RGC Open Access Policy

The Research Grants Council (RGC) has been reviewing its open access policy and exploring the opening of both the publications and data arising from its funded research projects, with reference to international best practices. Open access (OA) generally refers to making scientific and scholarly knowledge and information freely accessible online. After rounds of consultation, RGC has decided to adopt an open access plan with a two-phased approach. Phase I will run from February 2021 to January 2024 and Phase II will run from February 2024 to October 2026.


In view of the RGC’s open access implementation plan, VPRDO and the Library have conducted a review of our existing arrangement in support of open access to published research. To ensure compliance with RGC’s mandate on open access, HKUST has adopted the following policy:


1) Effective 29 July 2021, all staff members are required to deposit the final accepted manuscripts of their research output in the HKUST Institutional Repository (IR). In particular, journal articles arising from RGC-funded projects approved in or after 2010 should be deposited in IR preferably within six months’ time (i.e. on or before the end of 31 December 2021).

2) Staff members can submit research outputs as early as possible but no later than six months after publication through direct online submission to HKUST Research Output System (ROS).

3) Staff members should check the publishers’ copyright agreements to ensure that the deposits of final accepted manuscripts in HKUST IR are permitted for public access. Most major publishers allow articles to be made available for open access subject to certain conditions. The Library will also help you comply with publishers’ requirements, if any.


Open Access is a mandatory requirement from RGC, which can only be met successfully through our collective efforts. For more information about archiving your articles in the HKUST Institutional Repository, please refer to this Guide prepared by the Library.



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