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Open access publishing

Umeå university policy is that researchers should make publications and results of research open access to as great extent as possible. This effort is aligned with increasing demands for open access publishing from external research funding organisations. The university also supports the Berlin declaration toward open science.

This information is factual only and not to be considered legal advice. Contact the university legal advisors at the Vice-Chancellor's office if legal advice is needed.

Vice-Chancellor's Office

The importance of choosing the right license when publishing open access

When a body of work is published without a specific license or contract, that work is automatically protected by copyright laws. The laws that regulate copyright provide strong protection of the rights of the originator, or author. When publishing open access, the originator abstains some of that protection in order to make the work more available to others. Choosing what parts and to what extent the copyright should be abstained demands some consideration, as does signing any other contract where you transfer some of your copyright to an other party.

There are many aspects to consider when deciding the copyright solution or license for a body of work. The most important thing is to make sure that the choise is well informed and take pre-existing conditions in mind.

Requirements from external research funders

It is common that research funders encourage or even demand that results and publications of funded research are made open access. An important motivation for this is that it is in the funders interest to maximise the beneficial outcome of their investments for the field of research as a whole. Remember to check the requirements of your funders before choosing publisher, journal and copyright model!

Ethical considerations

With regard to finished research publications, such as articles, books, reports and such, there are no ethical reasons to avoid open access publishing. These publications should allready be written with consideration for ethical variables (such as informant integrity) in mind. However, there might be ethical reasons to choose to publish open access, for example in order to achieve fast dissemination of important results regarding discoveries and treatment of serious diseases.

Legal considerations

Be attentive when signing contracts and agreements. Read the terms carefully to know if and how they impact possibilities for open access publishing. It has been known to happen that researchers sign a contract with a publisher where the specified embargo period have been significantly longer than permitted by the funder of the research.

Publishers often present authors with a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). If such a contract is signed, the copyright is transferred to the publisher.

Economical considerations

There might be reasons to balance ideals about open access and economical considerations. For example, the author of a book in swedish might want to keep the rights to publish the book translated to english.

Research policy issues

Open science is not just a set of principles or requests from funders. It is also a part of a political discussion on how to best conduct scholarly discourse and communications. The personal ideals and position on the issue of the researcher and author also play a part in deciding whether or not to publish open access.

Routes to open access publishing

In order to make your research output freely accessible and fullfill most funders demands on open access publishing there are several possible routes. Make sure that the one chosen align with funders demands.

Parallel publishing (self-archiving)

A copy of a published work is made accessible through an open archive. Parallel publishing the peer-reviewed, accepted version of an article (the version before the publisher layout), fullfills most funders' demands on publishing results open access.

Many publishers allow parallel publishing the accepted version of an article. However, there is often an embargo period before the article can be made freely accessible. Make sure that there is no conflict between the embargo period and funders expectations.

Parallel publishing is free of cost for the author.

Parallel publishing in DiVA

Researchers at Umeå university can parallel publish by uploading their articles and other publications full text into DiVA, the university open archive. Always check the conditions of the publisher before uploading a full text into DiVA.

Feel free to contact the library specialist on open access with questions or for support. Use the library contact form and choose the option "Publishing, theses and research data".

To register and publish in DiVA

Contact us

Publishing in an open access journal

Open access journals are freely available journals where the content can either only be read openly or both read and reused freely, depending on license. In order to find quality controlled journals within an academical field, use a resource such as Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

The models of financing open access journals differ. Sometimes, open access journals like hybrid journals charge a fee for publishing, a so called article processing charge (APC). Larger publishers and journals as a rule charge an APC, but the majority of journals in DOAJ don't.

There are no specific fund for open access publishing at Umeå university. However, there are several APC discounts available through the library. 

Different publishers use different models for managing APCs. Because of this, it is important to follow the instructions of the specific publisher. Always use the e-mail adress connected to work (name.surname@umu.se) when corresponding with the publisher.

Discounts for open access publishing fees

Unreliable open access publishers

Currently there are many unreliable, so-called predatory, publishers who present themselves as legitimate open access publishers. The journals of these publishers often have names similar to established journals and they often market themselves through e-mail directly to researchers. 

Make sure to assess the reliability of a publisher. The library presents a guide for assessment of publishing channels. We also recommend the resources of Think/Check/Submit as a support in assessing credibility of journals. 

Feel free to contact the library specialist on open access with questions or for support. Use the library contact form and choose the option "Publishing, theses and research data".

Guide: Assessing credibility of journals and publishers

Contact us

Hybrid journals - pay to use the open access option of a journal

Journals that are subscription based while at the same time offering an open access options for a fee is called hybrid journals. Authors pay a publishing fee, a so called article processing charge (APC), in order to make a specific article open access.

There are no specific fund for open access publishing at Umeå university. However, there are several APC discounts available through the library. 

Different publishers use different models for managing APCs. Because of this, it is important to follow the instructions of the specific publisher. Always use the e-mail adress connected to work (name.surname@umu.se) when corresponding with the publisher.

Feel free to contact the library specialist on open access with questions or for support. Use the library contact form and choose the option "Publishing, theses and research data".

Discounts for open access publishing fees

Contact us

What are Creative commons licenses?

The copyright and license system Creative commons (CC) is, at least at the moment, the clearest way of identifying the degree of open access of a publication. CC licences describe what other people than the originator can do with a publication or a body of work.

CC BY

CC BY is the license that allows for the widest range of use and adaption of the materials, while it is still mandatory to name the source. CC BY mean that as long as others name the source they can copy, distribute, performe and remix the work. The source decides how they want to be named. There are funders of research who expect an output to be licensed CC BY when published open access for an Article processing charge (APC).

CC BY is the basic format of creative commons licenses. Additions can be made in order to further modify the rights: 

SA: "Share alike"

Others can distribute the work using an identical license as the one the original source chose for the work.

NC: "Non-Commercial"

Others can copy, distribute, show, perform or remix the work, but for non-commercial purposes only.

ND: "No derivative works"

It is only allowed to copy, distribute, show or perform what corresponds to a copy of the work.

CC0: Common property

The most substantial step away from individual copyright. Through a CC0-licens the work is transferred to the public domain as far as it is legally possible. Any remaining limitations are due to restrictions of law that cannot be negotiated.