Open access (OA) means that research results and publications are made freely accessible online. Publishing open access is supported by universities, research funders, organisations and publishers all over the world. Since 2005 researchers at Lunds University are expected to, when possible, publish open access, see the Vice-Chancellor's decision from November 2005 [PDF in Swedish, opens i new window], and the latest policy was confirmed in June 2021: Open-access policy for publications and artistic works [PDF, opens in new window].
Increasingly, research funders require that publicly funded research is made free and openly accessible. There is often a policy in place that stipulates how (gold, green or hybrid), and when (immediately or after an embargo period), the access may take effect. In many cases, costs for publication fees are covered by the funder, the costs are often included in the budget in the initial funding application.
Different paths to open access
When you publish directly with an open access publisher. This usually means that you have to pay an APC (Article Processing Charge) or a BPC (Book Processing Charge).
When self-archiving, you make your published or accepted publication freely available by uploading a full text version to an institutional repository or research information system, such as LUCRIS or to an open archive.
If you own the copyright to your publication, you have the right to self-archive the latest version of the publication. In addition, self-archiving may be permitted through an agreement or a policy.
Usually, there are restrictions on how the publication may be disseminated. For instance, sometimes you may only self-archive a certain version or there may be an embargo period before self-archiving is permitted.
When you publish in a subscription-based journal or with a traditional publisher, and pay a fee (APC/BPC) to make your publication freely available.
Self-archiving at Lund University
When signing an agreement with the publisher, make sure that you retain the right to self-archive.
Many international publishers have general policies for self-archiving. These can usually be found in the SHERPA/RoMEO service, where you can search for the names of journals or publishers for more information.
If the agreement does not allow self-archiving, try contacting the publisher and ask for permission.
Lund University Libraries on copyright and a letter template etc
Rights to disseminate (licenses and agreements)
The level of 'open' in open access can vary in terms of how the end user may reuse the publication.
At the most basic level, the end user is permitted to read the publication, at no cost, on the web. Often, what is permitted beyond that, such as copying, sharing, reusing, modifying, is specified with a Creative Commons license.
Journals and publishers often have different terms and conditions for copyright and self-archiving. Using SHERPA/RoMEO, you can check which terms apply to a specific journal. Do check when the information was updated last and read the terms on the journal/publisher's own website if there is any uncertainty.
Find the right publishing channel
The easiest way to publish OA is to start with selecting a channel, publisher or journal that supports and publishes OA.
- OA journals are to a great extent registered in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals
- DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) provides a searchable index to peer-reviewed books published under an open license.
- Publishers that publish OA books are listed in, for example, Open Access Directory.
- OAPEN contains open access books, especially within the humanities and social sciences.
Dubious OA Publishers
Unfortunately, researchers sometimes get offers to publish OA by predatory publishers. Please get in touch if you have any questions or want us to take a look at a particular publisher.
Publication Fees (APC/BPC)
An increasing number of journals and publishers offer authors some model of publishing OA. Many, but far from all OA publications are financed via so called article processing charges (APC) or book processing charges (BPC).
The fees vary, but around 1500 USD is an often quoted figure for publishing in an OA journal. Publishing via the hybrid model may cost twice that, cirka 3000 USD/article. The book processing charges also vary, much depending on which type of license the author selects.
Here are some of the main publishers' article processing charges, with links to information and terms: Overview APC (December 2020)(PDF, opens in new window).
We also compiled the corresponding information on a few main publishers' book processing charges: Overview BPC (November 2020)(PDF, opens in new window).
Funds for publication fees
The University Library administers funds that can be used to pay APCs in all OA journals that meet certain quality requirements. Publications in hybrid journals or with delayed OA will not be granted funding. Publishing OA is then instead funded by the author, their department or through external funding.
The University Library on applying for funds for publication fees
Researchers affiliated to Lund University can, as of June 2019, apply for funding to make books OA (monographs and anthologies). If the OA publishing of a book is already fully funded, funding is not granted. Part of the funding may be granted.
The Libraries at Lund University on the conditions for the book fund
Lund University has a number of agreements with publishers that provide discounts on author fees or publishing in OA or hybrid journals at no cost to the author.
Journals included in the current publisher agreements are found by using the search service SciFree, where all journal titles are listed: Find journals included in current publisher agreements.