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How to Make Your Work Open Access

This guide provides general information and resources about open access and scholarly publishing to HKUST researchers. You will also find information about the author accepted manuscript requirement by the University.

Open Access - What & Why

What is Open Access?

Open access is a publishing model that makes research works available to readers at no cost, as opposed to the traditional subscription model. Open access literature also lets readers reuse, with little restrictions imposed by copyrights or licensing terms.

Why Open?

  • increase visibility and research impact
  • citation advantage
  • advance research by providing immediate, equitable access to information
  • research as public good, as many research projects are supported by public funding

OA Types

There are two main routes to make your research outputs openly accessible (OA). Check the page to learn more.

  1. Publishing your article or book OA on the publisher’s platform (referred as Gold OA)
  2. Archiving a version of the manuscript in an institutional repository (referred as Green OA)

Open Access Requirements

Open Access Requirement from Major Funders

Many research funders have a mandate for research outputs to be made publicly accessible. By accepting a research grant, the grant holder is required to provide open access to the publications. At HKUST, our major funders include

  • Research Grants Council (RGC),
  • National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA.

Below is a summary of the open access policy required by these funders.

Funder Requirement
Research Grants Council (RGC), Hong Kong For research funded by RGC, the PI / PC / Project holder should check whether the publisher allows (i) full open access to the publisher’s version, or (ii) the author’s depositing a copy of the paper (either the publisher’s version or the final accepted manuscript after peer-review) in the institutional repository for open access (see details, p.20).  
National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Authors who have submitted manuscripts for scientific research projects funded in whole or in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China shall deposit the final approved manuscripts accepted after peer review at the time of publication of the papers to the National Natural Science Foundation of China knowledge base for open access no later than 12 months after publication (see details).
National Science Foundation (NSF), USA NSF requires that either the version of record or the final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions (also known as “juried conference papers”) be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF; be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication; possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication; be managed to ensure long-term preservation; and be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements (see details). 

Open Access Requirement at HKUST

To ensure compliance with the Research Grants Council's (RGC) mandate on open access, HKUST have adopted the following policy:

  1. With immediate effect, all staff members are required to deposit the Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) of their research output in the HKUST SPD Institutional Repository (IR). In particular, journal articles arising from RGC-funded projects approved in or after 2010 should be deposited in IR preferably within six months’ time.
  2. Staff members can submit research outputs as early as possible but no later than six months after publication through direct online submission to HKUST Research Output System (ROS).
  3. Staff members should check the publishers’ copyright agreements to ensure that the deposits of final accepted manuscripts in HKUST SPD Institutional Repository (IR) are permitted for public access. Most major publishers allow articles to be made available for open access subject to certain conditions, such as embargo period. In case that the publishers’ copyright agreement forbids this, the Library cannot make the accepted version open access in the IR. The Library will also help you comply with publishers’ embargo requirements, if any.

How-to guide:

For details, please see RGC Open Access Policy on VPRDO website. 

RGC Publication Gateway is a one-stop online control database providing essential metadata information of refereed journal articles published since 2000, including the project title, information of the Principal Investigator, the corresponding author(s) and other identifiers, as well as hyperlink(s) of the refereed journal articles provided by the universities and other means of getting access to the articles.

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