Open Access (OA), a model of scientific communication, the basic principle of which is unrestricted online access to the results of publicly funded science and research for anyone who expresses an interest.
Features of Open Access:
- Immediate - results should be available at the latest when they are published
- free - available for free to the end user
- permanent - to be ensured in the long term - results must be archived
- freelance- the results should be published so that they can be re-used
Advantages of Open Access:
- increasing the visibility and accessibility of scientific work
- increasing the citation and prestige of the scientist
- rapid exchange of information between colleagues
- more efficient use of results and finances (deletion of duplication)
- better, better and more transparent research
- increasing the quality of study and education for students through access to more information resources
- increasing the readability and citation rate of published articles and the directly related increase in the impact factor of journals of individual publishers
Open Access History:
The main goal of the idea of open access is free and permanent access to published scientific information. The basis of the Open Access movement became three important documents, which we collectively refer to as BBB-initiatives.
- In 2002, the concept of Open Access was first mentioned at the Budapest Open Access Initiative.
- 2003, the Bethesda statement is published on Open Access Publishing, where the publishing model is defined in the OA environment.
- In 2003, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was created, which summarizes the issue of OA and enables public participation in the ideas of Open Access.
In 2016, the LERU (League of European Research Universities) Association of 21 Universities formed a statement calling on the EU, universities and other scientific institutions to work on sensible open access solutions that are truly in line with open science interests.
There are these basic Open Access models:
- Green Open Acess- saving the full text of a scientific article (preprint, postprint, publishing version) in an open repository
- Gold Open Access- publishing an article in an open magazine, the purest form is the so-called platinum access - publishing articles where no fees are required from authors or end users. Expenditure costs are covered through subsidies, grants, sponsors, etc.
What can each access give me?
Green Open Access
- better searchability / higher visibility of work → readability, citation rate
- at no cost to the author
- open access is provided by the author
- long-term preservation of publishing activities is ensured
- possibility of immediate publication of the preprint → acceleration of communication
- possibility of versioning + publication of associated data and other materials
- possibility to monitor alternative metrics and statistics
Gold Open Access
- greater searchability / higher visibility of work → readability, citation
- users have access to the final peer-reviewed version of the publication
- access is provided by the publisher, not the author
- the authors (usually) remain copyrighted
The Platinum Open Access extends the benefits of the Gold Open Access by:
- long-term preservation of publishing activities
- is free of charge for readers and authors
Green Open Access - is an open access model based on making available scientific texts, especially preprints (texts that have not yet been reviewed) and postprints (texts that have already been reviewed, but have not yet been graphically modified according to journal standards) through their storage in an open repository.
We distinguish these basic types of open repositories:
- Institutional - a repository of an organization, which usually allows the results to be stored and made available only to members of the organization.
- The subject-repository focuses on a specific field or group of fields, where the results of experts in a specific field can be concentrated across organizations
- Multidisciplinary - a repository without restrictions on the field or affiliation of a chicken organization. (e.g. Zenodo…)
The author further publishes his articles in journals with a subscription-based approach or in open journals, but at the same time stores and makes full texts available in an open digital repository (so-called self-archiving). The conditions of self-archiving (ie whether the author can publish the article, which version and under what conditions) are given by the license agreement (License Agreement or Copyright Transfer Agreement).
Usually, the publisher imposes a several-month embargo on autoarchiving. This means that the author can save and publish the article in the repository only after the expiration of this embargo. Whether or not the publisher allows auto-archiving can be found out directly in the contract or on the SHERPA / RoMEO database website.
The Green Open Acces combines publishing in scientific journals (closed and open) and storing (autoarchiving) an article in an open repository. Autoarchivation is governed by the terms and conditions of the magazine.
How to publish using the Green Open Access?
Step 1: Find out the conditions of self-archiving in a certain journal
Before publishing the article itself, first find out under what conditions and whether the article can be saved and published in an open repository (autoarchive). The terms and conditions are usually set in the contract with the publisher in the License Agreement or Copyright Transfer Agreement.
If you do not have a contract, look at the autoarchive policy:
- on the magazine / publisher's website
- to SHERPA / RoMEO, where you can find publishing policies of publishers of specific journals
What can be done if the publisher does not allow auto-archiving? You can request an exception through an addendum to the contract. You can find a sample form, for example, on the European Commission's website.
