University of Bergen Library

Open Access to research output

Open Access - what, why and how

Researchers and students affiliated to the University of Bergen can make their scientific publications available open access through the institutional online research archive, Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA), or by publishing open access.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions (Peter Suber, 2012).

Open access (OA) is:

  • Making scientific research publications freely, immediately and permanently available online for everyone to read and download.

Ideally open access also should:

  • Let the author keep copyright to own work.

  • Give users permission to make available, copy, distribute, build upon, search in, or text mine from the full-text without compensation.

Extended user rights are achieved by making the work available with an open license (from Creative Commons).

One of the most used definitions of Open Access can be found here: http://openaccess.mpg.de/286432/Berlin-Declaration


Why Open Access?

Open access ensures that research is made available for everyone. Equal access to information is an important principle in a democratic society.

Some benefits achieved by open access:

  • Publically funded research is made available open access: Research that is paid for by the government should be available for everyone. Society should not need to pay for access to the research that they fund.

  • Open access removes price barriers: Open access aims to break the existing financing model for journals (the subscription model) and instead create a model where one does not pay to access research results.

  • Open access removes permission barriers: Open access gives everyone the same possibilities to access research publications. The use of open licenses makes it easier to share and use the work.

  • Open access helps to disseminate knowledge: New knowledge is discovered faster when it is openly available. Removal of copyright barriers makes it easier for society to build on this knowledge.     

  • Open access ensures access in the future: Publications that are archived and made available in secure open repositories will be accessible also on the future.

  • Open access lets the author keep rights to own work: When publishing open access authors usually keep the right to use own work.

How achieve Open Access to research publications?

There are several routes to achieve open access:

1. Open archiving: Archiving scholarly articles, master theses, PhD theses, and other research material in an open repository ensures open access, also in the future.

Most publishers will permit that a version of an article is made available in an open archive. Usually the preprint or the author’s last peer-reviewed version, and not the final published version. The publisher will often demand an embargo on access to the full-text of between 6 and 24 months after the publication date.

The publisher in most cases will keep copyright and only give limited rights to reuse the publication. Users only get the right to read the publication and to use it privately.

There are different types of open archives: Institutional or national archives affiliated to one or more research institutions (for example BORA at the University of Bergen), subject based archives (for example arXiv and bioRxiv), and archives affiliated to external research funders (for example Zenodo and PubMed Central).

Research networks services like ResearchGate and Academica.edu are not open archives. They are commercial services that demand membership to get access to content.

2. Publishing open access: In open journals all of the content is available open access immediately without an embargo. The author usually keeps copyright and the article is made available with an open license that permits reuse.

Open journals can either be free to publish in, or the journal will ask for an article processing charge (APC) to publish the work.

Books can also be published open access.

Many research institutions and organizations that finance research have established publication funds that can cover whole or parts of the charge (APC) to publish in open access journals or publish books open access.

3. Publishing open access in a subscription journal: Individual articles in the journal are available open access by paying an article processing charge (APC). The rest of the articles in the journal are only available through subscriptions. This model is called hybrid open access.

The author usually keeps copyright and the articles are made available with an open license that permits reuse.

The difference between hybrid journals and open access journals is the publishing model. In an open journal all content is open, while most of the content in hybrid journals is available through subscriptions, with only individual articles made available open access.

Quality-controlled Open Access journals

Find quality-controlled open access journals registered on level 1 or 2 in the Norwegian register of Scientific Journals by searching here. Journals in the register have been quality-checked by a scientific committee.

Ensure that you have chosen “Yes” in the field “Open Access (DOAJ) in the search form. The search will provide open access-journals that are registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals. You can narrow your search by choosing scientific discipline and subject area.

You can aso check the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) directly. The journals that have been included in the directory have been quality-checked by DOAJ editors.

For more information about how to quality-check journals see the website Think. Check. Submit.

Open Access services at The University of Bergen

The University of Bergen Library offers several services to make research publications from students and researchers from the University available open access. The services are administered by the University Library.

