Open Access is the international and generally accepted term that describes open access to digital information, often within scientific publishing. Open Access means free access to information and describes the possibility of spreading it further to a third party in different ways.

Information that has been published with open access has been proven to spread faster, and it is cited more often. Open Access to research also creates opportunities for a fairer distribution of information resources on a global scale.

If you are new to the concept of Open Access, this short video clip may help you get started on the philosophy behind the concept:



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University Guidelines

There has been a policy at Stockholm University since 2007 that stipulates that scholars "whenever possible, will deposit a copy of each published scientific article in the University's digital library" (Vice-chancellor Decisions 2006-0609, Dnr SU 301-1350-05).

The university signed during the same year The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Researchers at Stockholm University are recommended to publish work in journals that offer open access to the original version of their articles, however, this is not a requirement.

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National Guidelines

The Swedish Research Council imposed a rule in 2010 stating that research that’s funded by their funds should be made available in open publishing channels within six months from the date of publication.

CC-BY License

From year 2017, doing this with a so-called CC-BY license will be required. The updated guidelines aim to increase opportunities for the dissemination of research results, and makes it possible for these results to be reused and built upon with the help of digital technology (so-called "text and data mining").

Draft of National Guidelines

In 2014, The Swedish Research Council drafted national guidelines which are now being prepared for government approval. The proposal would require that the results of all nationally funded research be made available with the CC-BY license. The proposed requirement would include magazine articles in 2015 and books and research data by year 2020.

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Variations of Open Access

Publishing with open access can occur through different channels and can include a publishing fee.

Parallel publishing

Parallel publishing or Green Open Access refers to the publication of articles or book chapters in various types of open databases. This means that an article or chapter is made available in its first stage (or manuscript version), and in its final version once published with a publishing house.

At Stockholm University, the DiVA database is used for this purpose. The final version can usually not be published until after a quarantine period (the so-called "embargo time"). The time frame such the quarantine is determined by the publisher of the original version. The Swedish Research Council requires that the quarantine not last longer than six months. Read more about this under the heading Parallel Publishing.

Gold Open Access

Gold Open Access is articles, books and/or book chapters that are published with a CC-BY license in their original version online, that is, without a quarantine period. This type of open access often means that the publisher charges a publishing fee of some kind.

You may apply for financial support to cover these fees at most Swedish and European research funding organisations. These days, most publishers and magazines invite the author to pay for open access of their article in magazines that usually require a subscription. This is referred to as Hybrid Open Access, and it allows the same rights as Gold Open Access.

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Financing Open Access

It is up to each writer to determine which type of financing is appropriate for each of their publications, whether it be Gold Open Access or Hybrid Open Access.

Researchers at Stockholm University have access to the Office for Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS), who are able to give advice and provide information on the different types of funding that is available for research, as well as the application procedures that apply. Remember to apply for funds in advance so as to avoid any delays that might adversely affect your publication dates.

The University Library has also negotiated agreements with a number of publishers where the article processing charges are centrally funded or discounted.

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The Author's Rights

To protect the rights of copyright holders in open access publications, a special publishing license issued by the international organization Creative Commons is used. The license is made up of six different levels that control how works are cited and how information within them is used and shared once it’s found.

The regulation that is central to all versions of the license is that the author always retains full copyright to their material, meaning that they always have the right to be mentioned as the copyright holder regardless of the channel. 

Publications with traditional copyright agreements usually require that the copyright holder transfer the economic and dissemination rights related to the publication to the publisher. Read more about this under the heading Copyright.

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