Skip to Main Content

Open Access

HKU Open Access Policy

HKU OA Policy


  1. In November 2009, Prof Tsui, Vice Chancellor of HKU, became signatory to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access.

Signatories of this declaration are asked to,

  • implement a policy to require their researchers to deposit a copy of all their published articles in an open access repository and
  • encourage their researchers to publish their research articles in open access journals where a suitable journal exists and provide the support to enable that to happen.
  1. HKU’s strategic plan, and statements on vision and mission now recognize that HKU and its researchers have an obligation for Knowledge Exchange with our community. By sharing our intellectual output, we and our community can realize greater benefits economically, socially, and intellectually. 


The University Libraries have unanimously agreed to adopt the Open Access Policy below:

OA Policy, 19 Feb 2010
The University of Hong Kong Libraries is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Libraries adopts the following policy: Each Libraries member grants to The University of Hong Kong nonexclusive permission to make available scholarly articles to which he or she has made substantial intellectual contributions publicly available as part of the HKU Scholars Hub, or its successor, and to exercise the copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. In legal terms, each Libraries member grants to HKU a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a member of the Libraries except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the Libraries member entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy. The Librarian, or the Librarian's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written notification by the author, who informs HKUL of the reason.

In order to assist the Libraries in distributing the scholarly articles, on or before date of publication, members agree to,

  1. request permission from intended publishers for permission to archive the published version, or the author's manuscript in The HKU Scholars Hub. Members will report the result of this query to the Librarians's designate. Requesting can be done by including an Author’s Addendum to the publisher, at the same time the manuscript is submitted.

  1. regardless of the outcome of number one above, make available an electronic copy of his or her final version of the article (i.e., the author's manuscript or postprint), at no charge, to the Librarian’s designate in appropriate formats (such as PDF) specified by the Librarian's Office.

The term “scholarly articles” includes articles prepared for presentation or publication, whether in electronic or print media. Other scholarly works in connection with the Libraries member’s academic or professional activities may be included at the discretion of the member.

The Librarian's Office will make the scholarly article available to the public in an open-access repository, the HKU Scholars Hub, or its successor. The Office of the Librarian will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending future changes.

The policy is to take effect immediately; it will be reviewed after five years by the Librarian, with a report given to HKUL members.

Funders' Open Access Requirements

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, important types of RGC funding now require researchers to deposit a version of their papers in their institutional repository (if the publisher’s version is not available Open Access).


UGC / RGC Funding Schemes

GC Early Career Scheme (ECS1) form – Aug 2018 – section 10 (page 12)

General Research Fund (GRF1) form – Aug 2018 – section 10 (page 13)

Collaborative Research Fund (CRF(E)1) form – May 2018 – section 12 (page 15)

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) / RGC Joint Research Scheme (NSFC/RGC 2) form – Revised May 2018 – section 12 (page 17)

The French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR) / RGC Joint Research Scheme (ANR/RGC 2) form – January 2019 – section 8 (page 19)

European Union (EU)-Hong Kong (HK) Research and Innovation Cooperation Co-funding Mechanism by the RGC (EU/RGC 2) form – October 2018 – section 10 (page 19)

…undertake[s] that upon acceptance of a paper for publication

  1. I will check whether the publisher already allows (A) full open access to the publisher’s version, or (B) my depositing a copy of the paper (either the publisher’s version or the final accepted manuscript after peer-review) in the university’s repository for open access;

  2. if both (i) (A) and (B) are not allowed, I will request the publisher to allow me to place either version in my university’s repository for restricted access immediately upon publication or after an embargo period of up to twelve months if required by the publisher; and

  3. subject to the publisher’s agreement on (i) or (ii) above, I will deposit a copy of the publication in my university’s repository as early as possible but no later than six months after publication or the embargo period, if any


©HKUST Library - used with permission