Open Access Policy - FAQs
Open Access Basics
- What is Open Access?
Open Access means making research publications freely available online. There are no payment restrictions on open access publications, so everyone can read them. There are two types of open access, Gold and Green (see questions 4 and 5).
- What are the reasons to publish in Open Access?
Open Access ensures that your work reaches the widest possible audience, and that your fellow researchers can use and share it easily. It benefits authors by making your work easily accessible and therefore more likely to be read and cited by people who do not have access to subscription journals. Open Access benefits society by making research available for all, and it is not dependent on the ability to cover the subscription costs. Finally, Open access is required by some of CRG’s main funders, including the EU, MINECO and NIH.
- What is the policy of the CRG on Open Access?
The CRG believes that fast, free and unrestricted access to scientific information is a key driver of progress, which ensures that research benefits the widest possible audience and contributes to accelerated discovery, public enrichment and multi-disciplinary innovation. As a publicly-funded institute, the CRG is dedicated to make the outputs from its research publicly available – not just to other researchers, but also to potential users in business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general public. The CRG is therefore committed to providing Open Access to all its published research.
Ways to publish Open Access
- What is Gold Open Access route?
Gold Open Access makes your publication openly available on the journal's website as soon as it is published. You can choose to publish in a wholly open access journal, or a subscription journal with an open access option. The peer-review process remains the same.
To cover the costs of gold OA, publishers normally charge a fee to the author or their institution, known as the Article Processing Charge (APC).
- What is Green Open Access route?
Green Open Access makes your publication freely available through an Open Access repository. The peer-review process of publishing a paper with a subscription journal remains the same, but a version of the paper is available through a green open access route. The journal publisher dictates which version of the paper is allowed to be archived in this way, as they generally hold the copyright for the final published version. Most of the Life Science journals allow Green Open Access after a 6 or 12 month embargo from the final publication date, but only allow the post-print version to be archived in the Open Access repository. This may vary from one publisher to another.
This option has no extra cost.
- What is an Embargo Period?
Some publishers only permit Green Open Access after an embargo period, which can vary from 6 to 24 months. The CRG, as well as main funding bodies including the EU, accepts a maximum embargo period of 6 months
- Which route is recommended by the CRG?
The CRG highly encourages that publications be made available in Open Access via the Gold Open Access route. If publication in Gold Open Access is not possible, the researcher may opt for the Green Open Access route, provided that that the embargo is not exceeding the 6 months after final publication date.
- What should I do if the journal does not allow me to publish in Open Access?
Some journals do not allow Green or Gold Open Access. The CRG does not wish to prevent researchers from submitting their publications to the most appropriate journal and therefore, in exceptional circumstances, the researchers may publish in a journal that does not comply with the policy. Please contact the Scientific Documentalist if you think the journal does not allow Open Access.
- What are Hybrid Journals?
Hybrid journals are subscription journals that both collect subscription fees for their journal and offer an option for an author to pay a fee to make their article freely available outside via Gold Route. The hybrid option only addresses a single article based on the choice of the authors to pay an additional fee to liberate their paper. The hybrid model makes an article OA, not the journal.
- How can I make an informed decision on where to publish based on journal Open Access policy?
It is a challenging topic. Open Access encompasses a range of components such as readership, reuse, copyright, posting, and machine readability. Within these areas, publishers and funding agencies have adopted many different policies, some of which are more open and some less open. For example, a policy that allows anyone to read an article for free six months after its publication is more open than a policy that creates a twelve month embargo; it is also less open than a policy that allows for free reading immediately upon publication. This could also be said to apply to the licensing scheme: CC-BY allows the reader to do far more than, say, CC BY-NC-SA or a licence with the ND clause.
A useful resource to understand the spectrum of ‘openness’ is the following Open Access Guide, developed by SPARC and PLOS, that will help you understand the core components of Open Access and help you make an informed decision. Sherpa RoMEO contains publishers’ general policies on self-archiving of journal articles and certain conference series. Each entry provides a summary of the publisher’s policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.
