1 - What is Open Access ?
Open Access is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. Open Access includes the outputs that scholars normally give away for free for publication; it includes peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds. Open Access provides the means to maximise the visibility and availability, and thus the uptake and use, of research outputs.We have collected a number of Open Access resources here: Related Links
2 - Why Open Access?Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research; and more generally, for sustained progress in society. Access can be greatly improved. The digitising of research results and digital publication in recent decades represents a fundamental shift away from the “age of paper”. Improved access is the basis for the transfer of knowledge (teaching), knowledge generation (research), and knowledge valorisation (civil society). The central idea is that the results of publicly financed research should be available to the public.
3 - What is OpenAIRE?
OpenAIRE aims to support the implementation of Open Access in Europe. It provides the means to promote and realize the widespread adoption of the Open Access Policy, as set out by the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access and the Open Access pilot launched by the European Commission. OpenAIRE, a three-year project, will establish the infrastructure for researchers to support them in complying with the EC OA pilot and the ERC Guidelines on Open Access. It will provide an extensive European Helpdesk System, based on a distributed network of national and regional liaison offices in 27 countries, to ensure localized help to researchers within their own context. It will build an OpenAIRE portal and e-Infrastructure for the repository networks and explore scientific data management services together with 5 disciplinary communities. It will also provide a repository facility for researchers who do not have access to an institutional or discipline-specific repository.
OpenAIRE’s three main objectives are to
build support structures for researchers in depositing FP7 research publications through the establishment of the European Helpdesk and the outreach to all European member states through the operation and collaboration of 27 National Open Access Liaison Offices;
establish and operate an electronic infrastructure for handling peer-reviewed articles as well as other important forms of publications (pre-prints or conference publications). This is achieved through a portal that is the gateway to all user-level services offered by the e-Infrastructure established, including access (search and browse) to scientific publications and other value-added functionality (post authoring tools, monitoring tools through analysis of document and usage statistics);
work with several subject communities to explore the requirements, practices, incentives, workflows, data models, and technologies to deposit, access, and otherwise manipulate research datasets of various forms in combination with research publications.
4 - Where can I find the OpenAIRE guidelines?
View OpenAIRE guidelines
5 - What are the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access?The ERC requires that all peer-reviewed publications from ERC-funded research projects be deposited upon publication into an appropriate research repository where available - and subsequently made Open Access - preferably immediately after publication and in any case not later than 6 months after the date of publication. Read more about it in the ERC Guidelines.
6 - What is the Open Access pilot in FP7?
Read more about the Open Access pilot in FP7
7 - What are the copyright issues?
Self-archiving or "Green Open Access" does not infringe on the copyright of the author or publisher. Authors own the original copyright to papers they write, and publishers need their permission to publish the paper. Publishers often ask for transfer of the copyright, sometimes even when the paper is first submitted to the journal. However, authors can choose to retain their copyright and provide the publisher with a licence to publish. Authors should in any case avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow them to fulfill the EC Open Access requirements.
If you want to know more about copyright in relation to open access:
Good starting points are the JISC/SURF Copyright toolbox site and the Creative Commons site. Many countries have a dedicated national open access site that usually contains copyright information as well. The EC, too, provides information and help, e.g. via the European IPR Helpdesk.
8 - What is an Open Access Journal and where can I find them?
One way of providing Open Access is to publish in an Open Access Journal. These journals make their articles available for free by charging for the publication services before publication, rather than after publication through subscriptions. Open Access publication charges can often be included in the costs of research funding, so the money for access comes through the research funder, rather than through the library budget. Of course, the initial source of the money is often the same (from government funding).
There is a growing number of Open Access Journals; most disciplines are now represented. A comprehensive list of the journals is provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ.
9 - What are Open Access Repositories and where can I find them?
Open Access Repositories are databases specifically designed for the deposit, digital dissemination and curration of academic output like scientific articles and make them freely available. Open Access Repositories can be either linked to an institution or department or linked to a research field or subject, i.e. Institutional or Subject Repositories.
When using the OpenAIRE deposit service you will be guided through the steps of deposition and also if possible guided to a relevant repository. OpenAIRE uses data from the Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR.
