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Most research funders now have policies in place that require grant holders to make any resulting publications Open Access. By accepting a research grant, the grant holder is required to provide Open Access to the publications arising from the funded research. Funder requirements apply even if the research was only partially funded by that organization. If your article acknowledges support from more than one funder, you must ensure that all funder requirements are met.
It is important to be aware of your research funder policy on Open Access before submitting a manuscript, as how you comply with your funder’s Open Access requirements will largely depend on the policy of the publisher of the journal you are intending to publish in.
Open Access requirements differ among funders. We have included the most important requirements of some major funders below. Other funder Open Access policies can be checked using the SHERPA Juliet database.
More information about funders
The SNSF requires that all scientific works published in journals and books (i.e. monographs, anthologies, book chapters) that were fully or partially financed (≥ 50%) by SNSF grants are published Open Access. Researchers can fulfill this requirement by:
New Open Access Regulations (2023)
New OA regulations apply to all grant applications submitted from 1 January 2023. The new rules apply only to scientific articles. The rules for books and book chapters remain unchanged. As before, the OA commitment can be fulfilled in three different ways: publication in an Open Access journal (gold road), in a hybrid journal, or by publishing in a subscription journal and making the accepted version of the paper (after peer review) freely available in a digital repository (e.g. DORA). The main changes are:
The SNSF offers funding for Article Processing Charges (APCs) for publications in pure Open Access journals. Please note that the SNSF does not fund the “hybrid” publication model, i.e. fees for publishing Open Access in subscription journals. The funding is independent from the project budget and applications can be submitted via ChronosHub (snsf.chronoshub.io) at any time, even after the project has ended. A detailed guide for the settlement of APCs via ChronosHub is available at https://oa100.snf.ch/en/funding/journal-articles/.
Horizon 2020 mandates Open Access for all peer-reviewed publications relating to the grant. In addition, Horizon 2020 encourages beneficiaries to provide Open Access to other types of output (some of which might not be peer-reviewed) such as book chapters or conference proceedings.
Compliance with the Open Access mandate is a two-step process:
There are two main routes to compliance with the Open Access requirement in Horizon 2020:
Fees for Open Access publications in pure and hybrid Open Access journals can be claimed as project expenses. Article Processing Charges are eligible costs to Horizon 2020 grants and can be reimbursed by Horizon 2020 if they occur during the duration of the grant. You will need to indicate expected costs in your grant proposal.
For ERC actions, the rules for Open Access to scientific publications are in principle the same as for other Horizon 2020 projects . All peer-reviewed publications resulting from ERC grants need to be deposited in a repository and should be made Open Access no later than six months after the official publication date. However, the ERC recommends depositing the paper in a discipline-specific repository. The recommended repository for Life Sciences is Europe PubMed Central and for Physical Sciences and Engineering arXiv is recommended. If there is no appropriate discipline specific repository, researchers should make their publications available in institutional repositories such as DORA.
Fees for Open Access publications in pure and hybrid Open Access journals are eligible costs that can be charged against ERC grants during the duration of the project. You will need to indicate expected costs in your grant proposal.
All publications arising from the funding shall be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period. Publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. Thus, you need to publish either in a pure Open Access Journal or a hybrid Open Access journal which allows publishing under a CC BY license. In addition, all publications need to be deposited in a repository (e.g. DORA) without an embargo.
The foundation pays reasonable publication fees required by a publisher. To access this funding, authors will need to use the Chronos system.
If you want to comply with a funder OA mandate via the Green (self-archiving) route to Open Access, you will need to check whether your chosen subscription journal offers a compliant embargo period. While many funders (e.g. SNSF, EC) mandate a maximum of six months embargo, many journals require an embargo period of more than six months. In practical terms this means that if your research is funded by the SNSF or a Horizon 2020 project, you are not allowed to publish your research results in thousands of subscription journals (e.g. most journals of Springer, Wiley, Elsevier) unless you are willing and able to pay for hybrid Open Access in these journals.
What can you do about this situation?
Think about a strategy how to comply with the Open Access mandate of your funding agency before you submit a manuscript to a journal. Once your paper is accepted for publication in a journal, your options for compliance are limited.
As the author, you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to a publisher in a signed agreement. While traditional publishing agreements often require that authors grant exclusive rights to the publisher, authors can negotiate with a publisher about retaining certain rights. In order to meet the Open Access requirements of many research funders (e.g. SNSF, Horizon 2020) it is recommended that you negotiate to keep the right to make the accepted or published version of your paper Open Access in an institutional repository.
Remember that you are in control. The publisher cannot publish your work without your permission and he is gaining a major benefit in obtaining your work for free. Thus, you are in an excellent position to ask to retain certain rights.
Attaching an addendum is a straightforward way to propose changes to a publishing contract. An addendum to the publishing contract is a separate document that, when signed by both parties, includes terms superseding any contradicting terms within the proposed agreement.
There are pre-fabricated addenda created specifically to assist scholarly authors in retaining key rights to their work:
Be sure to obtain confirmation that your amendments to the agreement are received and accepted. Otherwise there is no valid agreement. Be sure to get approval from the publisher to any such changes in writing.
As an alternative to using addenda, the SNSF recommends to contact the publisher or the editors of the (non-compliant) journal and inform them about the SNSF’s OA requirement and the obligation to provide open access after a maximum of 6 months before you submit the paper. The SNSF has prepared a standard e-mail that authors can use when approaching publishers. See Delayed Open Access (green)
More info about negotiating publishing agreements:
With a few keystrokes researchers at Eawag, Empa, PSI & WSL can eliminate any embargo (12-48 months) for Open Access publishing of accepted manuscripts in DORA. The method described here works exclusively for articles published in an Elsevier journal.
Background: Elsevier’s Sharing Policy
Elsevier’s Sharing Policy makes a distinction between an author’s personal website or blog and the repository at the institution where that author works. Authors are able to post accepted manuscripts to their personal websites for Open Access immediately after publication by Elsevier (no embargo), but a manuscript posted to an institutional repository such as DORA must be restricted only to internal users for the duration of 12-48 months. At the same time, Elsevier requires authors to attach a Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license to all posted accepted manuscripts.
The results is that authors may post an appropriately licensed copy of the accepted manuscript on their personal site or blog, at which point the DORA team may deposit without an embargo in DORA. This is made possible not through the license granted in the publication agreement, but through the CC license on the author’s version, which the sharing policy mandates.
A CC-BY-NC-ND license gives everyone the following permission for the licensed item:
Bolick, J. (2018). Leveraging Elsevier’s Creative Commons License Requirement to Undermine Embargoes. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 2(2), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v2i2.7415