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Frequently asked questions

We’re planning a research project. When should we think about open access questions?

It is worth considering open access in the plans and budget of the project from the very beginning. When writing the funding application, you should negotiate with other possible members of the consortium to decide whether to choose Gold or Green open access. The choice made must then be considered in the budgets in the funding applications and the consortium agreements. If Gold open access is chosen, the budget has to accommodate Article Processing Charges (APC), which can be €1 500 – 4 000 per article.

Obtaining additional funding afterwards may be difficult, and even if the funding agency approved Article Processing Charges as eligible project costs, the costs will in such cases have to be taken out of funds originally allocated to other purposes.

Articles are also often published after the project ends. The APC fees can no longer be paid from projects funds after the project has ended, there has to be some other source of funding budgeted.

I am writing a funding application to the Academy of Finland. Which publications should I mention in the application? How much money can I budget for open access costs?

Your application should mention the most esteemed publications in your field that are best suited for your research, because they give your research the best impact and boost the competitiveness of your application. Check the SHERPA/RoMeO service to see whether the publications you have chosen allow self-archiving of the publication free of charge (Green Open Access).

If the journal charges for open access (Gold Open Access), you may include reasonable publishing costs in the budget in your application (e.g. 1 500 to 2 000 euros/article; the charges vary by publication, so check the price on the journal site). For example, the Academy of Finland requires open access publications.

Why are there green and gold open access routes?

Open access by self-archiving the publication, for instance, in the university repository (ACRIS and AaltoDoc combined) is free of charge for the author and can meet the open access criteria of the funding agencies. Publishers do not, however, always consent to free-of-charge open access simultaneously or in the time period required by funding agencies, because they also need paying journal subscribers. This is why publishers offer open access for an article processing charge (APC) and set an embargo period for self-archiving. If the embargo period required by the publisher is longer than the embargo period allowed by the  funding agency, the gold open access route has to be selected.

Do I have to include the costs of open access in the budget of my project?

Open access is free of charge in many cases, if not immediately, after an embargo period (e.g. 6 months) after which you can self-archive the article in the repository of your university.

If the rules of the publisher are in conflict with the terms of the research funding agency (e.g. an embargo period exceeding 6 months in a Horizon 2020 project in other fields than the humanities and social sciences), you have to consider choosing Gold Open Access. The associated (APC) charges can, however, be included in the budget sent to the funding agency, but this must be done in the application phase. At some universities, the departments cover some of the publishing charges.

Is there an open access publishing channel suitable for my article with the working title Xxxxx?

You can ask RIS (Open Science and ACRIS team, acris.aalto.fi) to do a search by topic and to find possible journals of interest. You should also consult your colleagues who may have experience of the matter, and look into your options for open access.

Do you know whether it is worth publishing in a specific journal?

RIS (Open Science and ACRIS team, acris.aalto.fi) can help you by searching the various databases measuring the quality and impact of publications (Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned SocietiesElsevier ScopusThomson Reutersin Web of Science (WoS), ProquestDirectory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

What do you think would be a suitable journal for my article in the field of art titled “xxxxxx”? How can I find out if the publication offers opportunities for open access?

RIS (Open Science and ACRIS team, acris.aalto.fi) can help you by searching the various databases measuring the quality and impact of publications (Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Elsevier ScopusThomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS), ProquestDirectory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The search results may be compared in terms of the preferred viewpoint of the researcher being presented in the journal previously. For details on the self-archiving policy of the publication and any embargo periods set may be found either on the publication site or in the SHERPA/RoMEO service.

Is a specific publisher, which offers open access publishing, a reliable publisher?

The open access ‘market’ also has fraudulent actors (predatory publishers and vanity publishers), who charge authors for publication (APC, article processing charge) but who do not meet the standards set for scientific publications or comply with the agreements made. For example, the following may be signs of a suspicious publisher:

  • the name of the editor-in-chief or editorial staff has not been given or their academic merits are not mentioned
  • no information of publication practices or long-term preservation is given
  • stops the search engine from crawling the publisher content to recognise plagiarism
  • information on the costs to the author are unclear
  • the mentioned references or the level of publication is not found in any other registers
  • publishes non-academic texts or copies of others’ texts etc.

For additional information on the criteria and their application, see the Scholarly Open Access service.

 Which repository can corporate partners use to deposit their publications written in a common project, if there are no university/research institute partners whose repositories can be used? Are there lists by discipline/any recommendations available?

Usually, university databases require at least one of the writers to be in an employment relationship or otherwise affiliated with the university.

Zenodo is an open, reliable home for the long-tail of science, enabling researchers to share and preserve any research outputs in any size, any format and from any science. It is possible to accept or reject uploads to your own community collections (e.g workshops, EU projects or your complete own digital repository). Zenodo has integrated research funded by the European Commission via OpenAIRE.

To find out about discipline-specific alternatives, it is worth contacting RIS (Open Science and ACRIS team, acris.aalto.fi) or asking your colleagues.

This service is provided by:

Research and Innovation Services

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