May 17, 2022

Report: “Australian Institutions Lag Behind on Open Access Adoption”

From Nature Index:

Only half of Australia’s 40 universities have a formal policy on open access (OA), and the policies are vague and ineffectual, according to a new analysis. Only three institutions mention consequences for non-compliance.

Compared with many European countries, where national policies and strategies relating to OA are complemented by institutional policies, Australia is now lagging behind at both national and institutional levels, says the study, posted on the preprint server bioRxiv on 20 August.

In a 7 October interview with Nature Index, Australia’s chief scientist, Cathy Foley, outlined a plan for a nationwide open-access policy. Foley says the proposal is for the Australian government to negotiate open-access agreements directly with scholarly publishers on behalf of all the country’s institutions and universities, to simplify the process of making manuscripts free to read online.

“There’s a real appetite to think about this differently,” Foley tells Nature Index. “We, as a nation, have realized the opportunity and importance of open access.”


Although the details of Australia’s forthcoming national OA policy have not yet been established, Foley says no sanctions will apply to universities or researchers who don’t comply with the new rules. “Our principles are that it’s a win-win for everyone,” she says. “We’ve got to make sure that it’s designed in a way that everyone will want to sign up.”

Read the Complete Report (approx. 860 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.