Open Access publishing

The library can help you with Open Access publishing. Publishing Open Access means that your research is open and available for a larger audience.

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  1. Open access gives you greater visibility:
    When research output is published openly and free of charge, it has potential to reach more people than that published behind a paywall. Publications behind a paywall are only available to those at an institution with a budget that allows for subscriptions.
  2. It’s required in Plan S:
    Plan S was launched in the autumn of 2018, but in Norway, the requirements apply from 2021. The Research Council of Norway (Forskningsrådet) states that research based on grant applications submitted after January 1, 2021, must be made openly available immediately, and with an open license.
  3. Open Access is economically advantageous:
    Since the 1990s the price of peer reviewed journals has increased by far more than the consumer price index. More and more of the libraries’ budgets goes towards paying for these journals, which affects the rest of their services.
    With Open Access it’s customary to demand payment from the author, instead of the readers through subscriptions. This is known as gold open access. Reputable journals will ask for payment (APC) after the article has been peer reviewed and accepted. It’s not possible to buy space in a quality journal if the article isn’t good enough. For most institutions it will be less expensive to pay APCs than it is now to pay subscription fees, and in any case, for many journals the APC is woven into the Sikt agreement, which means the author doesn’t have to pay.
    Many reputable open access journals never charge APCs, this is known as diamond or platinum open access.
  4. The author retains the rights to their own work:
    Traditional journals usually require authors to sign over the copyright to the articles they publish, so the author has to give up the rights. Most open access journals let the author(s) keep the copyright.

Over the last few years, we have seen that publishing open access has become increasingly expensive, and in many cases the cost of article processing charges (APC) has become unsustainable. 

Open access to publications is still very much the goal for many excellent reasons, but something needs to change. That’s why The University of Stavanger (UiS) has introduced a new rights retention strategy. 

In short:   

  • With the rights retention strategy UiS keeps non-exclusive rights on behalf of its authors to scientific journal publications.  
  • The intention is to move the rights to publications from publishers back to researchers.
  • "Green" open access, i.e., self-archiving, is encouraged, paying for hybrid journals is discouraged.  
  • You should upload a version of your article to the UiS repository straight away, with no embargo (i.e., no delayed access) 
  • Apply a Creative Commons license to the article 
  • The policy is in line with requirements from Horizon Europe, the Research council of Norway, as well as universities abroad and in Norway. 
  • UiS authors can obtain an exception for an article.

When self-archiving, you can either upload the final, published pdf (Version of Record) or the Author accepted manuscript (AAM, or post-print), depending on the journal you have published in. 

If the journal is fully open access, you can choose the final pdf, if it’s a hybrid journal with no publisher’s agreement, you need to choose the author accepted manuscript; see below for an explanation: 


Articles should be uploaded through Cristin, and they will be transferred to the repository from there. (For now – a new national system is coming this year, which will combine the current research information system (CRISTIN) and the Brage repository, into one system.) 

Anyone who wishes to opt out for an article can simply notify the library, and the normal copyright rules will apply. However, if your research is funded by the Research council of Norway or the as part of the Horizon Europe framework program, you need to comply with the requirement to provide “full and immediate access”- In that case, you will need to make your article open access either by publishing in an open access journal or by self-archiving. 

How to self-archive in two easy steps

  1. Go to Cristin and find or register the relevant article. Then click on “Submit full-text document”:

On page two, tick the buttons for consent, and choose document type from drop down menu – either VoR or AAM: 

submitting publications

The university library manages the support of open access journal publishing.

From 2022, the faculties will cover the cost of open access publishing when there is an article processing charge (APC) to be paid in a gold (fully open access) journal. The university library will manage the applications as before.

Support will only be awarded for articles in journals, not books, reports, or any other type of publication. Note that many journals from major scientific publishers are included in publisher agreement (read and publish agreement), which could mean that you don’t have to pay an APC, or that you get a discount on the APC if you publish in a MDPI, SAGE or Frontiers journal.

Submit your application.

Criteria for receiving funding support:

  1. The fund covers article processing charges in OA journals which provide immediate access to the full text of the article (without embargoes).
  2. Extra expenses are not covered (e.g. colour, illustrations etc.)
  3. Articles in journals that charge a subscription fee are not eligible, or articles in journals offer an “open choice” option (i.e., no hybrid).
  4. Articles reporting on research that was supported by external funders are not covered.
  5. The journals must be accepted at level 1 or 2 in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers, and registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  6. The article must be accepted by, but not yet published in, the journal before the application can be approved.
  7. The full text of the article should also be uploaded in Cristin, and eligible to be posted in UiS Brage.
  8. The corresponding author should be associated with the University of Stavanger, and this must be stated on the article.
  9. The amount should be approved by the head of department in advance.
  10. There is no deadline for applications, we review applications as they come in.

