Open Research policy

To increase the impact and the innovation potential of our public investment in research, our Open Research policy enables free online access for everyone to MBIE funded peer-reviewed research publications.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) policy on Open Research. As part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s future-focused RSI system, we are committed to making our research outputs more openly accessible to all who could benefit from them.

The purpose of this policy is to increase equity of access to our research outputs, increase the impact and innovation potential of our research, and ultimately maximise the return on our public investments in research.

This policy builds on the examples of many public research funders around the world, and brings Aotearoa New Zealand in line with international best practices.

2. Definitions

CC-BY – one of the licences in the Creative Commons suite of licenses which is commonly applied across Open Access publications; specifically, a licence permitting free use and reuse of material subject only to proper attribution

DOI – Digital Object Identifier, a unique persistent identifier for a digital object, such as an article or report

Gold OA – A mode of Open Access where all articles in a journal are made freely available to readers, but authors may be required to pay a one-off charge (i.e., article processing charges/APCs)

Green OA – A mode of Open Access whereby access to publications is provided through an online repository

Institutional Repository – an online publicly accessible repository hosted at an academic institution, in which publicly funded research outputs and related metadata can be preserved

Metadata – a set of data that describes or gives information about other data; this can include authors, publishers, funders, DOI, licensing information, instrumentation and additional data sources

MBIE funded research – research that is funded, wholly or partially, by research funding processes administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Open Access/OA – refers to the availability of research outputs via the internet such that any user can find, freely access, read, download, copy, distribute, print, and otherwise use and reuse the research outputs, subject to full and proper attribution, usually having an appropriate license, such as any of the Creative Commons suite of licences.

ORCID – Open Researcher and Contributor ID, a persistent digital identifier for an individual researcher issued by ORCID. link)

Preprint – the original version of a manuscript as submitted to a journal or other publication, prior to peer-review.

Postprint or Author’s Accepted Manuscript/AAM – the version of a manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a journal, incorporating all changes required by the peer-review process

Publication Date – the official date of publication of an article or research output in a journal or online resource

Publisher’s Version or Version of Record/VoR – the version of a paper that is published on the publisher’s website that has been professionally typeset by the publisher

URL – Uniform resource locator, the web address of an online object or resource on the internet

3. Scope

This policy applies to all peer-reviewed research outputs arising from research projects fully or partially funded through research investment processes administered by MBIE, and requires that these outputs be made available through Open Access pathways as outlined below. This includes:

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Peer-review conference proceedings

Other research outputs, such as presentations, reports, books and monographs are not covered by the policy. Research data are not covered by the Open Access mandate, although this policy guidance also includes recommendations for researchers around enabling access to research data where possible.

4. Commencement

MBIE’s Open Research policy will apply to all new research investment processes administered by MBIE from 1 January 2023. Any necessary information will be made available to applicants across MBIE’s various funding mechanisms.

5. Policy outline

5.1 Summary

This policy requires that all peer-reviewed publications arising from research funded through research investment processes administered by MBIE be made available with Open Access (free of charge, online access for any person) through one of the approved pathways. These must be made available either:

(a) immediately on publication; or

(b) where a publisher policy requires an embargo period, immediately at the end of the embargo period or 12 months after the date of such publication, whichever is earlier.

5.2 Pathways to Open Access

For the purpose of this policy, the following publication pathways are considered acceptable:

(a) publication in a fully Open Access journal (i.e., Gold OA); or,

(b) deposit of an acceptable version in a suitable online repository (i.e., Green OA)

5.2.1 Acceptable loci for Green OA deposit

To comply with this policy, an acceptable version (as specified below) must be deposited either:

  • in an Institutional Repository that enables Open Access; or
  • in a suitable repository that is listed in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) maintained by Jisc

OpenDOAR(external link)

5.2.2 Acceptable versions for Green OA deposit

For the purposes of this policy, it is acceptable for either of the following versions of a manuscript to be deposited in an Open Access repository:

  • Postprint or Author’s Accepted Manuscript/AAM – the version of a manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a journal, incorporating all changes required by the peer-review process
  • Publisher’s Version or Version of Record/VoR – where publisher licenses permit, the version of a paper that is published on the publisher’s website that has been professionally formatted by the publisher

Versions of a manuscript, journal article or conference paper that have not been refereed or peer-reviewed (e.g., preprints), are not acceptable for the purposes of this policy. However, MBIE welcomes the availability of preprints to facilitate early access to research outcomes and encourages the posting of preprints on preprint servers with open licensing.

5.2.3 Author rights

Authors must publish their outputs in a way that allows them to retain sufficient rights to comply with the policy, either by retaining copyright over their published works (as opposed to transferring copyright to the publisher), or by publishing their work in a journal that permits them to deposit their manuscript in an Open Access repository.

Authors are encouraged to consider the Open Access Policy of publishers and research outlets prior to submitting manuscripts or contracting/licensing with the publisher. Information about publisher policies and author rights can be found by searching for the journal or publisher in Jisc’s Sherpa Romeo tool

Sherpa Romeo(external link)

5.2.4 Timing of Open Access

The policy requires that all publications in scope be made Openly Accessible at the earliest opportunity. The policy is permissive of embargo periods of up to 12 months before manuscripts are made available through Green Open Access, if required by the publisher. Embargo periods of more than 12 months are not permitted.

5.2.5 Metadata requirements

Metadata in Green OA repositories must include the project ID, list MBIE as a funding source, and contain a permanent DOI (or URL if no DOI is available) for the published version. Metadata should also contain other relevant information as applicable and appropriate including, but not limited to: author(s)/creator(s); title; publisher; date of publication; volume, issue, and page numbers; ISBN/ISSN/other standard number; licence associated with an item; and the ORCID identifier for the author.

5.3 Open Access to Research Data

This policy strongly recommends, rather than mandates, that research data arising from funded projects be made openly available whenever they are not precluded by indigenous data sovereignty considerations, copyright restrictions, confidentiality requirements, or contractual clauses.

Funded researchers should follow funder principles and policies with respect to research data management and should be prepared to share data with other researchers through online institutional or subject data repositories whenever they are not restricted by other considerations as described above. Researchers are encouraged to produce a data management plan outlining what data sets their project will generate or process, whether and how these data will be made accessible, how they will be curated, stored, and preserved, and measures taken to safeguard and protect indigenous or other sensitive data.

Openly shared datasets should be accompanied by appropriate metadata including attribution and provenance information, and any other necessary information for researchers to appropriately understand the datasets and limitations thereof.

We encourage the use of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY), permitting free use and reuse subject only to proper attribution.

5.4 Reporting requirements

All published research outputs in scope of the policy must be listed in annual and final reports, as required by the applicable funding agreement for the project. The list of research outputs must include a permanent DOI or URL link for the research output.

Where articles are not yet published or submitted at the time of final reporting, the list of publications should include articles in submission or in preparation with a statement of how these will be made available once published.

For any questions, please get in touch with us at

Last updated: 23 November 2022