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.

Main content

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 in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

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 authors keep the rights to their own work: When publishing open access authors usually keep the rights to use their 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.

Open Access – step by step

Are you submitting an article to a journal? Please follow the steps below to ensure that your article is open access in accordance with the UiB policy. The tutorial is valid for original research articles and if you are the corresponding author on the article and affiliated with UiB.

  1. Find the journal in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers.

  2. Under the heading “Open Access”, see if the journal is included in a publishing agreement and if UiB is a participating institution. If UiB is listed, you may publish open access in the journal at no additional cost. Please state your affiliation to the “University of Bergen” when submitting the article and/or when signing the publishing agreement. More information on the conditions in the agreements.

  3. If the journal is not included in a publishing agreement with UiB as a participating institution, but is marked as “Indexed by DOAJ”, you may apply for funding to publish open access from the Publication fund.

  4. If the journal is neither included in a publishing agreement or indexed by DOAJ, there are no central funding schemes at UiB to support open access publishing in this journal. However, you may still provide open access to the article, at no additional cost, by uploading the Author’s Accepted Version of the article in Cristin.

Quality-controlled Open Access journals

Find quality-controlled open access journals registered on level 1 or 2 in the Norwegian register of Scientific Journals
If the journal is indexed in DOAJ it is an open access journal. 

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 reports, 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.

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

University of Bergen adopted a policy for open science in 2020. The policy covers open access to research publications and artistic research, open access to research data, open innovation, open educational resources, and citizen science. 

In 2022 a rights retention policy was added to the policy for open science. The policy gives UiB a non-exclusive right to make all scholarly articles authored by employees and students affiliated with UiB available under the terms of a Creative Commons license. Please see our webpage on the rights retention policy for more information.

UiB has also adopted a requirement for archiving and open access to research articles that are part of the NVI-reporting. Researchers must ensure that a peer reviewed full-text version of all research articles is uploaded in Cristin. 

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.

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. For calls for proposals from and including 2021, the Research Council will require full and immediate open access to all articles in accordance with Plan S (see below for more information).

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 for funding to cover article processing charges (APC) for open access.

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.

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.

New requirements for calls for proposals from 2021: The Research Council has joined cOAlition S, the international initiative behind Plan S. For calls for proposals from and including 2021, the Research Council will require full and immediate open access to all articles from projects that receive funding from the Council

The objective of Plan S is for all research funded by participating organisations to be made immediately and openly accessible. Research articles are to be made available via open access journals, publishing platforms or in open repositories.

Please see the Research Council website for more information on Plan S and The Research Council's requirements on open access to publications.

Use of project number when registering in CRIStin

The project code to all research publications that are connected to projects funded by the Research Council must be registered in Cristin. Please see this tutorial on how to register project codes in Cristin.

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.

Horizon Europe requirements for Open Access

Beneficiaries must ensure immediate open access to peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their results. Journal articles and chapters in edited books must be made available with a CC BY license, while for monographs CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND or CC BY-NC-ND may also be used.

All publications must be deposited in a trusted repository and made immediately open access at the time of publication. The version of the article to be deposited is either the final published version (VOR) or the author accepted manuscript (AAM).

When publishing in venues that are not open access, beneficiaries are required to retain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with the requirements outlined above.  

Publication fees for open access publishing are eligible costs if they fulfil certain criteria:

  • Journal articles must be published in open access journals. Articles published open access in subscription journals (hybrid open access) are not eligible.
  • For monographs and chapters to be eligible the whole book must be published open access.

More information:
Horizon Europe Programme Guid (PDF)
Horizon Europe Annotated Model Grant Agreement (PDF)