision to achieve world impact from its research and education - “Australia has an outstanding contribution to make to the world at large”. Communicating research by making it openly accessible to the world delivers on that vision.

A new Open Access Policy suite, which includes the first commitment to open data by an Australian university, has been approved by the Vice Chancellor.

Professor Joan Leach, chair of Academic Board, notes that “The Academic Board recommended the policies after serious consideration. The Board recognises the importance of making ANU research available to the nation and indeed the world. ANU research reaches every country and contributes to new policy, as well to knowledge that is helping address critical issues – including science policy, anthropology, pandemic research and human rights."

"It is extraordinarily important to create an informed world through openly communicating research from this great university.”

The University has been a world leader in opening up access to knowledge created by its academics – the first in Australia to establish a repository to make publications openly accessible and the first fully open access scholarly press. With more than 4.6 million downloads a year of works from the ANU Press (all works are openly accessible) and 2.2 million downloads of scholarly publications in the Open Repository, the thirst for knowledge is clear. 

Bringing research to life has unleashed the nations investment in the university. Every ANU thesis from 1954 on has been digitised - with over 13,000 digitised theses available through the Open Research repository. The most downloaded thesis is “A great deal of sickness”: Introduced diseases among the Aboriginal people of colonial Southeast Australia by Peter Dowling with over 17,770 downloads in 2019.

The policy and procedures can be found in the online ANU Policy Library.

These have been launched just in time for Open Access Week - which is an opportunity for us all to explore and promote the benefits of open access in research, academia, industry and society as a whole.