Flinders University Library
Search Smart

Open Access Scholarship

This Guide provides information about Open Scholarship, including the Flinders Academic Commons and issues associated with funder mandate compliance. It is intended for researchers at Flinders University.

New Publishing Models

There are now many options available to researchers to disseminate their findings. These include 'traditional' subscription-based journals, books, and conference proceedings, as well as newer online models of dissemination. Journal publications have been at the forefront of online publication, some dating back to the early days of the internet. Book publishers are now using online platforms too, with new business models to support publication costs. And conference proceedings are formalising their online offerings to ensure longevity and discoverability. The models are defined by colour: platinum (sometimes also known as diamond), gold, and green open access. 

Platinum open access refers to publications that is both free to author and reader. These publications are usually supported by a society, institution, or university to ensure publications can be made freely available. An example is the journal Transnational Literature, published by Flinders University.

Gold open access, is where publications are free to read but the publication costs are borne by the author/s in the form of article processing charges (APCs). BioMed Central is a long-standing open access publisher. 

For green open access, authors deposit a version of their published work in a subject or institutional repository, making it freely available to read. Examples include the ArXiv physics repository and the Flinders Academic Commons institutional repository.

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) guide How Open Is It? explains the range of options in more detail.


Journal publications have been at the forefront of new ways to deliver content. Many so called traditional print journals either now partly or entirely offered online. In addition, many new online-only journals have been created since the early 2000s. Business models have evolved with the advent of online content - while many journals still operate using a conventional subscription model, there are others using hybrid models as well as article processing charges (also known as 'author pays'). In most cases, there is the opportunity to make articles available openly. 

Some journal publishers have taken advantage of the gold open access models, offering little or no peer review and quick turnaround times to publication.  The Think. Check. Submit. checklist can help assess the credentials of a journal or publisher. 

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated list of open access journals and aims to be the starting point for quality, peer reviewed open access journals.

Open Journal Systems (OJS) is a free online journal management tool used by universities all over the world to publish open access journals.


Book publishers have also responded to online opportunities. Alternative models for monograph publication have arisen more recently, and so are not as mature as journal publication offerings. These include University open access epresses, many offered as platinum models, commercial open access monographs using gold open access models, and innovations such as library-supported models. 

The Australian Open Access Strategy Group describes monograph developments more fully.

Knowledge Unlatched is a new business model for publishing books. Flinders University Libary is a supporter member (2016 and 2017) of this initiative.


While conferences were early to have an online presence, many used them mainly for promotion and registration not necessarily dissemination and preservation of the proceedings. However this is changing, and there are now options for open conferences too, covering the spectrum of platinum, gold and green.

Individual conference papers may be able to be uploaded to the Flinders Academic Commons under green open access conditions.

The Public Knowledge Project has created Open Conference Systems (OCS), a free web publishing tool that can do everything from creating a conference website to accepting paper submissions and registrations and storing conference proceedings in a searchable format.

CERN maintain a list of where to publish open access conference proceedings, many of which are gold open access [Note: relevant to physics and related sciences].



Search all our guides.