CRG Open Access Requirements
- I am about to publish a paper. What steps should I take?
- First, check what the Open Access requirements of your funder and whether Open Access options are allowed by the journal. You can normally find it in Author’s Guide provided by the journal, or alternatively on Sherpa RoMEO. In case of doubts you can also check with the CRG Scientific Documentalist.
- If you have funds available and the journal allows it, you should choose Gold Open Access route:
- You should cover the costs with funds from your grant.
- Inform the Scientific Documentalist that your paper was published so that it can be included in the repository.
- You do not need to take any other steps if you publish with Gold Open Access.
- If you do not have funds available or the journal does not allow Gold Open Access, you should publish following the Green Open Access route:
- First, save the post-print version of your publication for archiving.
- Check the journal’s embargo for the scientific publications (it normally varies from 6 to 12 months after the final publication date).
- If the journal’s embargo is 6 months or less you can archive it in Green Open Access. Send the post-print version of your publication to the Scientific Documentalist, no longer than 7 days after the final acceptance of your paper.
- If the journal’s embargo is longer than 6 months, contact the Scientific Documentalist to see whether there are any other options available.
- I am about to apply for a grant. What should I do?
Check with your grant officer whether you can include Gold Open Access costs in your grant proposal. If the funding body allows it, you are required to budget for Gold Open Access costs for all the publications you might publish under this project.
- When does my publication have to become Open Access?
All research articles published in peer-reviewed journals in which researchers affiliated to the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) or National Centre for Genomic Analysis (CNAG-CRG) are listed as First or Last authors must be deposited as electronic copy in an Open Access repository as soon as possible and not later than six months after the final date of publication.
- Is Open Access obligatory for papers that do not have CRG first or last author?
While Open Access is not obligatory for collaborative papers without first or last CRG authors, the institute still recommends it as a preferred way to publish research. You also must make sure that you comply with your funder’s requirements on Open Access.
- Can I still publish where I wish?
Yes. The CRG does not wish to prevent researchers from submitting their publications to the most appropriate journal and therefore, in exceptional circumstances, the researchers may publish in a journal that does not comply with the policy. In that case, please inform the Scientific Documentalist first.
- What happens if I do not comply?
All CRG members are required to comply with the CRG Open Access policy. The CRG reserves the right to take appropriate action against any employee who does not comply with this policy.
Funding Bodies’ requirements
- Does my funder require me to publish in Open Access?
Most likely, yes. However, please check your funder’s requirements on Open Access with your Grant Officer or the Scientific Documentalist.
- If I comply with the CRG policy on Open Access, is there anything else I should do to fulfill my funder’s requirements?
The CRG Open Access Policy was designed to fulfill the Open Access requirements of the main funding bodies. However, in some cases you might need to archive your publication in a grant-specific repository. Please check with your Grant Officer or the Scientific Documentalist in case of any doubts.
- My grant does not oblige me to publish in Open Access. Am I still required to make my publications Open Access?
Yes, even if the funding body does not oblige you to publish in Open Access, you are still required to comply with the CRG Open Access Policy.
- The European Research Council (ERC) recommends me to use Europe PubMed Central (PMC) or ArXiv to archive my publications. What should I do?
You should try to comply with the ERC’s recommendations. However, it is not yet obligatory to include your publication in other repositories, provided that you have correctly archived it in the CRG institutional repository.
- I have already archived my publication in Europe PMC, ArXiv or other Open Access repository. Do I still have to include it in the CRG institutional repository?
Yes, even if you have already included your publication on other platforms, you are still obliged to archive it in the CRG Institutional Repository, which serves as a single point of entry for all CRG publications.
- How should I acknowledge that my funder paid the Gold Open Access fees in my paper?
You must include correct acknowledgements of the funding bodies that sponsored your research in all your scientific publications. The required acknowledgements might vary from one funding body to another, and even from one year to another. If you have doubts on how to acknowledge your grant, contact the Scientific Documentalist.
- If I comply with the CRG policy on Open Access, is there anything else I should do to fulfill my funder’s requirements?
