Open Access is a term used to describe digital publications that are freely available online, without restriction. Open Access also describes our approach to knowledge, which we believe should be accessible to all. Academics are paid by taxpayers to research and produce knowledge, and we believe it should be available to anyone who has the desire to read and use it. This is why we operate a Creative Commons licensing system.
Creative Commons is a global not-for-profit organisation that helps people share their copyright works for reuse by others. Sometimes creators and other copyright holders want the public to be able to reuse their works but are unable to allow reuse easily and legally given the works’ “All Rights Reserved” copyright status. Creative Commons licenses enable copyright holders to allow reuse of their works by giving everyone a range of permissions in advance. Read more about Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand here.
There are six licenses available and, unless otherwise requested, ePress publications are assigned the Attribution-Noncommercial license, which lets others remix, tweak, and build upon the author’s work non-commercially, with credit to the author (their new works must also be non-commercial). Read more about the licenses here.
Content provided by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand CC BY 3.0 NZ
Because we use the Creative Commons licensing system it does not mean authors forfeit their copyright. In fact authors retain full copyright of their work when publishing with ePress.
Open Access does not just mean restriction-free publishing, it also means transparency of process and associated data. ePress is therefore working towards assigning DOIs to publications and instituting a transparent peer-review process.
A DOI is a Digital Objective Identifier. A digital publication carrying a DOI has metadata recorded at the International DOI Foundation, including the URL, and lasts for the lifetime of the digital object. ePress currently assigns all publications with a URL or, in the case of a website, sometimes its own domain name. In the future we will assign DOI numbers to all publications and hope to have this process installed by the end of 2020.
All ePress publications are archived with, and freely available from, the National Library of New Zealand and, where possible, Research Bank.
ePress is looking into a peer-review process that is transparent for the authors and reviewers, more in line with the spirit of Open Access. Until we have a transparent model that works for us, we will continue using the traditional academic method of peer reviews as explained below.
When ePress has a work to be reviewed, academic professionals within the specific discipline are approached to review the work. All work is subject to at least two reviews, one by an internal Unitec reviewer and another by a reviewer external to Unitec. ePress reviewers are not paid. They are not given the work in advance and they do not know the identity of the author/s.
Once a reviewer agrees to carry out a review for ePress, a time-frame that is mutually acceptable is agreed upon, a redacted version of the work is emailed to the reviewer, and the review is returned to ePress by the due date. Reviewers also complete a Reviewer Form and return this to ePress along with any other notes they might have made. Redacted versions of these are given to the author/s who then has the opportunity to make any amendments. If major changes were carried out the reviewer is approached to take another look at the work.
In return for their time, reviewers are given a letter of thanks from ePress as evidence of their contribution to the research environment. See the ePress reviewers list.