!!! OpenDOAR and thus OpenAIRE may not be comprehensive. Go to the OpenAIRE helpdesk ”Ask a question” if you are having trouble finding the best suited repository for you. If you do not have a repository to deposit your article in then you should use the OpenAIRE Orphan Repository.
10 - What is a subject based or thematic repository?
11 - What is an Institutional Repository?Institutional Repositories are repositories that are maintained and currated by institutions - very often the library. Repositories collect, curate and make the research output of an institutions available on the Internet.
12 - My institution does not have an Institutional Repository. Where should I deposit?
13 - What is the OpenAIRE ‘orphan repository’?
14 - What is The National Open Access Desk?
The National Open Access Desks connect researchers, research institutions, and policy makers at a national level on the one end, and the OpenAIRE project services on the other. The focus of the National Open Access Desks activities is on support for compliance with the EC Open Access Pilot.
The National Open Access Desk can help you find the appropriate repository in your country, and can answer your questions concerning Open Access, the EC Open Access Pilot, copyright issues, any special national rules and regulations concerning Open Access, and so on.
In principle each National Open Access Desk can provide the necessary information with respect to OpenAIRE, Open Access in general and the EC Open Access Pilot. They will redirect questions if necessary, especially when national issues, like copyright, are involved.
15 - Does OpenAIRE provide OpenSearch?
Yes, OpenAIRE provides OpenSearch. The descriptor can be found here: http://www.openaire.eu:8380/dnet-web-generic/openSearchDescriptor
16 - Can OpenAIRE be harvested?
Yes it can be harvested. OpenAIRE implements the OAI-PMH protocol. Please go to http://www.openaire.eu:8280/is/mvc/oai/oai.do?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=DMF
17 - How and where to deposit?
Researchers should deposit published articles or final manuscripts into the institutional repository of the research institution with which they are affiliated. If this is not possible, they should identify an appropriate subject based/thematic repository. If the researcher’s institution doesn’t have an open access institutional repository and if there is no relevant open access subject repository the researcher can deposit the article in the OpenAIRE Orphan Repository
18 - What to deposit?Either one of the documents described below should be deposited in an institutional or subject repository upon acceptance for publication:
- Published version: publisher’s final version of the paper, including all modifications from the peer review process, copyediting and stylistic edits, and formatting changes (usually a PDF document) or
- Final manuscript accepted for publication: final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer review process, but not yet formatted by the publisher (also referred to as post-print version).
19 - When to deposit?Grant recipients are required to make their best efforts to ensure that this electronic copy becomes freely and electronically available to anyone - either through an institutional or subject-based repository, as soon as possible, but no later than
- six months after publication: in the thematic areas "Health", "Energy", "Environment (including Climate Change)", and "Information & communication technologies" (“Cognitive Systems”, “Interaction” and “Robotics”) and the activity "Research infrastructures" (e-infrastructures)
- twelve months after publication: in the thematic area "Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities" and the activity "Science in Society".
20 - What if I do not deposit?The Guidelines for the EC FP7 and ERC Guidelines clearly urge you to comply with the depositing requirements. Researchers must make their best efforts to ensure Open Access to their publications. The EC FP7 guidelines stipulate that if you cannot comply, you should inform the Commission and provide the Publisher’s letter of refusal. The stipulations of the Guidelines are such that there is no reason for Publishers to refuse cooperation. There is increasing evidence that Open Access availability of publications increases their visibility and use. It has also become clear that Open Access publishing does not harm the researcher, his/her institution, research or publication. So there is no reason not to comply with the Guidelines, there are only potential benefits to be gained.
21 - What should I do if the publisher does not allow me to archive my article?If the publisher doesn’t allow you to deposit your article in a repository, the EC Open Access policy requires the author to contact the publisher. You are requested to inform the publisher of the EC Open Access requirements, and ask for an exception to the publisher’s normal policy to enable you to meet those requirements. It is important to obtain this permission in writing. A template letter is available that can be used when writing to the publisher asking for an amendment to your publishing agreement; it can be found among the EC Resources. When writing to publishers, it is better to write to the editor or officer in charge of authors' rights if possible, rather than to a general publisher's email address for permissions for re-use of published material. It is important that the request be seen as coming from the author and is part of the publisher/author relationship.