In majority of cases, the CRG Open Access policy covers the requirements of funding bodies. If you have any doubts, contact your Grant Officer or the Scientific Documentalist.
CRG Institutional Repository & Archiving
- How can I deposit my publication in the CRG Institutional Repository?
To archive your publication in the CRG Institutional Repository you should send the post-print version to the Scientific Documentalist no longer than 7 days after the date of final acceptance by the journal. If you publish in Gold Open Access, you should inform the Scientific Documentalist that your paper was published so that it can be included in the repository.
- What is a post-print?
Post-print is normally the accepted manuscript: i.e. the paper as accepted for publication, including all changes resulting from peer-review, but not necessarily incorporating the publisher’s formatting or layout. This is the version of the paper released as Green Open Access. You should always self-archive post-prints of your publications.
- Does putting a post-print version of my article in the CRG Institutional Repository enable me to comply with funder Open Access mandate?
Unless otherwise specified, yes. The CRG Institutional Repository, hosted at the UPF, was designed to comply with the funding bodies’ requirements for Open Access.
- My paper was not included in the CRG Institutional Repository. What should I do?
Contact the Scientific Documentalist to include your publication in the repository. If you have already sent it and it does not appear, it might be due to the embargo period specified by the journal.
- What version of my work should I self-archive?
As the general rule, you should self-archive the post-print version of the publication.
- Why can’t I make the published version of my paper Open Access via Green Route?
Publishing in Open Access of the final PDF of your paper might be violating publisher’s copyright. As the general rule you should only archive post-print version of your publication (“accepted manuscript”).
- Is it allowed by the journals to publish my paper in the CRG Institutional Repository?
Most journals will permit depositing a copy of an article into the CRG Institutional Repository. There might be a condition such as an embargo period. As a general rule of thumb publishers permit the post-print version (i.e. the final version with all changes following peer-review included) to be disseminated in the institutional repository. However, it is strongly recommend that you check the actual journal’s policy (usually found under ‘Authors’ Guide’) or ask the Scientific Documentalist for help.
- What if I leave CRG? Should I move all my publications to my new institution’s repository?
If you move to a new institution but you are still publishing work that is the result of research done at the CRG, you are expected to comply with this policy.
Common practice is for researchers to submit items to their local repository whilst they are a member of staff at that university. When they move to a new institution, the paper will remain in that repository. The papers can usually be linked to for example, from personal or departmental web pages. The CRG Institutional Repository offers a stable handle for its archived manuscripts.
- What is the cost of publishing in Gold Open Access?
The average cost of publishing via Gold Open Access route ranges between €2.000 and €3.000, however some journals might charge up to €5.000.
- Is there any cost associated to publishing in Green Open Access?
No. Archiving papers via Green Open Access is, by definition, free of additional charges.
- How can I cover the costs of Gold Open Access?
Provided that the funder allows it, you must cover the Open Access fees from your grant’s budget.
- What if I did not include the estimated cost of the Gold Open Access fees in my grant proposal and I can no longer request it?
All publications published after January 1, 2016 and financed by past projects are still expected to comply with the CRG Open Access Policy. If you do not have funds to cover the Gold Open Access fees, you might need to consider the Green Route.
- Can the CRG pay my Gold Open Access fees?
In exceptional circumstances the CRG will consider payment of the Gold Open Access fee for publications with the CRG as first or last author.
- Which copyright license should I use?
The CRG recommends that authors publish research articles with a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC) license, which permits a broad range of future uses without the requirement of seeking prior permission from the author(s), but excludes the commercial use. This license requires attribution to the author(s).
- Where can I find more information on Creative Commons licences?
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Their copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use creative work — on conditions of the creator’s choice. For more information – see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/.
- Can I still publish my work under the CC-BY or other licenses?
Yes, while the CRG recommends the use of CC-BY-NC license, you may still select the license that you find most appropriate for your work.
- Who should I contact in case of any questions?
If you have any questions regarding Open Access publishing, contact Mary Hirsch, the Scientific Documentalist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or extension 1184.