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Changes to funding scheme for journals:

Open access to scientific journals on culture and society

The Research Council of Norway is seeking to make the most recent findings in social science and the humanities easily accessible to all interested parties. To achieve this, changes are being made to the funding scheme for publication of journals.

The Research Council provides funding for the publication of 40 national journals within social science and the humanities, most of which are in Norwegian. Starting in 2017, after a three-year transition period, journals will be required to employ Open Access publishing to be qualified for support. This will entail that articles must be made openly accessible on the Internet without delay.

“National journals in social science and the humanities have great potential to strengthen the foundation for public debate here in Norway. Their articles about Norwegian culture and society can bring valuable knowledge and new perspectives into the public domain. Securing open access to these publications will be of great importance both within and outside the research community,” says Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway.

Photo: Therese Farstad The Research Council provides funding for the publication of 40 national journals within social science and the humanities. (Photo: Therese Farstad) A research policy objective

The journals come from highly academic fields of study, but they are written in a language that is easily comprehensible to readers outside the scientific circle. Making these publications openly accessible will therefore benefit a wide array of user groups, including teachers, students, the media and the public administration, in addition to people who are generally interested in cultural and social affairs. These groups will now be afforded direct access to research findings from social science and the humanities.

The importance of ensuring open access to scientific publications was emphasised as an overall research policy objective in last year’s government white paper on research, Long-term perspectives – knowledge provides opportunity.

More changes ahead in the wake of Open Access

The Research Council plans to continue its funding scheme for Open Access publishing by covering up to 50 per cent of a journal’s operating costs. The present scheme, under which a lump sum is paid out in connection with the conversion to electronic publishing, will be altered as well to cover only the transition to Open Access publishing.

The Research Council is discussing new forms of funding for Open Access journals in Norway with relevant actors. At the same time, a revision is underway of the policy for Open Access for all scientific publication from projects funded by the Research Council. The Council is exploring the possibility of incorporating expenses related to such publications into the ordinary funding allocations from all its research programmes.

Written by:
Christian Lund/Else Lie. Translation: Glenn Wells/Carol B. Eckmann
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