Step 2: Publish the article in the selected journal
When storing and making an article available in the repository, it is necessary to follow the conditions set by the publisher (see the signed contract or the autoarchiving policy of the magazine / publisher).
The self-archiving policy primarily stipulates:
- What can be autoarchived - ie. which version of the article the author is entitled to openly make available. For scientific articles, we distinguish three types of versions: preprint, postprint, publishing version.
- When an article can be autoarchived in a repository - due to the exclusivity of content distribution, the publisher can set a time embargo on publication. In this case, it is possible to save the article to the repository, but the open publication can take place only after the specified period has elapsed.
- Where the article can be auto-archived - in which type of repository can the article be auto-archived: institutional,devided by subjects etc.
In the extreme case, the publisher allows the article to be published only on the author's personal website - but this is not the preferred method, as long-term protection and availability is not ensured on traditional websites.
To fully open your article, it is advisable to publish the article under any of the public licenses.
The Golden Open Access is based on publication in peer-reviewed open scientific journals. In the case, open access to the publication is provided by the publisher. The end user no longer bears any financial burden and does not have to pay for the information. However, the publishing process and the peer-review process are not free, they cost several thousand dollars.
We distinguish 3 basic types of open journals:
- Clean open journals.
The complete content of the journal is openly available, the costs associated with publishing are borne by the publisher (eg university publishers, the scientific community through grants, sponsors' grants, etc.). Publishing purely open magazines is referred to as the so-called platinum access. For example, in 2021, the European Commission opened the Open Research Europe platform. It offers content publishing by maintaining quality control thanks to an established peer-review procedure. It does not charge authors fees for publishing scientific articles, and at the same time the end user has free access to articles.
- Paid open journals
The complete content of the journal is openly available, the costs associated with publishing the article are borne by the author - a publication fee / article processing charge (APC) is paid.
- Hybrid journals
The journal is available to subscribers by default, only selected articles where the author pays a publishing fee / article processing charge (APC) are openly available
Example: Elsevier, Springer magazines
Users can use the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to find a suitable open journal to publish their article or to search the literature.
How to publish using the Gold Open Access?
Step 1: Find a suitable open magazine to publish
There are currently thousands of open magazines from various fields and areas. In addition to the field focus, however, these magazines also differ from each other in the chosen business model. We distinguish between basic models of open journals: pure open journals, paid open journals, hybrid journals. Journals, the content of which is available free of charge only after the embargo (time delay), are not considered open (Open Access) - they do not meet the condition of immediate access. You can use the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) database to find a suitable open journal to publish your article or to search the literature.
For new / unknown titles, we strongly recommend that you check whether it is a predatory journal.
Step 2: Verify the possibility of obtaining funding for the publication fee
Publishing fees / article processing charges (APCs) are associated with the paid open magazine model and hybrid journals. The amount of fees varies from title to title, and field differences are also significant. APCs can be covered from the budget of the grant or research project (costs for open publishing for the duration of the grant are eligible, eg in projects H2020, ERC, etc.), or from the resources of the workplace (if funds are set aside for these fees).
Step 3: Publish the article to the selected publisher
If you have chosen a suitable open journal (you have checked its quality and in the case of a paid model you have the means to cover publication fees), send a preprint of your article to the editors. Once an article has been reviewed and published, the author no longer has to worry about ensuring open access. In the case of the Gold Open Access, this is provided directly by the publisher on its website. In the DOAJ database, you can find out which magazine uses the Creative Commons (CC) license.
EU-supported projects and other grant agencies promote an open access policy aimed at making the results of EU-funded research available to the widest possible public. To meet the conditions, it is usually possible to use both the gold and green acesses - that is, to make the publication results accessible by publishing in Open Access journals, or by saving the published article in the Open Access repository.
Even when applying for a grant, it is necessary to think about possible higher financial demands and include them in the project. Also later when publishing a professional article or other documents, the author should not forget about the conditions given by the project and adapt the signed license agreement with the publisher to them, so as to allow later storage of publication output in the Open Access repository.
The obligation of open output to scientific publications was introduced in the 7th Research Framework Program of the European Commission. Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) introduced a full obligation of open access. For some projects within Horizon 2020, one can also find a requirement for open access to research data.
Horizon Europe (2021-2027) provides for mandatory open access to publications. Beneficiaries shall ensure that they or the authors retain sufficient intellectual property rights to meet the open access requirements. It also calls for open access to research data, in line with FAIR principles and the principle of… "as open as possible, closed as needed"