Universities Australia believes that mechanisms that allow exposure, sharing, comparison and critique of research are fundamental to the research process, and are an important component of a powerful research and innovation system for Australia. Open access protocols will allow the wide distribution and take-up of Australian research, adding to the quality of research outputs and providing the widest access for local and international beneficiaries.
Australian universities have repositories of their research publications that are open to any person in the world with access to the internet; however, only about 30 per cent of publications are recorded in institutions digital repositories and full text is currently available for many fewer publications.
The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council now require any publication arising from research to which they contribute funding to be freely accessible to the public within 12 months of publication.
Universities Australia believes that there is enormous public benefit in increasing access to the outcomes of all research, especially research that has been publicly funded. There are a number of logistical, practical and commercial issues that need to be addressed to achieve this goal and Universities Australia, with the support of government, is committed to making Australia's high-quality research output freely accessible to all.