Swedish Research Council adjusts its demands for open access

Since January 2010 the Swedish Research Council has demanded open access publishing. This demand means that projects finances by the Council must be made freely available online either by self-archiving[1] in an institutional repository or publishing in an open access journal. Projects which have received funding before january 2010 are excluded although the Council encourages everyone to publish open access. These demand applies to scientific articles and conference reports, not monographs or bok chapters. There are plans to apply open access demands on books aswell.

New the Council has adjusted its resolution.

1) The researchers receiving funds from 2017 are to publish with so called CC-BY-licens. This makes it possible to reuse and build on previous research data but even text and data mining.

2) According to the new demands results must be made freely available directly after publishing or no later than six months after publishing in an freely availbale database.  Researchers receiving funding from Educational sciences or Humanities and social sciences have twelve months after publishing to make research freely available. At University of Borås BADA is used. This adjustment is a way to hamonize the Councils demandst to EU Commission’s new research programme Horizon 2020 where open access publishing will be the norm.

3) If the publisher’s standard agreement does not allow aelf-archiving you can always use an author addendum, a legal instrument which modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your publication. The Council will allow for expceptions to the rule but only to extend embargo period to 12 respectively 24 months. THe researcher must show documentation of which efforts were made to fullfil the Council’s demand.

4) From 2015 the Council will only accept open access publications when reporting research activities from projects funded entirely or partly by the Council.

Pieta Eklund

[1] Self-archving means that when a publication is registered in an instituional repository a fulltext file is attached. A question that often arises is which version one should deposit. Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. You can visit SHERPA/RoMEO where you can find information about publisher’s copyright policies and self-archiving, you can read the publishing agreement you signed before publishing research results and you can always contact your library for help.

How open is it and other resources

There is myriad of resources online which aim to help you navigate in the open access world and some of them are presented below.

How open is it  is a document created by SPARCPLoS and OSAPA. The purpose of the document is to explain open access because all open access is not the same. There are a couple of different kind of restrictions and this document will help you to understand these restrictions and maybe even help you to choose where you want to publish. With this document the three organizations are also changing the focus of discussion from is it open access to how open is it. The brochure is new: it is released this week.

Author rights – Author addendum – is a ready-to-be used agreement to change the publishing agreement you sign with the publisher. This agreement’s purpose is for you to retain your copyright or at least to retain your right to deposit post-print version of your article in BADA. There is even a generator (Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine) where you just fill in the title of your manuscript, journal name, all author names, publisher and which kind of rights you want to retain. Thereafter a pdf is generated that you may attach to the publisher’s agreement. There are no known cases in which the publisher has declined to publish the article when the author has wanted to retain some rights to his/her article.

You can use Sherpa/Romeo to check which regulations apply for different publishers when it comes to copyright and your rights to self-archive research publications in an institutional repository such as BADA. They use colors to describe which version you may use in the repository. Green means that you can deposit pre-print (version before peer review), post-print (version after peer review) or publisher’s version (publisher’s layout). Blue means that you and deposit post-print or publisher’s version. Yellow means that you can only deposit pre-print and white means that the publisher does not formally support archiving in institutional repositories. Most of the publishers allow depositing post-print but to be sure make sure you use the author addendum to at least retain the right to self-archive your publication.

Your library also has a lot of knowledge about open access and can check publisher’s terms and help you to form an opinion of a publisher or a journal if you are suspicious of them being predatory. Contact your library when you need help and support with questions regarding publishing. Your library can help you with other things as well such as information seeking, how you use EndNote, Medeley or other reference tools and a lot of other things.

The guide to assess predatory publishers and journals can be found here.

University of Borås institutional repository is called BADA. You as a researcher should register you publications such as articles, conference papers and posters, reports and books. BADA is used for statistics on how active our researchers are to publish during a specific year. Student thesis can also be found in full text in BADA, most of the in Swedish. Data from BADA is used in Swepub (database for Swedish research) Uppsök ochUppsatser to search for all Swedish student theses.





First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2012-10-26

By: Pieta Eklund

Plan Your Publishing

Already when you send in your grant proposal you should start planning for publishing, e.g. by including in the budget an amount to cover the possible APC for publishing in Open Access journals. There are several aspects to consider when choosing a journal to send a manuscript to. You have to consider the probability of your manuscript getting accepted, which impact the article might have and also the journal’s credibility, reputation and visibility. There are also philosophical and ethical aspects to consider, such as does the author have to transfer his/her rights to the publisher, does the publisher treat authors equal and what are the costs for libraries. In addition to these considerations there are other aspects such as the peer review process and possible delays in the publishing process, which can be months. This is why the selection of publishing channel is critical for success in publishing.

In an article by Knight and Steinbach*  the authors try to create a model for choosing a journal to publish in. They have identified five areas to consider when planning for publishing: 1) probability for the manuscript to be accepted, 2) journal reputation, 3) article visibility and possible impact, and 4) probability for getting the article published in the right time and 5) philosophical and ethical aspects such as free access.

