Met het meest vergaande Open Access model worden de kosten een standaard kostenpost voor onderzoeksprojecten. Het wordt dus niet goedkoper, maar de onderzoeksresultaten worden wèl voor iedereen toegankelijk en dat is waar het uiteindelijk om gaat.
Frans Zwarts
University of Groningen


What can I do as a researcher and author?

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Ways to provide Open Access to your work

There are two basic approaches to making research findings Open Access. One is to deposit a copy of every article in an Open Access repository (this process is known as 'self-archiving') and the other is to publish in Open Access journals.

Open Access self-archiving
Authors can make their work Open Access by placing a copy of each article (along with its supporting data if possible) or book/monograph or dissertation in the research repository of your institution. Contact your repository manager on how to do this. Deposit your article (as published in an Open Access journal) immediately upon publication or the postprint (the final peer-reviewed manuscript as published in the subscription-based journal) if your publisher permits within the specific emabargo period.

A repository collecting the research outputs of a university or research institute is an excellent institutional tool, as well as the means for enabling the institution's researchers to showcase their work. It can also provide usage data showing how many times an article has been downloaded, preservation services to ensure that the article and accompanying data is looked after in the long term, CV creation, citation analysis and so on.

Within the Netherlands all publications deposited in an institutional repository are also retrievable in NARCIS or HBO Kennisbank and are archived in the e-Depot of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, to ensure long-term access.

In August 2008, the European Commission launched an Open Access pilot in the Research Framework Programme FP7 with the aim to ensure that research results funded by the EU citizen are made available to the population at large for free. Open Access is considered a way to improve the EU's return on research and development (R&D) investment. When you receive a grant to participate in a project funded by the EU Research Framework Programmes, namely FP7 and Horizon 2020 you will be required to deposit peer reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from your project into an online repository or make your ‘best effort’ to ensure Open Access to your article(s) within either six or twelve months after publication. The FP7 pilot is supported and monitored through the OpenAIRE project.

The European Research Council (ERC) also supports the principle of open access to the published outputs of research as a fundamental part of its mission. ERC funded researchers are obliged to make electronic copies of their publications publicly available as soon as possible, and no later than six months after the official publication date in discipline-specific repositories and/or institutional repositories or on their own webpage.

Open Access journals
Submit your publication to an Open Access journal. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists about 10,000 peer reviewed journals and increases with over 3,5 journals per day. The Electronic Journals Library now lists more than 42,000 journals that are freely available. OA journals are just like traditional subscription-access (Toll Access) journals except that they do not charge readers to use them. Although the publication process is usually more cost-effective, the tasks in the various publication stages in an OA journal cannot be performed free of charge. This means that new business models are called for. However, authors who have their articles published in an OA journal may not have to pay a publication fee. A recent blog post (April 2013) by Peter Suber found that nearly 70% of OA journals in the DOAJ charge no publication fees. OA journals also include the peer review process, although this process has been criticized as ineffective, slow, and misunderstood but it is becoming more open and interactive. It's more or less a 'fact' that open access publishing leads to a citation advantage compared to the subscription-access system.
Read more.

What about websites?
Sometimes, authors say that they prefer to put their articles on their own or departmental website to provide access. It is likely that Google and other search engines will index these websites, but this is not certain. Institutional repositories, subject repositories and OA journals all expose their contents in a standardised way to enable specialised services, such as the Open Access search engine OAIster, to harvest and index the OA publications to provide access to these resources. Google and Google Scholar also indexes publications from the repositories.

Author and departmental websites are prone to be out-of-date or not fully comprehensive. And many only contain the metadata (the bibliographic details such as title, author names, journal title et cetera) of an article rather than the full text. This can serve as a current awareness service but does not do what true Open Access does, which is providing access to the full text of articles for everyone to read.

Why not be more ambitious?
Many researchers have now set up OA journals or are publishing their work in Open Access books. Learn more about setting up an Open Access journal or getting your books published with Open Access.

Read more in 'Open Doors and Open Minds: What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution' (April 2008).

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Financing Open Access publications

Depending on the chosen approach, self-archiving in an institutional or subject-based repository or publication in an OA journal or with an OA publisher, there are different business models involved.

As a rule, there are no costs involved for authors when they make a document openly accessible in an institutional or subject-based repository.

In the case of publication in an OA journal, the situation is somewhat different. Many OA journals do not ask for a publication fee (almost 70%), but some publishers ask as much as $3,000-$5,000 to publish an article. Scientists and scholars who wish to publish in an OA journal should find out in advance whether the journal charges such fee and, if so, how high this fee is. This information is usually available on the journal website. The Directory of Open Access Journals provides authors an overview of OA and hybrid journals. Hybrid implies that a subscription to the journal is required, but the author may also choose to make the article available with full open access in exchange for payment of a publication fee. For each journal is indicated if you have to pay a ‘publication fee’ or not. 

In the Netherlands between SAGE and all Dutch universities an Open Access agreement has been made on March 8, 2012: authors employed at a Dutch university will receive a 90% discount on the Open Access Publishing fee if he/she publishes in one of 158 biomedical journals in the SAGE Choice Programme and will receive an invoice for just $300/€240. If the SAGE Choice option exist for the journal, the submitting author is alerted to this fact when he/she is sent an acceptance email, and again when he/she is sent the Contributors Agreement. The author also receives a link to the SAGE Choice Invoice Template. By filling in the form and entering the code UKB90 in the “University/Institution Account Code” field the author is entitled to the discount. This form has to be sent to the email address as instructed on the Template. After that the author will receive an invoice for the discounted rate of $300. The discount cannot be applied retrospectively! 

The STM publisher Medknow pioneers in 'fee-less-free' model of open access publishing and most of the 300+ peer-reviewed scientific, technical and medical journals do not charge article submission, processing or publication fee from the author or author's institution. All of these journals provide immediate free access to the full text of articles.