22 - What does "making best efforts" entail?The EC OA pilot asks that authors seek information on publishing models and copyright/licensing policies of the journal(s) to which they plan to submit (e.g. via ROMeO). If publishers' policies do not enable you to meet the requirements of the EC grant agreement, you can negotiate an amendment to the publisher’s applicable copyright clauses or request an authorisation to self-archive within the specific embargo period. If negotiations are unsuccessful, submission to another journal should be considered. If it appears to be impossible to publish in accordance with special clause 39, you should inform the Commission and provide the publisher’s letter of refusal.
23 - My institution does not have a repository, how can I comply with the Open Access requirement?
24 - If I have deposited in my Institutional Repository, should I also deposit in the "Orphan Repository"?That is not necessary. You may use the orphan repository if there is no other open access and OpenAIRE compliant repository available to you. As long as your repository is compliant with the OpenAIRE Guidelines, it will be centrally harvested and your publication will be visible through the OpenAIRE portal.
25 - If I have deposited in my Institutional Repository, how do I know it can be found in the OpenAIRE portal?As long as your repository is compliant with the OpenAIRE guidelines, it will be centrally harvested and your publication will be visible through the OpenAIRE portal. You may check with your Repository Manager about the OpenAIRE compliancy of your institutional repository.
26 - What is a Licence to Publish?A Licence to Publish is a publishing agreement between author and publisher. Unlike many publishing agreements, it does not transfer the author's copyright to the publisher. Instead, the author retains his copyright and grants the publisher a "sole licence to reproduce and communicate the scholarly work and certain other rights needed for publishing". It leaves the author the right to archive his article in an Open Access repository. The JISC/SURF Copyright Toolbox provides a model licence.If, furthermore, you would like to ensure that others can be granted further rights for the use and reuse your work, you may ask the publisher to:
* immediately release your work under a Creative Commons license, or
* limit the term of exclusive rights and to release your work under a Creative Commons licence afterwards.These options can be included in your License to Publish.
Several publishers already combine a License to Publish with Creative Commons licencing. Some require article processing fees to release your work under such terms. These fees can be paid out of the project budget and are fully eligible for reimbursement within the project period.
27 - I have already got my material on my website. Do I need a repository?Yes! Most digital repositories are compliant with technical standards that enable cross-archive searching (Open Archives Initiative’s Protocol for Metadata Harvesting OAI-PMH). Thus, an eprint placed in a repository is far easier to find than through an individual's website. Several search engines such as Google or Google Scholar favour OAI-repository material, and display these results more prominently. Moreover, repositories are working to preserve materials in the long-term. The benefit is that if a researcher moves on, or their personal website changes, their eprints are in a repository - and the links - will remain stable, readable and accessible.
28 - Does my institution/repository need an agreement with the publisher to allow me to archive my article?
29 - What about version-control? Will there be one version in a repository and a different published version?
The EC OA pilot and ERC Guidelines ask for either the final manuscript or the published version of the article to be made available for Open Access. Most deposited versions are the author's final version - the version after peer-review, after revision and checking - that is, the version sent to the publisher for printing. Some publishers allow the use of the final PDF file which contains their layout and style of font - in which case the versions are identical. Otherwise, while the style of the font might be different, the text of the repository version is identical except for any minor copy-editing done by the publisher after it leaves the author's hands.
30 - Is there an agreement between the EC and publishers to allow for the open access availability of EC funded research results?
31 - What is self-archiving or Green Open Access?
Self-archiving means that the author deposits his final manuscript (pre- or post-print) or published article in an institutional or subject-based repository.
Green Open Access, or 'the Green Route" means that the publisher's policy allows the author to archive his final manuscript in a repository, before peer review (pre-print) or after peer-review (post-print). Some publishers allow self-archiving of the published version in PDF-format. TheSherpa/RoMEO database gives information on most publishers' and journals' policies
32 - Where can I find the publisher policies on open access and self-archiving?
