How do you make your research OA?

The Association of Swedish Higher Education and National Library of Sweden have signed the Berlin Declaration but as an individual it might not be something you want to do. In this blog post you will find some tips what you as a researcher, librarian, employee of the university or research funder can do to work to make research freely available. The tips come from the official page for Open Access Week 2012.

As a research you could send your article to an open access journal when a suitable journal exists within your area of research. Just make sure it is not a predatory journal and if you are suspicious contact your library for advice. You may also deposit pre-print of your publication in the institutional repository, BADA. You have even deposit the post-print if the publisher allows it. There is some confusion about the terms pre-print and post-print. Pre-print in this case refers to the version of your article which has not yet gone through peer review and post-print refers to the version which has gone through peer review and possible changes are med but the article is still missing the publishers layout and typeface. Close to 80% of all publishers allow you to upload post-print to your institutional repository. Just remember never to transfer copyright; the publisher does not need the copyright to publish your article or make money of it. If the publisher does not allow you to retain your copyright you should consider if this is a publisher you want to work with. If you still want to publish in one of their journals make sure you at least retain the right to deposit post-print in your institutional repository. A few more tips for researchers.

If your organization does not have an institutional repository you might want to start working for implementing one. If your organization does not have their own repository you might want to look in to the orphan repositories and recommend these to your researchers who want to make their research available for all. You might also want to help researcher to register and upload publications in the repository. You might even want to discuss the options researchers have to publish in an open access journal and the benefits of open access publishing (e.g. results will be used quicker, everyone has access to research, and there will be more citations). A few more tips for librarians.

Even research funders can support open access. A lot of research funder are already demanding open access publishing for all research funded by them (among others National Health Institution, Wellcome Trust, Swedish Research Council, World Bank). Of course there can be exceptions to the rule if research is classified top secret or if there is a patent application pending or that research results are expected to generate income. Research funders might offer to pay for the article processing charge, sponsor open access journals or help these journals cover costs for researchers from countries and institutions with poor economic situation. A few more tips for research funders.

Universities and administrators can also work for open access. They can do this by implementing a policy which supports open access publishing. University of Borås policy can be found here. It could be made clearer when it comes to open access publishing and that researchers should always aim not to transfer their copyright. A few more tips for university and administrators.

In other words there is a lot an individual, in some cases in co-operation with other, can do to promote open access.

Text: Pieta Eklund

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