Publish Open Access
Publishing Open Access can increase visibility, citation rate and impact for your research findings.
- Open Access in brief
- Gold Open Access
- Green Open Access or parallel publishing
- Hybrid Open Access
- Reduced fees for publishing in some OA journals
- Open research data archives
Open Access means making scientific research publicly available to all on the internet, free of charge and without restriction. Open Access allows anybody to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, and cite full versions of texts without financial or technical barriers (other than those associated with access to the internet), and furthermore to use such texts in any other conceivable legal manner. A list of Open Access Journals is available in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
There are several advantages for researchers with Open Access publishing:
- Articles are generally much more highly read and cited
- The impact of the articles increases
- The authors retains the copyright to their work
While the concept of Open Access has been around for many years it is only in the last years that it has become a serious alternative for academic publishing. Several Swedish universities have Open Access publishing policies, for example the universities in Lund and Stockholm. A large number of commercial publishers allows a compromise between traditional and Open Access publishing, in the shape of parallel publishing on personal or institutional (non-commercial) web pages (with special conditions) such as Linköping University Electronic Press (LiU-E-Press). The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and other granting agencies have or are considering making Open Access publishing of work they fund mandatory.
Open Access at Linköping University
LiU E-Press is an Open Access publisher, which means that authors retain the copyright of their publications and because LiU E-Press uses a Creative Commons licensing system, readers may download, read and distribute (non-commercially) a publication as long as they give complete attribution to the authors.
Major Swedish research funding agencies require that work that they have funded is published Open Access. The Swedish national research funding agency, Vetenskapsrådet (VR) was the first with the requirement pertaining to grants allocated 2010 and later. Other financing agencies have followed suit: Formas, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse, Östersjöstiftelsen and Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv och välfärd (Forte).
All of these have the same requirements. Journal and conference articles must be made freely available, with a maximum embargo period from the publication of the original article of 6 months. There are three common forms of Open Access, which all meet the demands of the funding agencies:
- Gold Open Access - recommended
- Green Open Access or parallel publishing - recommended as long as the version that can be parallel published is from after the peer-review process and any embargo period is not longer than 6 months
- Hybrid Open Access - recommended only if there are no other options
Gold Open Access refers to cases where a journal does not require a subscription for readers to have access to articles. Instead these journals work under a different business model. In some cases this means that they charge publication fees, that varies from €500 to €2500. Note that some 50% of Open Access journals have no publication fees. We recommend Gold Open Access as a publishing option.
A relatively new concept in journals is the mega journal, that is, Open Access journals that take publications in a wide range of subject areas, peer review them for scientific rigorousness but not for impact or importance. As Open Access journals they are usually much quicker to publish than traditional journals. PLoS One is a well-known example, but there are other examples: BMJ Open, Nature's Scientific Reports, Hindawi's International Scholarly Research Notices (ISRN), Sage Open, Open Biology and G3. Many are rather new and as such unranked by impact factor, however PloS One has an impact factor of 4.4, which puts it in the top quartile of journals in biology.
For journals to operate under an Open Access model, they are required to meet their expenses from sources other than subscriptions. In some cases this is accomplished with publishing fees, which authors pay after their publication has been accepted. With this type of model there can be a perception that it is possible to pay to publish and bypass any quality control. In fact, the majority of Open Access pubishers are reputable with rigorous peer review processes. To counter these problems, however, Open Access publishers started an umbrella organization, OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association), with codes of practice and standards. To be a member in OASPA a publisher has to meet these standards.
There are examples of questionable, scholarly Open Access publishers. Jeffrey Beall, librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, has compiled a list of such publishers on his blog Scholarly Open Access:
There is also a significant number of top ranked journals which are Open Access journals: as an author you must do your research into a journal as diligently as you do for subscription-based journals; in both worlds there are good journals and bad ones. If you are thinking of publishing in a new journal, we have put together a checklist to evaluate its potential.
Green Open Access, also referred to as parallel publishing, post-print publishing or self-archiving, means to make a refereed and published article in a scientific journal, freely available in full text on the Internet by publish a version of the article which is permissible by the publisher/journal in the university institutional repository. Studies show that parallell publishing leads to a substantially increased citation rate for articles, since they are freely available. We highly recommend this route to making your work freely available.
