FAQ

Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access, as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative, is the free of charge, immediate, online availability of scientific publications with full re-use rights. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the copyright holder.

Open Access is entirely compatible with peer-review, copyright, revenue, prestige, quality and other services normally associated with conventional scientific literature.

If you want to know what Open Access is all about in 5 minutes, watch the introductory video below.

By SHB Werkgroep Onderzoeksondersteuning and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike.

Is publishing in an Open Access journal the only way to do Open Access?

No.

Publishing in a (pay-to-publish or free-to-publish) Open Access journal constitutes the Gold Road towards Open Access. Open Access works published via the Gold Road are immediately openly accessible and are usually protected by an open licence, such as Creative Commons.

However, there is an alternative way to publish in Open Access, namely the Green Road. The Green Road refers to the parallel publication of a version of the manuscript in an open repository, or self-archiving. Open repositories can be institutional, as our own SERVAL, or disciplinary. The publication is often delayed (embargo period) and allowed only for the author accepted manuscript (AAM), also known as postprint. This is the manuscript accepted for publication (post peer-reviewed), but before all copyediting by the editor. There are no costs for researchers to follow this road.

Below you can find a scheme that shows the available roads to Open Access.

OA EN-resize600x451.png

An Open Access journal has invited me to publish in their journal. How do I know it's a trustworthy publisher?

With the development of OA, parasitic or « predatory » OA journals have started to exploit the « author pays » model. The authors, generally solicited by email, are invited to submit articles, which are systematically accepted after publication fees are payed for, regardless of the scientific value. One must note that this problem exists only for Gold OA journals.

Jeffrey Beall, of the University of Colorado, created in 2008, scholarlyoa.com, a website that contained a list of potentially predatory journals based on 52 criteria. This list was used as a standard until its discontinuation in January 2017. An archived version is still available and other sites have tried to carry the torch. It is also possible to check the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ, to evaluate the credibility of an OA journal.

The recently launched cross-sector initiative called « Think. Check. Submit » is a campaign seeking to help researchers identify journals of quality for their research. It consists of a simple check-list that researchers can use to evaluate journals or publishers. This initiative is an excellent way of fighting against « predatory » journals.

Can I publish my monograph in Open Access?

Yes.

Though article OA is well developed, monograph OA is still in its infancy and practices are much less standardised than for journals. Nevertheless, more and more publishers allow for the OA publication of digital versions of books from the moment of publication (Gold OA). The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) lists academic, peer reviewed Open Access books. OpenEdition is another Open Access Book platform mainly for books in French. Both are excellent sources to get to know the publishers who already publish books in Open Access. The costs of Gold Open Access to books is financed by the SNSF for all swiss-based researchers.

It is also possible to gran Open Access to books through the Green Road, or the self-archiving of the manuscript and its opening after an embargo. In this case, researchers are expected to negotiate with publishers on a case-by-base basis. UNIL researchers can request funding for Green OA for books through the Fonds de publications UNIL.

 

Do Open Access mandates limit academic freedom?

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines academic freedom as "the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate."

From this point of view, Open Access mandates that allow for a mix of Open Access scenarios (namely, a mix of Green and Gold Open Access) should not limit the academic freedom of researchers.

Indeed, by allowing both roads, researchers can choose the most appropriate outlet for their works, and subsequently follow the necessary road to grant Open Access to them. Gold OA allows for the publication in OA journals and books, whereas Green OA allows for the parallel publication of the article in a subscription journal and the author manuscript (or post-print) in an institutional repository.

How can I stay informed about Open Access at UNIL?

Simply fill in the form below with your details!

Open Access mailing list

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Can I deposit my old publications in SERVAL?

In principle, yes, but you must first check which rights you've transfered to your editor.

Use this checklist to know where to find this information and to know if and how the deposit is possible.

Gold Open Access

What is Gold Open Access?

The Gold Road refers to the immediate Open Access publication.