Open Access journals have matured so you do not have to sacrifice the benefits of the traditional journals if you choose an Open Access journal. Many of the Open Access journals have developed impact factor, citing frequency and reputation comparable to similar traditional journals. They have a well organized peer review process, in some cases even tougher process than the traditional journals. Open Access journals have the benefits of the knowledge spreading quicker to all interested parties not just those who can afford to subscribe to the journal. Read the article to get more tips on how to choose a journal to publish in.

If you have to equivalent journals to choose from take into consideration the publishers attitude towards Open Access in general and self-archiving in particular. You should always choose journals which allow self-archiving or are Open Access. When your manuscript has been accepted you should sign a publications agreement. Make sure that you keep the right to self-archive in BADA but also that you have the right to use the article in e.g. a future compilation dissertation and in future teaching. If you have written a book or a book chapter you can ask your publisher about self-archiving possibilities a year or two after publication. Use the author addendum if the publishers’ agreement is not satisfactory.

Use DOAJ to find suitable Open Access journals.

You can even use Journal Citation Report (JCR) to check how the different scientific journals are rated. JCR is a part of Thomson Reuters Web of Science and it is a tool to compare and evaluate scientific journals among plethora of subject areas. There is citation data from over 8 000 journals and over 3 000 publishers in JCR. Contact Library & learning resources for help to use the database. Thomson Reuters has earlier in October released its book citation index for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Now it is possible to search among 25 000 books but before the year is out they aim to cover 30 000 central books published 2005 and after within these three subject areas. Their on-going goal will be to add 10 000 books a year.

*Knight, L.V. & Stenbach, T.A. (2008). Selecting an appropriate publication outlet: a comprehensive model for journal selection criteria for researchers in a broad range of academic disciplines. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, vol 3, ss. 59-79.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2011-10-28

By: Pieta Eklund

Demands from Funders

A growing number of research funders are demanding that research funded by taxpayer money should be freely available to all. One reason is the argument that research is spread quicker that way and is cited by more. Four big research funders’ demands on Open Access are presented below

The Swedish Research Council (VR)
In January 2010 VR introduced a demand for Open Access publishing. This demand means that researchers funded by VR must publish their results Open Access. VR says that researcher can either use his/her institutional repository or publish in an Open Access journal to comply with the demand.

This demand does not affect projects granted before January 2010. VR states that the publications should be freely available no more than six months after publishing. If the publisher does not allow self-archiving the researcher should demand an exception and for this there is an author addendum to use. The VR is of the opinion that if the publisher does not accept the exception the researcher ought to consider another publisher and journal. In exceptional cases VR can accept prolonging the time to access up to 12 months. For the VR to grant prolongation, the researcher must be able to document all efforts made to fulfill the six-month demand.

These demands apply to scientific texts published in scientific journals and conference papers, not monographs or chapters in books.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)
Even RJ has since 2010 demanded that a researcher who receives funding from RJ is to publish their peer reviewed texts and conference papers Open Access. RJ encourages and urges researchers to publish even monographs and book chapters Open Access. Researchers are eligible to apply for a special publishing grant to finance Open Access publishing.

RJ adds a gauge of 30 000 SEK per project. They also demand that the publications are made available directly after publishing in an open repository or no later than six months. If the publisher does not allow this the research should choose another publisher and if this is not possible the researcher should contact RJ with documentation on what has been done to reach an agreement with the publisher.

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) (http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1300&lang=1)
The EU Commission introduced in 2008 an Open Access project within FP7. The project means that researchers from the research areas energy, environment, health, information and communication technologies (only cognitive systems, interaction, and robotics), research infrastructures (only e-infrastructures), science in society, and socioeconomic sciences and humanities must make their peer reviewed research articles freely available.

According to the demand the publications must be archived and made publicly available six or twelve months after publication. Which time span is applied depends on the subject area. Money from the FP7 may be used to cover APC costs for an Open Access journal or hybrid journals (a traditional subscription based journal that has individual articles freely available).

This means that research articles that are a result of a project financed by FP7 are to be self-archived in BADA.

Something called Best Effort is included in the framework. This means that the researcher must follow the next four steps:

  1. Seek information on publishing models and copyright/licensing policies of the journal(s) to which authors plan to submit e.g. via Sherpa/Romeo
  2. If publishers’ policies do not allow compliance with FP7, authors should negotiate an amendment to allow self-archiving
  3. If negotiations are unsuccessful, researchers should consider submitting to another journal
  4. If negations fail, beneficiaries should inform the Commission and provide publisher’s letter of refusal

Formas (Swedish)
Formas demands that all peer reviewed journal articles and conference papers which are a result of research financed fully or partly by Formas are to be published Open Access. This demand is applied from January 2010 and onwards.

Formas also demands that all texts are made available no later than six months after publishing. The researcher may choose Open Access or hybrid journals or self-archiving.

First published in Biblioteksbloggen 2011-10-26

By: Pieta Eklund