Open Access (OA) is a set of principles and practices through which research outputs are disseminated free of charge to the user in the online environment, and it is reusable. OA can be applied to all forms of research output, e.g. articles in academic journals, conference papers, book chapters, monographs, research reports etc.
The OA movement is built on the discussion of scholarly communication, academic journals and their business models. Historically, print journals covered their costs through subscriptions, licenses, or pay-per-view charges. OA journals use a funding model which does not require the reader to pay to read content. Instead, they rely on author fees, public funding, subsidies, or other forms of payment of their publication costs.
Open-Access dissemination may follow three paths:
- The green path consists of uploading a version of the published work to an open archive, or to a themed or institutional repository. ORBilu fulfills this criterion.
- The gold path involves publishing in Open-Access journals. You can find OA journals on the DOAJ website.
- The diamond path involves publishing in journals and platforms that are entirely free for authors and readers. These are still new and developing with some challenges related to visibility, sustainability and technical capacity. Also on the DOAJ website.
Periodicals that are distributed with a subscription that offers the author the option of paying to make their article free to read (hybrid journals) are not Open Access! This type of practice should be avoided as much as possible.
At the University of Luxembourg, we give priority to the green path, which means depositing your publication on ORBilu after acceptance/publication via traditional publishing routes and the diamond path, perhaps by publishing your academic text on Melusina Press at the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) at the University of Luxembourg.
Read how the LLC supports you in your academic publishing efforts (LLC webpages).
Most funders, research institutions, government agencies etc. now expect research to be published as OA. But there are many benefits to publishing OA:
- It makes you and your research more visible, reaching the widest possible audience.
- By making your research more accessible, it allows others to build upon your ideas right away leading to a progress of new insights, new innovation and impact where it is needed the most.
- Researchers globally can reuse your findings regardless of their financial means.
- New collaborations and innovative ideas based on scientific discovery is enabled, e.g. start-ups, alliances, etc.
- It also reduces research duplication and research waste, making science more efficient.
- OA increases impact and transparency in research.
When you select to publish OA you as the author and the official right holder(s) (e.g. journal publishers) grant to all users the free access to it and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly. Your work must still be referenced appropriately (attribution of authorship) by those who use any of the content.
Funding bodies, and collaborators of your research, can direct you in your publishing efforts and help you choose what is most appropriate for your research. Your department and research collaborators may also have internal policies or recommendations for where you should publish.
To make your publication OA you normally have three obvious OA routes as described earlier.
- Publish in a diamond (or platinum) OA journal – to find a journal consult the DOAJ website.
- Publish in a gold OA journal, where you probably have to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). If you do NOT hold FNR funding, you can take advantage of Transformative Agreements we hold with Publishers. If you hold FNR funding you should not use these agreements, but instead submit your article as normal to the Publisher and then claim a refund from FNR via ChronosHub.
- Publish wherever you wish and deposit your full text article in ORBilu (or another repository), this is called green OA. You need to check what the Publisher will allow you to deposit on Journal Checker or Sherpa Rome.
ORBilu is the institutional repository of the University of Luxembourg and our University Deposit Mandate ensures that you as a researcher meet funders’ Open Acess (OA) and transparency in research requirements. Green OA can be achieved when research articles published in academic journals, or in book (or another medium), are then deposited in ORBilu.
The publisher who owns the journal or book in which you published, may impose an embargo (6-24 months) before you can deposit an article. However, on ORBilu you can always deposit an Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM), this is the manuscript accepted for publication after its peer review, but before publisher makes the final version as it will appear in the journal or book, the Version of Record (VoR). Then as soon as feasible and where allowed, self-archive the VoR on ORBilu.
Some funders require you to publish your article with a CC-BY licence making it freely available and accessible to all (Open Access) and with zero embargo. In order to enable this, you can insert the Rights Retention Statement into your letter to the publisher and amend the licence.
ORBilu is not a data sharing repository. We do not recommend that you share your data on ORBilu.
To read more about research data management click here
Your manuscript goes through various formats before it is published:
- A preprint is a version of a scientific manuscript posted on a public server prior to formal peer review.
- The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM), also called ‘author's postprint’, is the manuscript after peer review but before the Publisher applies their style.
- Version of Record (VoR), also called ‘publishers’ postprint’, is the manuscript once the Publisher has applied the style and how it appears when published.
Note: There are preprint servers available, and you can also deposit preprint in ORBilu, and sometimes it is beneficial to disseminate scientific results at an early stage if they are seen as making a contribution to scientific discourse. Usually, authors deposit AAMs or where possible the VoR on repositories. Always check what the Publisher will allow you to do.
Your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM), which has been peer-reviewed, is your intellectual creation and valuable, do not give your rights away! Most funders require you to publish OA, that you ensure you apply the CC BY licence and that there is no embargo on your article. To ensure you retain your rights, and in particular if you are not sure what your Publisher expects from you, even after checking Sherpa Romeo, then follow these steps:
- Prepare your cover letter for the Publisher: Add your Rights Retention Statement in the cover letter that your AAM arising from this submission is licensed CC BY in accordance with your funder’s OA policy; “This research was funded, in whole or in part by the [Funder’s name] [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author.” For templates on how to write a letter visit the cOAlition S website. (No need to do this if it is an Open Access journal)
- Check the copyright agreement the Publisher expects you to sign carefully. If you need help to read it, ask your Research Facilitator and/or email ORBilu@uni.lu. If you need to make changes to it, do so. Insert your Rights Retention Statement.
- Upon publication of your article by the Publisher, you deposit your AAM in an OA repository (g. ORBilu) with zero embargo and with the CC BY license (you can select this in ORBilu). You retain the right to your AAM. You can share it elsewhere also.
- The Publisher retains the rights to publish their Version of Record (VoR), which is the styled article.
Hints and Tips
- The cOAlition S online campaign ‘Publish with Power: Protect your rights’ aims to encourage researchers to retain their intellectual property rights and explain the steps they need to take.
- The CC BY licence allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the author(s). You can read more about licenses on the Creative Commons website.
- Before you decide on which journal to publish in, check their policies on Sherpa Romeo or on the Journal Checker tool. These will tell you the exact policies of the specific journals. You can make an informed decision.
- If you need to, you can send the Publisher a Pre-submission questionnaire to check that you will retain your rights.
- If you have chosen to publish in an Open Access journal, you will automatically retain the rights and you can disseminate and share your final published article as you wish.
- Always deposit your full text journal article and published conference proceeding on ORBilu to meet the University Deposit Mandate. Ensure you retained your CC BY license to do so by following the instructions above.