Open access to publications

Open access to scientific publications promotes research and society's use of its results. It ensures researchers, business, the public sector and the wider society access to the latest and most updated research.

The Research Council is part of cOAlition S, a coalition of research funders from several continents that sets common international requirements for full and immediate open access to research publications (Plan S).

In line with Plan S, the Research Council requires full and immediate open access to all scientific publications from the projects we fund. The articles should be made available without delay (embargo) and with an open license allowing reuse of the publication.

The requirements apply to projects with funding from calls for proposals in 2021 and onwards.  

Open Publication Guide

The responsibility of the institutions

The Project Owning institution has an obligation to ensure that researchers retain the right to make peer-reviewed versions of all articles that results from projects with RCN-funding openly available, even if the article is published in a "closed" subscription journal.

Further information about the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy can be found here: Plan S Right Retention Strategy.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has developed an institutional rights retention strategy according to the Harvard model, which preserves the UiT's researchers' rights to make peer-reviewed versions of their articles openly available. The strategy is referred to by cOAlition S as an example to follow for other institutions.

Financing of costs for open access publication

The Research Council covers the costs for open access publication as part of the indirect costs (overhead) to the institution where the researcher is employed. Publishing costs for journal articles must therefore not be entered as direct costs in budgets for individual projects.

It is the institutions' responsibility to ensure that the costs of open access publication are covered through the rates from the Research Council.

The Research Council's guidelines for open access to scientific books will be launched in 2022 in line with Plan S.

Publishing costs to "Hybrid OA", i.e., acquiring articles in "closed" subscription journals, are not covered by the Research Council.

The final STIM-OA call for proposals is in 2022

Stimulation measures for open access (STIM-OA) is a scheme introduced by the Research Council in 2014 to fund the research organisations' costs for article fees in open scientific journals. The purpose was to support the transition to open access publication with a general, time-limited instrument, which will be discontinued in 2022.

Apply for funding of open publication costs for the 2021 financial year by September 21

Here's how Stim OA works:

  1. Institutions can apply for reimbursement of costs for open publication regardless of how the research activity is funded
  2. The scheme covers the costs of publishing articles in open journals, so-called Article Processing Charges
  3. The scheme covers up to fifty per cent of the institutions' total costs in arrears
  4. The Research Council does not cover publishing costs for articles as part of the budget for individual projects

More information about open access

On openscience.no you will find more information and many tips on open access and open science in Norway and internationally.

Guidelines for researchers for open access publication

Open access to scientific articles can be achieved in three ways:

  1. Publishing in a fully OA journal or platform
  2. Publishing in journals included in transformative agreements or other transformative arrangements
  3. Publishing in a subscription journal (pure subscription or hybrid) and make a copy of your article (either the Author Accepted Manuscript or the Version of Record) immediately available OA via a repository under a CC-By license

What requirements apply to articles from projects funded in 2021 and beyond?

  • For projects funded through calls for proposals from 2021 and beyond, the Research Council requires that the scientific articles shall be made immediately openly available without delay (embargo).
  • Scientific articles shall be made available with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license CC BY 4.0, alternatively CC BY-SA or CC0. Such a license implies that everyone is free to reuse the article, but requires that the author shall be named (Attribution). As an alternative, a CC BY-SA ("share on equal terms" or CC0 (Public domain dedication) can be used.
  • If necessary, a CC BY-ND license ("No Processing") may be used. Such a license may be relevant where researchers see a need to limit the ability to process a published text. If a CC BY-ND license is used, the Project Owner must provide the academic justification for this in the project's final report.
  • All scientific articles must be made openly available in a suitable open archive no later than at the time of publication by the publisher. The version made available shall be the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or the Version of Record (VoR).
  • It is the Project Owner institution where the researcher is employed that enters into the agreement with the Research Council and shall ensure compliance with the obligations (see General terms and conditions for R&D projects and point 10.1).

What do I need to think about when submitting a manuscript?

  • Check the channel register to see if the journal you want to publish in is part of a transformative agreement or other transformative arrangements and is in line with Plan S.
  • If the journal is open but is not covered by transformative agreements, your institution must pay the publishing fee (gold OA).
  • If the publishing channel is open and free of charge , you can publish (diamond OA).
  • If you want to publish in a "closed" subscription journal, you must attach the following text when you submit the script to the journal:

"This research was funded, in whole or in part, by The Research Council of Norway [6-digit project number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission."

  • Through this text you inform the journal about what contractual terms you have entered into with the Research Council, in line with the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy (see below).
  • cOAlition S has created a letter template that you can use when submitting your manuscript (more info).
  • When publishing: post a peer-reviewed version (Author Accepted Manuscript - AAM) in a suitable open archive without embargo, or if possible the final version of the article (Version of Record – VOR).

cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy in a "nutshell"

  • Researchers freely choose where they want to publish.
  • Researchers retain the right to use and share peer-reviewed article version (Author Accepted Manuscript – AAM).
  • Research is immediately made openly available with a CC BY license and reaches a wider audience more quickly.
  • More information can be found at cOAlition S.

What requirements apply to articles from projects that were financed BEFORE 2021?

  1. All articles from projects funded by the Research Council must be made available in open archives.
  2. The deadline is 6 months after publication for journals in medicine, health, mathematics, natural sciences and technology and 12 months for journals in the humanities and social sciences.
  3. Such disclosure is usually made in connection with the registration and upload of full text in Cristin.

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