Four Dutch universities (TU DelftWageningen and Utrecht) have a publication fund which can be used by authors to publish in OA journals, and SURF will take action to publishers and other stakeholders to see if the Open Access model can be realised in the Dutch higher education institutions. The most important stakeholder NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, opened in March 2010 an incentive fund for Open Access publications to increase awareness of Open Access and to encourage Open Access publication of NWO results. You can apply for a fee under the condition that the publication has arisen from a research project funded by NWO, which has a finishing date after 1 January 2010 and has not yet been published on the date the application to the Incentive Fund is submitted. Within the Open Access Incentive Fund there is also a budget for the establishment of new Open Access journals and for the conversion of existing journals into open access models so that these are accessible to third parties. Another fund is to organize an Open Access conference. For additional information and the procedure to apply for a fee, see the NWO websiteOn 1 September 2012, NWO concluded a ‘prepay membership' contract with BioMed Central; in the contract are also included SpringerOpen and Chemistry Central. These publishers together provide 400+ Open Access journals on topics in all areas of science. Lead applicants of NWO projects can apply for a subsidy via the NWO Incentive Fund Open Access for Open Access publishing in a BioMed Central, Chemistry Central or SpringerOpen journal. The publication fee shall be cleared by the publisher directly with NWO. 

If you receive a grant from the European Commission in one of the seven areas of Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) you can take advantage of reimbursement for the full cost of open access publishing if you incorporate this in your proposal for FP7 funding. Details can be found in the FP7 Grant Agreement - Annex II, article II.16.4. Authors are required to make ‘best efforts’ for Open Access publishing. Detailed instructions on the requirements to show ‘best efforts’ are available in the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects. p. 15-18, section 7.3. The European Research Counsel also reimburses the costs of open access publishing of the outputs of ERC funded research (peer reviewed articles, primary data and monographs) if the author makes his/her publication(s) available in open access using a repository no later than six monts after the official publication date.

The Research Information Network and Universities UK produced the guide Paying for open access publication charges in response to the requirements of research funders for greater access to research outputs. This guide gives advice on paying for open access publication charges in journals and sets out recommendations for higher education institutions, publishers, research funders, and authors.

Article-processing charges: waivers, discounts and grant aid
Some OA journals publishers (a.o Springer OpenBiomed Central, Chemistry CentralPLoS, Hindawi and American Chemical Society) offer institutional membership whereby institutions such as university libraries pay an annual membership fee which entitles them to a waiver of article-processing charges for a certain number of publications per year and/or a discount on such charges. You will get a 15% discount on the article-processing charges of all research articles accepted for publication in journals published by SpringerOpen, Biomed Central and Chemistry Central, and a 10% discount on publication fees in all PLOS journals.

New business models
In fact, Open Access has given rise to a whole range of new business models. In 2009 a study was commissioned by SURFfoundation to examine the costs and potential benefits of alternative models for scientific and scholarly publishing in the Netherlands. Three publication models were compared. The greatest advantage is offered by the Open Access model, which means that the research institution or the research funder pays for publication and the article is then freely accessible. Adopting this model could lead to an annual saving of € 133 million. 

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Retain your rights

If you, as an author, wish to make your work open access (OA), you should be aware of certain copyright issues. The website Copyright in Higher Education provides background information and suggests practical ways of dealing with copyright issues. There are guidelines for those who want to know more about the role of higher education institutions as regards copyright, or who need to find concrete solutions.

The core question is whether you have the so called online exploitation right of your publication, which includes the right to self-archive it in an OA repository. This should not be taken for granted, especially if the contribution in question has already been published by a conventional publishing house. To a certain extent, the legal issues associated with primary publication in an OA journal (the so-called golden road to Open Access) differ from those relating to self-archiving in parallel with journal publication (the so-called green road to Open Access).

Self-archiving in repositories in parallel with publication
Make sure you are allowed to deposit a copy of your publication in the repository of you institution. Nowadays, the majority of publishers allow their authors to deposit a version (preprint, postprint or publisher's version) of their work in an institutional or subject-based OA repository. The SHERPA/RoMEO website provides details of the copyright and self-archiving policies of the major publishers of peer-reviewed academic journals. When entering into a publishing agreement with a traditional publisher, you should make an endeavour to persuade your publisher to accept a Licence to Publish or at least to accept non-exclusive rights of use because otherwise you, as author, lose the right to exploit your work online. You could consider attaching an addendum to your publishing agreement in order to retain the right to self-archive your contribution in a non-commercial repository. A number of author addenda can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet (see, for example, the SURF/JISC Copyright Toolbox, the SPARC author addendum, the Science Commons Author’s Addendum and, in case you have an EC grant, the European Commission addendum). CopyrightToolbox
To become legally binding, the addendum must be countersigned by the publisher. Some publishers refuse to accept such author addenda. However, as mentioned above, the majority are nonetheless willing to allow self-archiving in an OA repository.

Primary publications in Open Access journals
The situation with regard to primary publications in OA journals or with OA publishing houses is quite different. As a rule, authors must warrant that they hold the online exploitation rights in the work and that it has not been published elsewhere. For their part, OA journals and publishers usually allow authors to make a version of their contributions openly accessible online provided the published source is acknowledged. OA journal websites usually provide detailed information on their copyright policy.

Licensing Open Access documents
Authors can grant rights to others to use their work and stipulate the conditions under which the work may be used. The use of licences of this kind to grant rights for specified uses makes it easier to have copyright infringements penalized and provides users with exact information on the manner in which the document may be used. Well-known open-content licences are the Creative Commons Attribution licenses. The most commonly used is the CC BY license which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
 Creative Commons License

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