Open research archive - Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA)

In the University's institutional repository, Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA), it is possible to make available master theses, PhD theses, copies of research articles, research data, and other types of scholarly material. Research material can be made available in BORA by contacting us, or by uploading the full-text in CRIStin. Please contact us if you have questions about clearing copyright.

Financial support to publish open access - Publication fund

It is possible for corresponding authors from the University of Bergen to apply for funding to publish open access from the publication fund. The publication fund supports articles in open access journals and open access publishing of books with up to 100 % of the publication charge. Additionally the fund can give a refund of 50 % of the article processing charge in hybrid journals on level 2 in the Norwegian register of Scientific Journals.

Technical support for journals and series - Bergen Open Access Publishing (BOAP)

The University Library runs a service for open access journals and series affiliated to the University of Bergen. New and established journals and series can receive technical support through the publishing platform Open Journal Systems (OJS). The content has to be published open access with a Creative Commons license.

Open Access policy at The University of Bergen

The University of Bergen adopted an Open Access-policy in 2012. The policy includes the following statements:

  1. The University asks all employees to make their research publications available open access if possible, either through open research archives and/or through open publishing.

  2. Employees are encouraged to publish their scientific work with publishers that ensure open access, as far as such publishing does not conflict with academic freedom or the University’ goal to publish in reputable publishing channels.

  3. Students are encouraged to make their master thesis available in BORA as long as this does not come in conflict with publishing the thesis.

The working group’s recommendations and University board’s decision can be found here (in Norwegian): http://www.uib.no/filearchive/2012-088.pdf (case 88)

National goals and guidelines for Open Access to research articles

From 22.08.2017 the government has implemented National goals and guidelines for open access to research articles.

The government’s goal is that all publicly funded Norwegian research articles should be made openly available by 2024, and the government has established guidelines and measures for open access to research articles. Read more.

The Norwegian Research Councils guidelines for Open Access

The Norwegian Research Council demands that scholarly research articles that they wholly or partly fund have to be made available open access. All articles have to be archived in an open research archive.

Open publishing: The Research Council requests researchers that receive grants from them to choose journals that are open access. Articles that are published open access also should be archived in an open repository.

The Research Council contributes to financing articles that are published in open journals. This is payed for through the publication funds administered by Norwegian research institutions. Researchers from the University of Bergen can apply to cover article processing charge (APC) for open access here.

Open archiving: Published research articles that are a result of projects wholly or partly funded by the Research Council have to be deposited in an open archive, either at the institution where the researcher is affiliated or in a subject based archive.

The version that is deposited has to be the peer-reviewed accepted or published version of the article. The article that is submitted should be identical in content to the final published version.

The Research Council accepts delayed open access of 6 months for articles in journals within science, technology and medicine (STM), and 12 months in journals within the humanities and social sciences.

A condition for making available articles in an open archive is that this does not conflict with the author’s or publisher’s copyright to the material.

If articles that are a result of projects that are wholly or partly financed by the Research Council are not made available according to their principles for open access, the Council can hold back funds until the articles are archived.

Use of project number when registering in CRIStin

For ongoing or just ended projects (from 2015) the Research Council requests that their project number is registered on the publication entry in the CRIStin-system.

From the 1st of October 2017 the Research Council will make it mandatory for all project leaders that have an affiliation to an institution that uses CRIStin, to use the Norwegian Research Council project number when registering articles in the CRIStin-system.

Horizon 2020 guidelines for Open Access

Projects with support from H2020 have to ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scholarly publications that are a result of research that is financed by them.

Receivers of project funding can choose between the following types of open access:

Open archiving: The published article or the final peer-reviewed version must be deposited in an open research archive. The publication must be available open access no later than 6 months  after it is published (12 months for journals within humanities and social sciences).

Open publishing: The article is immediately available open access on the publisher/journal website. The article must be open access from the time it is published. A copy of the article must also be deposited in an open research archive.

Some journals ask for an article processing charge (APC) to publish the article open access. The costs to publish open access in open journals or hybrid journals can be funded as a part of the project budget.

For FP7-projects it is possible to apply for funding the costs for publishing open access retrospective.