This is possible either through purely Open Access journals, or by agreement with the publisher for books.

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) lists academic, peer reviewed Open Access books. OpenEdition is another Open Access Book platform mainly for books in French. Both are excellent sources to get to know the publishers who already publish books in Open Access.

Open Access works published via the Gold road are usually protected by an open licence, such as Creative Commons.

Academic publishing is not free. Gold Open Access shifts the financial flow towards the editor from the reader to the author. Therefore, Gold Open Access is an "author pays" mode and often (although not always!) implies paying article processing charges (APC) or book processing charges (BPC). APC and BPC of purely Gold Open Access is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

There are no good Open Access journals in my domain. How could I possibly comply with Open Access mandates?

If you have checked the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ and haven't found any relevant journal for the results you would like to publish, you can follow the Green Road to OA.

The Green Road refers to the parallel publication of a version of the manuscript in an open repository, or self-archiving. Open repositories can be institutional, as our own SERVAL, or disciplinary. The publication is often delayed (embargo period) and allowed only for the author accepted manuscript (AAM), also known as postprint. This is the manuscript accepted for publication (post peer-reviewed), but before all copyediting by the editor. There are no costs for researchers to follow this road.

Below you can find a scheme that shows the available roads to Open Access.

OA EN-resize600x451.png

 

Do all Open Access journals charge Article Processing Charges (APC)?

No.

Many OA journals do not charge Article Processing Charges (APC). In fact, 74% of the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ, do not charge APCs.

Publishing is not free. Gold OA journals that don't charge APCs rely on funding from universities, academies, funding agencies, libraries, etc, to function. These are subsidised OA journals and constitute the Platinum OA model in which articles are free to publish and free to read.

Green Open Access

What is Green Open Access?

The Green Road refers to the parallel publication of a version of the manuscript in an open repository, or self-archiving. Open repositories can be institutional, as our own SERVAL, or disciplinary.

The publication is often delayed (embargo period) and allowed only for the author accepted manuscript (AAM), also known as postprint. This is the manuscript accepted for publication (post peer-reviewed), but before all copyediting by the editor.

SHERPA/RoMEO is an excellent resource when trying to learn a publisher's policy on self-archiving. Héloïse is a similar service available for francophone journals.

How can I follow the Green Road at UNIL?

In order to follow the Green Road at UNIL you can use our institutional repository, SERVAL.

Does self-archiving (Green Open Access) violate copyright?

Not as long as you make sure you are depositing and opening the correct version of your manuscript after the embargo period specified by your publisher.

The best way to know which version your publisher allows to deposit and the embargo they require, you can look for the publishing contract you signed when your publication was accepted. Alternatively, SHERPA/RoMEO is an excellent tool to check the standard terms of your publisher. Heloïse is the homologous service for french publishers and journals.

What is an embargo period?

An embargo is a period during which access to academic articles is not allowed to users who have not paid for access (or have access through their institution). The purpose of this is to ensure publishers have revenue to support their activities.

Therefore, in Green Open Access, an embargo period refers to the period of time in which the allowed version of the manuscript must remain closed in the institutional repository after publication. Once the embargo period expires, the manuscript is released and available to everyone.

What is a pre-print?

Pre-print (or Author Submitted Manuscript, ASM): A pre-print is the original version of the manuscript as it is submitted to a journal. It typically is a double spaced .doc file with minimal formatting. It is useful to think of this version as pre-peer review.

Post-print (or Author Accepted Manuscript, AAM): A post-print is a document that has been through the peer review process and incorporated reviewers comments. It is the final version of the paper before it is sent off to the journal for publication. It still looks like the double spaced .doc file. It is useful to think of this version as post-peer review.

Published version/PDF (or Version of Record): This is the version that has been typeset by the publisher and that is published in their website.

Manuscript versions Open Access-resize600x250.png

What is a post-print?