The guidelines:

  1. The guidelines are determined by the Open Science group.
  2. The decisions of the University library are final and cannot be appealed against.

The Sikt consortium has negotiated with many of the major journal publishers, also known as transformative agreements. These represent a transition from earlier subscription agreements with publishers. UiS now only pays one sum, which covers the right to read and publish without any further article processing charges, or with a discount.

These are currently the valid agreements. There are in most cases no more quotas, so no limits on the number of articles published under the agreements, but a few titles will be excluded.

These are the relevant deals for UiS:

  • Elsevier: Unlimited free publishing in hybrid journals, 15% off APCs in gold journals 2022-24
  • Springer: Unlimited free publishing in hybrid journals, 10% off APCs in gold journals 2022-24
  • Taylor & Francis: Free publishing in hybrid journals, 10% off APCs in gold journals 2023-24.
  • Sage: Unlimited free publishing in hybrid journals, 20 % off APCs in gold journals, 2023.
  • Wiley: Unlimited free publishing in hybrid journals, 15% off APCs in gold journals, 2023.
  • American Chemical Society. Unlimited free publishing in gold and hybrid journals, 2023-24.
  • Cambridge University Press. Unlimited free publishing in gold and hybrid journals, 2023-24.
  • MDPI & Frontiers: These are OA publishers, and they provide a discount on APCs. Frontiers 10% and MDPI 20%. Approval from head of institute/department is required in advance. See “UiS Publishing support” and submit application.

So what can you do when you need to publish openly in a subscription journal and there is no agreement?

You can either pay the article processing charge (APC) with your own funds (research funds), or achieve open access by self-archiving, i.e., so-called “green” open access. We advocate self-archiving because of the spiraling costs of so-called “hybrid” publishing, and self-archiving is free, but still meets funders’ requirements.

If you choose the latter, you can publish without open access in the journal, behind the paywall, but you must upload the «author accepted manuscript» (“post-print”) in Cristin. When you upload the full text in Cristin, it will be harvested by the institutional repository, UiS Brage.

If you want to self-archive, that only takes a minute to do, but you must choose the accepted manuscript, and they might ask you to wait before we can make it open.

It is still possible to get the APCs covered if you publish in a fully open access (“gold”) journal. See UiS Publishing support for more information.

Open Access is literature that is openly available online, and which can be read and downloaded free of charge.

There are four types of open access:

  • Gold: Publishing in a journal which is open but requires an article processing charge (APC) to be paid. These journals are not limited to subscribers, and anyone interested can read them. If the journal you choose is not covered by a Sikt agreement, you can apply to the library for funds to cover the APC. The publishing fund covers costs up to 20 000 NOK per article.
  • Green: This is the self-archiving approach. You can add articles and other publications to an open access scholarly repository, such as UiS Brage. Upload to Brage via Cristin.
  • Diamond / platinum:  If the journal is fully open access but doesn’t charge any article processing charges (APC), it’s known as diamond or platinum OA.
  • Hybrid: This refers to publishing in journals which have subscription fees, but will make articles open access on request, in return for an APC. The UiS publishing fund does not cover the APC in hybrid journals. You should check if the journal you want to publish in is covered by a Sikt agreement which allows you to choose open access without paying the APC.

The main principle of Plan S is that all scholarly publications on the results from publicly funded research must be made immediately available with open access. This means that must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through an open access repository, such as UiS Brage. It’s also possible to do both – publish in an open access journal and then archive the article in Brage.

The Research Council’s updated terms of contract applies to new calls for proposals after 1 January 2021 which means that after that, researchers must adhere to the principles of Plan S. The Research council and cOAlition-S provide more information.

You can use Journal Checker Tool: Plan S Compliance Validator to check if the journal you want to publish in meets the criteria. Enter information about the journal, the funder and institution, and you’ll find out if the demands are met. It’s very important that the journal is fully open access, allows for hybrid open access or permits immediate self-archiving in an open access repository (like Brage).

If it’s necessary to pay an article processing charge (APC) to publish articles, the research council clearly states that it’s up to the institution to pay, rather than the individual researcher. For now, in most cases, the problem will resolve itself if the journal is covered by a Sikt agreement, or the journal and the author are eligible for support from the UiS publishing fund.

Archiving is done via Cristin. If the article is published with open access and a Creative Commons license, you can upload the final PDF from the publisher (“Version of Record”). Otherwise, you need to choose the “Author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) / Postprint.”

