Academic integrity series: 7. Open access publishing

Posted on November 11, 2022

Open-access publishing aims to make research outputs readily and freely available online. Published research can then be downloaded, read, and reused under open licensing conditions.

The University of Pretoria (UP) supports researchers to publish in Open Access accredited journals through:

These are efforts to advance open science practices and to increase Gold Open Access publishing at the University of Pretoria.

University of Pretoria Open Access Repositories


At UP, we publish and preserve scholarly outputs in the institutional repository, UPSpace, which is listed in the global Registry of Open Access Repositories. Most curated research outputs include research articles, conference papers, creative outputs, posters, electronic theses, and dissertations (ETDs) produced at UP. The repository provides free immediate and unrestricted access to faculty research collections, archival and special collections, as well as research support divisions.

Open Data Publishing

The UP Research Data Repositories (Figshare) is an open-access data repository where postgraduate students and researchers can store, archive, and preserve processed data. This can then be published and shared openly to showcase the data to the wider research community. Making your data accessible in Figshare will help postgraduate students and researchers comply with funder requirements.  

Open Access Journal Publishing

UP Journals is a journal publishing platform for peer-reviewed open-access journals and provides support for non-peer-reviewed journals. In 2020, we launched the UP Journals platform which currently hosts 14 journal titles, with 7 titles listed on the DHET subsidy lists.

Scholarly Publishing model

The scholarly publishing model is steadily shifting from pay-per-view subscriptions to fully open-access. Funding bodies and governments have mandated open-access publications and international initiatives such as Plan S are accelerating the shift.

The University values and supports intellectual discoveries, recognising that knowledge has the power to change lives and that the adoption of Open Scholarship practices will contribute to the wide and rapid dissemination of scholarly outputs.

The commitment to all forms of openness and transparency in the scholarly and research environment will enhance the visibility of UP research publications, research data, and open educational resources. This in turn will result in global advancement and collaboration for the benefit of all societies. The Open Scholarship principles outlined in the policy provides UP authors with a means of achieving equitable access to their work, and maximum public benefit, and will help contribute to the South African knowledge economy.

We are in a transitional stage, where there is a complex mix of funder policies and multiple publishing models. There are different types of open access and ways to make your research open.

Why should I care about open access?

Funders and University policies all have open access requirements for research outputs.

There are many benefits of making your research open access through repositories and journal websites, both personally and for the global research community.

Personal benefits include:

  • Increased visibility of publications
  • More citations and downloads than subscription articles
  • Greater control over the integrity and re-use of your work
  • Faster research dissemination
  • Raised profiles for authors, funders, and the University

Benefits for society and the global research community include:

  • Access for all for the common good
  • Minimizing research duplication
  • Acceleration of research and innovation

Open Research Assessments by Funders

Funders, research administrators, and other people involved in research assessments are very interested in understanding how different types of open-access influence the subsequent Altmetric attention that the outputs receive.

Author Rights

Many publishers’ agreements will ask authors to surrender more of their rights than are necessary for publication. Depending on the agreement, authors may find themselves unable to re-use portions of their articles in other publications, or even prevented from printing their writings for lectures.

Luckily, the library has experts who can help authors to navigate these agreements and maintain more control of author rights over their works. The library will help you to:

  • Understand your rights as an author
  • Analyze publisher agreements; and
  • Navigate the publication process so that you end up with more control over your works

Understanding Publisher Methods

Which version of the article are you allowed to share?

It is important to understand the tactics used by various publishers before manuscript submission. Publishers have different policies for sharing versions of journal articles. Before sharing your articles through open researcher tools to increase visibility and impact make sure you comply with publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. Check which article version (pre-print, post-print, publisher version) to share. Sherpa Romeo is a free database containing the copyright and self-archiving policies of more than 22,000 journals and periodicals. Each journal is coded with a classification colour (yellow, blue, green, or white) to indicate the archiving policies of each journal.

Negotiating with your Publisher

By strategically managing the contract negotiation conversation with your publisher, you will place yourself in a good bargaining position to retain the copyright to your article (even if your initial request is rejected). The library’s Scholarly Communication team will help you retain the rights that you need to further develop and disseminate your articles published through non-open access platforms. This also includes embargoes (a period in which an author or publisher prohibits the other party from making the underlying work publicly available). 

View UP Open Access Policies: 

Open Access Resources

For any questions related to open-access publishing, please contact the library’s Scholarly Communications as follows:

Research Articles: 012 420 4712 or [email protected]

Theses & Dissertations, 012 420 3690 or [email protected]

Open Access Publishing: 012 420 2368 or [email protected]

Visit our page here

Catch up on other articles in the series:
- Author Lazarus Matizirofa

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