Open science and research

Open access fees

Open access fees refer to article processing charges (APC fees) set by publishers. Aalto University provides open access agreements with several publishers. With the help of these agreements, our researchers can publish their articles open access without article processing charges or get discounts on them.
Photo: Kalle Kataila / Aalto University

What are open access fees?

Open access fees are article processing charges (APC fees) collected by publishers. In open access journals (full open access, gold open access), authors pay an APC fee to have their article published, as the content of these journals is openly available to everyone without subscription fees. In hybrid journals (hybrid open access), authors can publish their article open access by paying a separate APC fee. Otherwise, the content of the journal is only available to readers who have paid a subscription fee, meaning the publisher collects fees from both authors and readers.

Aalto University recommends publishing in open access channels. Publishing in hybrid journals is acceptable only as part of transformative agreements.  

Transformative agreements

Transformative agreements provide researchers the possibility to access scientific journals and collections, and publish articles open access without any fees for authors (so called Read & Publish).

As a member of the FinElib consortium, Aalto provides transformative agreements with several publishers. Costs of these transformative agreements are covered by Aalto's Research Services. Transformative agreements primarily cover hybrid journals as the agreements include both subscription fees and author fees.

FinElib 20.4.2023: The costs must be reduced – FinELib negotiates on openness of scholarly publications

If a journal is not included in Aalto University's transformative agreements:

Apart from transformative agreements, Aalto University does not have a central open access fund. If you publish in a journal which is not covered by our agreements, APC fee should be covered either through project funding or basic funding of the department. Please make sure to contact the controller of your own department for assistance in such cases.

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Open access agreements with publishers

Take advantage of the open access agreements we have with publishers! Under the agreements, Aalto affiliated corresponding authors can publish their articles without open access fees (APC fee) or get discounts on them.


Which open access fees do funders reimburse?

Calls opened before 1 January 2021 

EU and Research Council of Finland (former Academy of Finland) reimburse article processing charges as research costs of the project.

Calls opened after 1 January 2021

Funders committed to Plan S initiative, such as EU and Research Council of Finland (former Academy of Finland), encourage to publish in fully open access channels.

  • Research Council of Finland: costs of ensuring open access to scientific publications published under the Research Council's funding terms and conditions (article processing charges (APC fees) required by the Plan S compliant journals that support immediate open access) can be covered by basic funding / included in the overheads of sites of research.
  • Horizon Europe: only APC fees in full open access (gold open access) publication channels are eligible for reimbursement as direct project costs.

Funders' open science requirements

Research funders want to promote open science and research, which is why they set requirements for the openness of research publications and data they are funding. European Commission (EC) and Research Council of Finland (former Academy of Finland) are participating in the open access initiative Plan S, which affects the open access and open data requirements in calls starting in 2021.

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Plan S

Plan S is an open access initiative launched by the EU Commission and Science Europe. At its core is the objective that, in calls starting from 1 January 2021, all scholarly articles resulting from public research funding must be published in open access journals or on open access platforms.

Plan S logo

Diamond open access

Diamond open access refers to full open access journals and platforms which do not charge fees to either authors or readers. Often, these journals are smaller in terms of publication volume, and many of them are published by research organizations or societies.

In 2022, an international Action Plan for Diamond Open Access was prepared, with the aim to support and further develop diamond open access publishing model.  Plan S organisations, including Research Council of Finland (former Academy of Finland), support this action plan. 

You can search for open access journals that do not charge APC fees ("journals without APCs") in the DOAJ database.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Open access fees paid by Aalto University

OpenAPC service includes open data of article processing charges (APC fees) paid by institutions outside transformative agreements. In Aalto, this data is based on combining data from Aalto’s research information system ACRIS (publication data) and Rondo (open access payments). OpenAPC displays information of journal articles at publisher, journal and article level, and data is updated four times a year. Information about APC fees of publication types A3 and A4 is not integrated to OpenAPC.

In 2022, Aalto paid open access fees of journal articles worth of almost 470 000 EUR. 

Aalto University - Open APC

National monitoring of total costs of open access publishing

Total costs of open access and scientific publishing to Finnish institutions are monitored on a national level as part of the monitoring of open science and research in Finland. Currently, the monitoring covers e.g. subscription fees, transformative agreements and article and book processing charges (APC fees and BPC fees). For article processing charges, the monitoring utilizes data available in OpenAPC service.

Based on the data from 2021, Finnish institutes paid publishers 21 million euros for transformative agreements and an additional 4 million euros for separate article processing charges (APC fees).

Total costs of open access publishing in Finland 2021

Contact information

For any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Open Science and ACRIS team ([email protected]).

An image describing the benefits of open access (for example findability, impact, visibility, higher citation rates, compliance with grant rules, value for taxpayers)

Open Access Publishing

Open access to publications ensures that scientific publications are accessible to everyone free of charge.

Open science and research
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