Pre-print (or Author Submitted Manuscript, ASM): A pre-print is the original version of the manuscript as it is submitted to a journal. It typically is a double spaced .doc file with minimal formatting. It is useful to think of this version as pre-peer review.

Post-print (or Author Accepted Manuscript, AAM): A post-print is a document that has been through the peer review process and incorporated reviewers comments. It is the final version of the paper before it is sent off to the journal for publication. It still looks like the double spaced .doc file. It is useful to think of this version as post-peer review.

Published version/PDF (or Version of Record): This is the version that has been typeset by the publisher and that is published in their website.

Manuscript versions Open Access-resize600x250.png

What is SERVAL?

SERVAL (SERveur Académique Lausannois) is our institutional repository. Using SERVAL has many benefits.

SERVAL is a great tool for securely storing your scientific publications and a platform to render them open by following the Green Road. Depositing in SERVAL is compliant with virtually all Open Access mandates.

The aim of SERVAL is twofold:

  • Firstly, it aims at gathering and preserving all the scientific production of UNIL.
  • Secondly, it aims at maximising our researchers' visibility, by enabling them to follow the Green Open Access road.
How do I use SERVAL?

You can check out our short tutorials to learn more about how to use SERVAL.

Open Access funding

Is there a central fund at UNIL for Open Access publishing?

Articles

No. There isn't any central fund to cover Open Access publishing costs for articles at UNIL at this time.

We have, however, an agreement with SpringerOne and Biomed Central which grants UNIL researchers a 15% discount on APCs.

Publication fees in Cogitatio journals fully covered for UNIL corresponding authors

If you do not have funds to follow the Gold Read, we recommend that you follow the Green Open Access road by self-archiving a copy of the manuscript in SERVAL following your publisher's rules on versioning and embargo.

Monographs

Yes, there is UNIL's "Fonds de Publications" for collective works and monographs in Green Open Access.

I am funded by the SNSF. What are my options with respect to publishing in Open Access?

The SNSF has decided to implement Open Access for all publications emanating from SNSF-funded research already as of 2020.

To facilitate this policy, the SNSF has defined a range of measures and issued new regulations, which entered into force on 1 April 2018. These measures focus on the funding of Gold Open Access publication costs (for articles, books and chapters) independently from projects budgets through the introduction of a new Open Access Platform.

Nonetheless, Green Open Access is also compliant with the SNSF's Open Access mandate as long as the embargo period is no longer than 6 monts for articles, and 12 months for books and book chapters.

The SNSF DOES NOT fund hybrid Open Access, although authors are free to use that way.

The regulations on the funding of Open Access publications can be found here (FR). A shorter fact-sheet by the SNSF will be available soon. In the meantime, UNIL provides its researchers with the summary table below:

SNSF-resize600x397.png

I am funded by H2020. What are my options with respect to Open Access publishing?

Articles

Under Horizon 2020, the legal basis for open access is laid down in the Framework Programme and its Rules for Participation. You can find the Guidelines to the Rules on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Open Access to Research Data in Horizon 2020 here.

Factsheet OpenAire-resize282x400.png

Monographs

For your monographs, you can claim the payment of the Gold Open Access Book Publishing Charges (BPC) to the SNSF, even if your research was not funded by them.

You can also apply to UNIL's "Fonds de Publications" for collective works and monographs in Green Open Access.

I am not funded by the SNSF or H2020. What are my options with respect to publishing in Open Access?

Articles

There isn't any central fund to cover Open Access publishing costs for articles at UNIL at this time.

We have, however, an agreement with SpringerOne and Biomed Central which grants UNIL researchers a 15% discount on APCs.

Publication fees in Cogitatio journals fully covered for UNIL corresponding authors.

Monographs

For your monographs, you can claim the payment of the Gold Open Access Book Publishing Charges (BPC) to the SNSF, even if your research was not funded by them.

You can also apply to UNIL's "Fonds de Publications" for collective works and monographs in Green Open Access.

 

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