Manual of Policies and Procedures

F/1.3 Open access for QUT research outputs (including theses)

Policy Owner

University Librarian

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


1.3.1 Purpose
1.3.2 Application
1.3.3 Roles and responsibilities
1.3.4 Full-text access
1.3.5 Copyright
1.3.6 Definitions
1.3.7 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

1.3.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline Open Access mechanisms used at QUT to facilitate the widest possible availability, dissemination and reuse of QUT research by other researchers nationally and internationally, and by the wider community.

The policy supports compliance with QUT’s obligations under contracts, funding rules and open access policies of the Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and other public and private research funding bodies. 

It also supports QUT’s aim to maximise QUT’s engagement with Indigenous communities as outlined in the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code) and the NHMRC Guidelines on Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities. 


1.3.2 Application

This policy applies to QUT staff and higher degree research students. It also applies to all University affiliates (visiting academics, academic title holders, industry fellows, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title holders, and conjoint appointments) where a QUT attribution is appropriate in the publication in question.

The policy applies to research outputs intended for publication, for the purpose of conferring a higher degree or for academic recognition and impact. It does not apply to coursework outputs, teaching materials, social media communications, research outputs intended for commercial purposes or which contain culturally sensitive or confidential material.

This policy does not apply to material which, if made available online under this policy, would infringe third party intellectual property rights, statutory obligations, or contractual or other legal obligations.


1.3.3 Roles and responsibilities


Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research)

  • provides strategic oversight of higher degree research development
  • provides guidance regarding policy compliance

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)

  • implements policy and issues guidance regarding compliance with this policy
University Librarian
  • provides the institutional repository service (QUT ePrints)
  • annually, through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), reports to University Research Committee on the status of QUT ePrints
  • issues guidance regarding policy compliance
Graduate Research Centre
  • ensures that higher degree research theses (in digital format), and accompanying research data, together with documentation relating to any approved embargoes, restrictions or copyright permissions are made available to the Library for QUT ePrints
Authors and researchers
  • retain, or obtain from the corresponding author, a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version when a research article has been accepted for publication
  • provide a copy of the AAM version for QUT ePrints
  • inform external contributors about the requirements of this policy
Higher degree research students
  • arrange permissions for any third-party copyright materials included in their thesis
  • on conclusion of the thesis examination process, submit a digital. copy of their final thesis in accordance with the Higher degree research candidates policy (D/5.3) and the Requirements for Presenting Theses (QUT access only)


1.3.4 Full-text access

The following materials must be made available via QUT ePrints:

  • All refereed research articles and published conference papers at the post-peer review stage. These should be made immediately available, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, ideally at the time of first online publication (as soon as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the work is available) but at the latest by the time the version of record is published. The version provided to QUT ePrints by the author must be the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version, except where the published version is open access, in which case the published version or a permanent link to the published version must be provided.
  • If the AAM (not just the preprint) has been made available in an established specialist open access preprint repository, such as arXiv, the author should just provide a link to that version.

    If a QUT researcher is submitting a manuscript to a journal that does not yet by default allow the author to make the Version of Record immediately openly accessible with a CC BY licence, the researcher must either:

    • at the time of submitting the manuscript, inform the journal of the rights retained in the AAM (for example, by outlining this in the manuscript or cover letter)
    • or if this is not possible at the time of submission, amend the publishing agreement.

In either instance, researchers may use the following text to retain their rights:

“This research was produced in whole or part by QUT researchers and is subject to the QUT Open access for QUT research outputs (including theses) (F/1.3) and Intellectual property (D/3.1) policies. For the purposes of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission”. 

  • Digital theses submitted by higher degree research candidates (for the awards of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Professional Doctorate by Research, Higher Doctorates, Masters of Philosophy, and Masters by Research) via the Graduate Research Centre. For some theses by creative work, only the exegesis is made available via QUT ePrints. Exemptions and embargoes must be approved by the Research Degrees Committee.  Except where a more liberal licence is requested, theses will be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Licence (CC BY-NC-ND).

QUT researchers are encouraged, whenever possible, to make other scholarly works including books, book chapters and non-traditional research outputs openly available via QUT ePrints. 


1.3.5 Copyright

The documents in QUT ePrints are protected by copyright according to the Intellectual Property policy (D/3.1).

Refereed research articles and published conference papers
QUT assigns staff the right to publish work performed while at QUT, subject to a perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive licence in favour of QUT which allows QUT to make the work available via QUT ePrints.

QUT Theses
As part of the enrolment process higher degree research students grant QUT a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to communicate their submitted thesis and peer reviewed journals articles via QUT ePrints.


1.3.6 Definitions

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. This licence allows for commercial use.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

Thesis means a substantive work as submitted for examination for the award of a higher degree by research and as defined in Higher degree research candidates (D/5.3).

Embargo in academic publishing is a period of time during which access to a specific version of the work is restricted.

Scholarly works are QUT intellectual property in the form of articles (refereed or un-refereed), books or book chapters, manuals, musical compositions or creative writing, or any digital or electronic version of these. Computer programs, education resources or administration material are not treated as scholarly works under this policy (D/3.1)

Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is the version of a research article that has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication. It includes revisions made by the authors during the peer-review process, but it does not include the formatting and copy-editing contributed by the publisher when producing the final published version. 

Version of Record is the typeset, copyedited and published version of journal article, book chapter or published contribution to a conference.   

Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. Through licensing via an open licence (usually a Creative Commons Licence), freely available outputs can also be legally shared and reused. Hence, open access is more than just free access.


1.3.7 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C122, C124, C125, C126) (QUT staff access only)


Related Documents

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property

MOPP D/5.3 Higher degree research candidates

MOPP F/5.1 Copyright

AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code) 

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Australian Research Council Open Access Policy

Creative Commons Licences

NHMRC Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities  

NHMRC’s Open Access Policy

Open Access Australasia

QUT Copyright Guide

QUT ePrints Guide to Depositing Items (QUT access only)

Requirements for Presenting Theses (QUT access only)

Universities Australia policy statement on Open Access Research

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld)


Modification History





07.02.23 All University Librarian/Director, Governance and Performance Revised policy to align with the NHMRC Open Access Policy and include additional definitions
05.05.21 F/1.3.3, F/1.3.4 Director, Governance, Legal and Performance Minor editorial changes to align with Repositioning QUT for a post-COVID world organisational change - effective 31.01.21
12.12.18 F/1.3.3 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) Revised to include department name change to Office of Research Services
14.09.18 All University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy to consolidate F/1.3 QUT ePrints repository for research output and F/1.10 Library treatment of theses
09.12.16 F/1.3.2, F/1.3.4 Enhancing the Student Experience REAL Difference Change Manager Revised policy to include REAL Difference initiative, approved name change for position title, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Library Services) - effective 03.01.17
01.02.13 All Associate Director, Library Services (Information Resources and Research Support) Periodic review - minor revisions only


Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support)

Revised due to the removal of Australasian Digital Theses (ADT)



University Academic Board

Policy revised and renamed



University Academic Board

Revised policy (endorsed by University Research and Innovation Committee 01.03.06)



University Academic Board

New policy (endorsed by University Research and Development Committee) - effective from 01.01.04