Plan S - open access to publications

The Research Council aims to ensure that the results of publicly funded research are made available as widely as possible to those who wish to use them. Open access to scientific publications will promote research and society’s use of research results. Open access will grant researchers, the business community and the population at large access to the most up-to-date knowledge, which they can quickly employ.

The Research Council has joined the international coalition, cOAlition S, which is 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.

New requirements for full and immediate open access to publications

In line with the joint international requirements developed by cOAlition S, the Research Council requires all scientific articles from the projects we fund to be made available immediately, which means without embargo and with an open licence that permits reuse of the publication.

Open access to scientific articles can be achieved by three routes:

  • publication in Open Access journals or platforms
  • publication in journals included in transformative arrangements
  • open archiving of an Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) without embargo

Read: The Research Council’s requirements relating to scientific publications (Norwegian pdf only).

The requirements apply to scientific articles. During 2021, cOAlition S will develop joint open access requirements for scientific books and book chapters (monographs and anthologies). When this has been done, the Research Council will introduce requirements for scientific books in line with the recommendations made by cOAlition S.

How do I know that a journal meets the requirements?

cOAlition S is developing an online tool, Journal Checker Tool, which will help researchers to easily identify journals or platforms that enable compliance with the Plan S requirements. The Journal Checker Tool is available in beta version on

You can also find information in The Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers about open access publishing channels, and channels included in transition agreements negotiated by Unit.

Requirements relating to use of open licences

Articles from projects funded by the Research Council must be made available with a Creative Commons licence CC BY 4.0. This type of licence means that everyone is free to reuse the article for any purpose, including commercial, provided proper attribution is given to the author.

Alternatively, a CC BY-SA (‘Attribution ShareAlike’) or CC0 (Public Domain Dedication) can be used. If special grounds so indicate, a CC BY-ND licence (‘Attribution-NoDerivs’) can be used. This type of licence may be relevant in cases where researchers see the need to restrict adaptation of a published text.

Would you like to know more about using Creative Commons licences for researchers?

Retain intellectual property rights

The Research Council’s updated terms of contract, which will apply to new calls for proposals after 1 January 2021, state that Project Owners must ensure that the researchers in projects we fund retain the right to make an Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version available of all articles deriving from the project. Researchers can thus make articles immediately available through an open archive with an open licence, and meet the Plan S requirements although the article has been published in a ‘closed’ subscription journal.

To ensure that publishers are aware of the requirements that apply to each article, researchers must add the following phrase to manuscripts on submission to a journal:

‘This research was funded, in whole or in part, by The Research Council of Norway [6-figure project number]. A CC BY or equivalent licence is applied to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission, in accordance with the grant’s open access conditions.’

What is cOAlition S and Plan S?

cOAlition S is a coalition of research funders from several continents that have joined forces to make joint international requirements for open access to scholarly publications (Plan S). As of October 2020, 25 organisations are members of cOAlition S, and a wide number of organisations support the coalition and the Plan S principles. cOAlition S is supported by the EU Commission, and full and immediate open access requirements will be introduced for the forthcoming framework programme Horizon Europe.

In addition to devising joint open access requirements, cOAlition S is working on a range of measures to help ensure that full and immediate open access becomes standard for scientific publication.

Read more about

Funding scheme for open publication

The Research Council supports the institutions’ costs for open publishing through the Stimulation scheme for open access publications – STIM-OA.

How STIM-OA works

  • Institutions can apply for coverage of open publication costs irrespective of how the research activity is funded.
  • The scheme covers Article Processing Charges (APCs).
  • The scheme only covers APCs in Gold Open Access journals that are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The Research Council does not cover articles publication costs as part of individual projects’ budgets.
  • The scheme will apply up to and including 2022 (for the fiscal year 2021), and calls will be announced once a year. Follow the Research Council’s calls for proposals.

More information about open access

At, you will find more information and lots of tips about open access in Norway and abroad.

The requirements for open access to publications until 1 January 2021

The Research Council currently requires that:

All articles from projects funded by the Research Council are made available in open archives no later than six months after publication for journals in the fields of medicine, health, mathematics, natural science and technology, and 12 months for journals in the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

This is usually done in connection with registering and uploading the full text in Cristin.