With traditional publishing, the author transfers the copyright to the publisher. With Open Access, the author normally keeps the copyright.

It’s often possible to upload a copy of an article published in a traditional journal without open access in an institutional archive, such as UiS Brage. Publishers have different rules for the option to make a copy available online. If you want to know what options you have with regards to a particular journal or publisher, you can check the database Sherpa/Romeo.

Not all publishers or journals are found in this database. If you’d like to know what applies in a particular case, you can contact Linda Johnsen or John David Didriksen at the library.

In Directory of Open Access Journals you can search for journals and articles which are freely available online.

Within Open Access a market for disreputable actors has emerged. Those should be avoided. Here is some advice on how to ensure the quality of a journal before submitting your article.

Open Access journals are published openly on the internet, so everyone can access them. This is considered the major benefit of Open Access, but when anyone can publish whatever they want, it can be tempting to attempt fraud. Authors may need to pay an APC (Article Processing Charge) to publish in Open Access journals, so there is an opportunity for fraudulent publishers to make some easy money.

We are aware that scientists at UiS get e-mails with requests to contribute to disreputable journals. Our advice is to be wary of unfamiliar journals marketing themselves via e-mail. They are not always predatory, and it is not unusual to pay an APC for open access, but be highly critical!

Some publishers have in the past been particularly aggressive; they are Lambert Publishing, Omics International and David Publishing. They are no worse than other predatory publishers, but they have been targeting UiS researchers. If you receive an e-mail from any of them, you can safely ignore it.

There are different ways to assess the quality of journals. If the journal can be found in the Norwegian register of approved scientific publication channels, it is a good sign that it is of acceptable quality.

Quality checklist for journals:

  • If the journal is in the Directory of Open Access Journals it will most often be serious, but it is advisable to double check against NSD.
  •  If the publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association that is a good sign. They do not acknowledge unserious publishers.
  • Make some inquiries: Does the journal look serious? Are the articles relevant? Does the editors have education / Experience within the subject area? Is the e-mail coming from a journal that is valid for your subject area, or far from it? This website can help you.
  • Is the timeline plausible? If they offer a very fast peer review, ask yourself if it is realistic that the work can be done properly in such a short time.
  • Predatory journals will often choose a title very similar to an existing quality journal to make people think that’s the journal they are dealing with. It’s a good idea to check if the ISSN is for the journal you think it is.

Please contact us if you are unsure about a particular journal. We will check whether the journal keeps an acceptable level.

UiS Brage is the university's open archive for scientific works in full text. The archive contains master's theses and scientific articles produced by students and staff at UiS. The author retains the right to everything made available through Brage, but agrees that the publication can be read, printed, cited, disseminated, and freely used. Everything in the Brage and other Norwegian repositories is harvested by Nora.

All staff should make their articles and other scientific publications available in UiS Brage. Upload the full text in Cristin, which is harvested by Brage.

Please note that if you haven’t published in an open access journal, you might only be allowed to upload the post-print, also known as the author accepted manuscript. i.e. the last version of an article that was sent to the publisher before publication in the journal and accepted. The library will ensure that the copyright is respected.

PhD theses in the repository

We want to publish the PhD theses (dissertations) in UiS Brage, as this is research at a higher level which otherwise will reach very few people. It’s also useful for PhD candidates to have a digital copy of their thesis, to use for instance when applying for other positions.

In many theses or dissertations, journal articles make up an important part of it. These will not be made available unless it’s permitted by the publisher. The library always checks this, and will request permission or if necessary, publish the introductory part of the thesis without the articles.
The theses or dissertations will also be made available through the UiS Scholarly Publishing Services.

Increasingly, demands are also being made for open access to scolarly books. The Research Council of Norway recommends that books resulting from funded research are made openly available at the time of publishing, and no later than 12 months after the first publication date. It is permitted to use project funds to pay for open publication of books. Horizon Europe has similar requirements for releases supported by them.  
Publication in UiS Scholarly Publishing Services meets these requirements. Peer review is not required on this platform, but a scientific level is expected. Because of this, USPS is not a research point-giving publication channel.

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Questions about Open Access? Contact us:

Please contact us if you have any questions about Open Access, the UiS publishing fund, copyright, predatory journals or UiS Brage.

We encourage staff at UiS to publish articles and other scientific publications in UiS Brage.
Before publishing your work in UiS Brage you must sign a contract and send it to Linda Johnsen.

Senior Librarian
Division of Research
Stavanger University Library
Senior Librarian
Division of Research
Stavanger University Library
Division of Research
Stavanger University Library