You can use the database SHERPA/RoMEO to find the vast majority of scholarly journals and publishers standard archiving policies. The SHERPA/RoMEO database uses colour codes to give the user an easy and quick overview of the different policies of journals.
33 - Can I edit the metadata of a deposited publication?
- If you have deposited your publication in an institutional repository, you should contact the administrator of the specific repository.
- If you have claimed your publication through the OpenAIRE portal you cannot directly edit it. Please address your request to the OpenAIRE Helpdesk.
- For the OpenAIRE Orphan repository, while you are depositing a publication, at any time you can modify its metadata, unless you have actually submitted it. After that moment, if approved, please contact OpenAIRE.Support@cern.ch if you need to correct any information.
34 - Can I remove my deposited publications?
- If you have deposited your publications in an institutional repository, you should contact the administrator of the specific repository.
- If you have claimed your publication through the OpenAIRE portal you cannot directly remove it. Please address your request to the OpenAIRE Helpdesk.
- For the OpenAIRE Orphan, While you are depositing a publication, at any time you can remove it, unless you have actually submitted it. After that moment, if approved, please contact OpenAIRE.Support@cern.ch if you really need to have it deleted.
For Repository Managers
35 - What if my repository is not OpenAIRE compliant?This means that any FP7/ERC- funded publications within the Open Access pilot subject areas in your repository can not be harvested and so will not be found through the OpenAIRE portal.
36 - Do I need to adapt my repository?In order for OpenAIRE to harvest and connect publications to the related EC FP7 grant aggreement and to calculated the share of Open Access versus non-Open Access publications we do require repositories to adapt to the OpenAIRE Guidelines. These are low-barrier requirements for OAI-PMH compliant repositories that builds on oai_dc and the DRIVER Guidelines.
37 - What are the OpenAIRE Guidelines?The OpenAIRE Guidelines are simple metadata specifications for repositories that need to be OpenAIRE compliant. After complying to the OpenAIRE guidelines, the repository will become the single entry point for researchers that want to deposit FP7 publications.
38 - How do I make my repository OpenAIRE-compliant?
39 - Are there any standard repository software that are OpenAIRE compliant ?
40 - What do I need to do before registering my repository as OpenAIRE compliant?Please make sure you have an ec_fundedresources set and that it contains at least one record.
41 - I have an non-empty ec_fundedresources record but the validation still fails.Please make sure that you have set up correctly your ListIdentifiers and GetRecord verbs for your ec_fundedresources records.
42 - My repository is not shown in the validator's OpenDOAR list or is not part of OpenDOAR. What can I do?
For the time being, only OpenDOAR repositories may register in OpenAIRE. If your repository is in OpenDOAR but is not shown in the validator's list, please contact us through the OpenAIRE Helpdesk
43 - What is OAI-PMH?OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative’s Protocol for Metadata Harvesting OAI-PMH) is a set of rules and methods that standardize the access to the content of repositories. The OpenAIRE Guidelines builds on OAI-PMH v.2.0
44 - How can I find directions and recommendations on setting up a repository?
There are several guides on setting up repositories - we recommend the DRIVER Guidelines.
45 - What are the differences with DRIVER (guidelines)?The purpose of DRIVER was to connect repositories in Europe, and make them interoperable. The purpose of OpenAIRE is to make FP7/ ERC publications visible. To achieve this and allow central harvesting of FP7/ ERC publications, repositories must comply with some minimum technical requirements.
46 - How often is an OpenAIRE compliant repository harvested?
The standard frequency is once a week.
OpenAIREplus Project FAQ
OpenAIREplus – Answering your Questions
47 - What should NOAD activities be right now?
- Keep abreast of data initiatives in your region. Look out for data repositories, data policies and research data related activities.
- Update your country profile on the portal to include data initiatives.
- If you haven't yet completed the data survey please do!
- Keep an eye on data practices within your own institution, for example how researchers manage their own research data.
- Please collect information/guidance documents of funding at national level.
- And in the run up to the final event, keep on pushing OpenAIRE compliance with repositories!
