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Open Access


How do I get involved? Publishing in Open Access

Which roads to publication exist?


• The 'green road' to Open Access:

Authors self-archive articles that they have already published in traditional journals on a publicly accessible document server. These repositories can be institutional (at the author's university) or subject-based (from the author's discipline). All repositories provide long-term, stable document storage and are indexed by global search enginges such as Google and Google Scholar. Authors thus make their research available to a wider audience. Institutional repositories also showcase an institution's research in a single place.

• The 'gold road' to Open Access:

Here, the author publishes his or her text in a journal which subscribes to the Open Access paradigm. In the case of books, it is also possible to combine Open Access (a free pdf version) and print (book on demand publication). A 'gold' publication is available to everyone free of charge and immediately via the internet.

What do I need to consider? The four key steps:

1. Find a suitable form of publication:

• Do you want to publish in an Open Access journal? The Lund University Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has a list now comprising over 7000 Open Access journals for all academic fields -> continue to point 3.
• Do you want to publish your dissertation electronically? As a University of Bern e-dissertation, your dissertation will be immediately accessible worldwide and in full text (information currently available in German only).
• If you cannot find a suitable Open Access journal, please refer to -> point 2 (safeguarding copyrights) in order to re-publish your research.

2. Safeguarding copyrights:


• You may cross out wording such as the "exclusive" grant of "all" rights – or complete a pre-prepared addendum such as the SPARC addendum (PDF) and attach it to your publishing contract to ensure that your rights are safeguarded. The Scholar's Copyright Addendum also allows you to generate a contract addendum online that is tailored to your publication. The latter is a CreativeCommons license enabling you to manage the rights to your publications effectively and simply.
• You will find more information on your rights as an author and about publishing contracts on the University of Zurich's Open Access website or at SPARC, an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries in America.

3. Arrange financing:

• Some – but by no means all – Open Access journals are financed by means of article processing charges (APCs). The University of Bern has Supporter Membership with PLoS, BioMedCentral and SpringerOpen, which reduces these fees for our researchers by 15%. We will be happy to look into your suggestions for other memberships.
• You will find tips on possible sources of financing in the section "Questions and answers". Contact us for personal advice on financing options.

4. Making your publications accessible:

• Store your publications in a subject-based or institutional repository. If you do not have access to one, you can store them on your website. However, consider that documents on websites are not very easy to find for search engines, whereas the content of document servers is systematically indexed– this increases the visibility of a publication.
• You can find subject-based repositories at OpenDOAR.
• Members of institutions that do not have their own repositories can use orphan repositories. For EU projects, this is OpenAIRE, which also collects data from other repositories - for all others, see for example OpenDepot.
• Find out which version of your publication you are permitted to use for this purpose in the copyright database of the University of Zurich or the SHERPA/ROMEO website, where you can search for publishers and journals.
• You can distribute 'gold' Open Access publications as often as you want to in their original version. In contrast, in the case of traditional journals, you are generally not permitted to use the publisher's PDF for self-archiving – at least not in the original format.
• In the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) there is also a link to SHERPA/ROMEO directly for the journal in question.

The University Library of Bern Open Access Coordination Office will be happy to help you with any questions.

Universität Bern | Universit├Ątsbibliothek - Open Access | Muesmattstr. 27 | 3012 Bern | Tel +41 31 631 95 95 | Fax +41 31 631 92 99
© Universität Bern 2011/12/14 | Imprint


SHERPA/ROMEO shows the allowed archive types for your journal/publisher at a glance