About 90% of traditional commercial publishers allow parallel publishing automatically, without the author needing to ask permission from the publishers. The journals/publishers usually allow parallel publishing of the accepted version but some journals/publishers also permits publishing the published version of the article. If the journal is Open Access most of them allow parallel publishing of the publisher’s/journal’s original file.
Some commercial journals only allow parallel publishing in the University’s institutional repository after an embargo period, a delayed publishing after the article has been published by the publisher. The embargo period can vary between 6 to 36 months. Many of these publishers allow parallel publishing the article on the researcher’s personal homepage at the University without an embargo. If the article is registered in DiVA (LiU’s publication database) linking is possible to the researcher’s homepage which means the article will be freely available via DiVA. In DiVA full texts with an embargo period, can automatically be made visible after the end of the embargo period.
One must be a little careful when relying on parallel publishing as a solution to funding agency requirements. For example, journals from American Chemical Society, Taylor and Francis, Blackwell/Wiley, Oxford University Press and Sage have embargo periods that are 12 months and longer. If you have published in these channels, the only option available to you is Hybrid Open Access, if it is offered.
Recently Vetenskapsrådet (VR) has changed their policy and now allows parallel publishing via a researcher's webpage as an allowable alternative as a last resort (some publishers allow parallel publishing on a researcher's own webpage with no embargo whereas through DiVA there would be a 12+ month embargo). While this can be used to solve the problem of meeting Vetenskapsrådet's rules, it should not be considered a long-term solution to making your work available. We recommend that you parallel publish via your own webpage when it solve an immediate problem of meeting Vetenskapsrådet's rules, but to do so with a file that LiU E-Press has set up and parallel published in DiVA with an embargo: the latter will ensure long-term availability to your work.
Virtually all the major subscription-based publishers offer a scheme whereby you can pay them $3000 (or thereabout) to make your article freely available in their otherwise subscription-based operation. As an author, you often receive an offer for this service just after your paper has been accepted for publication. We strongly do not recommend this option.
First, the university effectively ends up paying twice for these publications, once as part of a subscription and once by the authors. Secondly, from the authors' perspective, there is relatively little gain in comparison with the rather high price: the publication isn't as visible as other forms of Open Access and there is no gain in the speed of publication. Open access journals tend to be faster to publisher giving authors an "early access" advantage as well as the Open Access one. However, if you have published with a journal that has an embargo period that is longer than 6 months for parallel publishing and your financing agency requires Open Access, then hybrid open access is the only alternative.
Parallel publishing is free, however, the other two options often (Gold Open Access) or always (Hybrid Open Access) have a publishing fee associated with them.
LiU does not have a centralized fund as some other universities have to help cover publishing fees, however because of some of the terms of the subscriptions the library has, LiU researchers are entitled to a discounted Open Access publishing fee for the journals/publishers listed below.
Furthermore, with the Royal Society of Chemistry journals, LiU is entitled to having the Open Access fee for up to seven articles waived entirely (i.e. the entire subscription amount that LiU pays is redeemable for publishing fees). For the latter it is on a first-come-first-served basis. Please contact David Lawrence (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a coupon and instructions.
As a researcher at LiU you are entitled to a discount for publishing with American Chemical Society (LiU falls under their All ACS publications category), and gets a 50% discount when publishing in Karger's Gold Open Access journals.
10% discount for Independent Scholarly Publishers Group (ISPG)
The research community is now beginning to see the value of accessibility to research data; accessibility, which allows other researchers to use data for new projects. A number of funding agencies, among them the European Union, and some journals require that relevant research data be made available to other researchers. In addition, since 2013, there is a requirement that universities in Sweden archive research data.
Vetenskapsrådet (VR), requires that applications include a data publishing plan, for projects where data collection represents a significant part of the project. The plan should include a description of the data to be collected, how it will be collected, how it will be stored and how it will be made accessible for other researchers. The objective is to ensure maximized usage of data collected with public finances.
Nationally, the Swedish National Data service (SND), financed by Vetenskapsrådet, provides information and help with publishing data sets. Because of the coming archiving requirements, there has been a collaboration between LiU’s library and LiU’s archive since 2010, aimed at making the university's research data available on the web.
If you have questions about current and coming requirements for research data, please feel free to contact Steingrimur Jonsson.
Last updated: 2015-02-17