- The OpenAIRE FaceBook site is a good resource to keep up to date. https://www.facebook.com/groups/openaire/
48 - And where do the NOADs come in?The mantra of OpenAIRE so to speak is that the underlying technical infrastructure can only be supported by a distributed network of dedicated staff who advocate, disseminate and provide guidelines to researchers. You! The sheer size of the project and its geographical diversity means it is well-placed to advocate and exchange good practice ideas. Certainly in the longer term, libraries will need to educate researchers in good deposit practice and good data management, and the activities of the NOADs, supported by the networking team will start to achieve this.
The data survey sent out to NOADs will have stimulated an awareness of data issues and availability of infrastructures to support research data both within institutions and at funding level.
Once data workflows have been firmed up (this means how we will connect to data repositories, and bring data into the system), we will be looking for other data sources.
The project also plans four topic-specific workshops to educate you, and the wider community, about data-related areas, so try to be present at them if you can.
49 - So it is wider than SC39?Yes. It looks to widen the publication base to all the DRIVER repositories (c.300 validated repositories) and to bring publications in from special subject areas, for example life sciences, within the European Research Area. The project will demonstrate that links to data within these publications can be accessed. Ultimately, the user will be able to identify and create these links, giving more context to the publication. This is what is referred to as curation: put simply, managing resources.
50 - What is the difference between the two projects?You will see many parallels in the structure of the projects (Networking, Services, Joint Research). Looking at it simply, OpenAIRE is about publications in the FP7 arena and associating them with FP7 funding information. OpenAIREplus deals with linking these publications to associated information such as datasets, multimedia, author information and above all, funding information (to national level, beyond FP7). OpenAIRE will end in December, but the initiative will continue. OpenAIREplus will expand its stakeholders to authors, publishers, data repository managers, research administrators who want to embrace Open Access to their publications and data. The initiative will provide guides, workshops, helpdesk support and provide infrastructure to those European researchers who don't have a repository at their disposal.
51 - What about the social challenges, will scientists really want to ‘share’ their data?This is certainly a challenging area, and often this is discipline-specific, some communities are more stimulated than others to make their research data available. The incentives however to share data are growing – certainly some are driven by funding requirements but more increasingly some scientists are being rewarded for good data management and allowing data publication and citation.
52 - How is the project tackling these issues?A key activity in OpenAIREplus is the work with three scientific organisations: European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI- EMBL), British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) and the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS). These all manage vast amounts of data, but in different ways. By studying how they do it, we in turn can get an idea of how to build a system that will support and link many different types of data and research. This means looking at data types, citation, metadata etc. The technical team have now finalised the 'data model' which looks at how all the different metadata from sources can fit into OpenAIRE. Not an easy task!
53 - That sounds ambitious!Prototypes for EPs were created in the DRIVER project but OpenAIREplus aims to build this into a service. Some of the challenges lie in trying to represent the actual relationship a dataset has with the publication, for example is this person the author, is this a chapter of a wider study, version, what project?
And note, OpenAIRE is not planning to store or manage any of the datasets, more link to their metadata in order to highlight links to publications. In order to link to these databases, we have to agree on a flexible but minimal metadata set. There are also legal challenges that the project it looking into, such as is it permissible to re-use and manipulate others' data.
54 - Ok, so where does the ‘plus’ come in?OpenAIREplus aims exactly at bridging this missing link between the research articles, the data and the project funding. Building on the OpenAIRE portal and OpenAIRE compatible repositories, OpenAIREplus will harvest multiple heterogeneous sources and by using machine power find the links between articles, data and projects. The term Enhanced Publication (EP) is often used here and this means a new type of publication whereby researchers link directly through to supplementary data. See the April OpenAIRE newsletter for more on this.
55 - Yes, but why is this important?A scientific research article consolidates the essence of a research project – often it is the pinnacle of many years of research. Yet the traditional way of gaining access to the research results often hides you from the basics of which the research is built on i.e. the primary data on which the results are based on, as well as the article's relationships to other resources through the funding project. This information is fragmented and sometimes not even available on the internet. Often scientists would like to access this information too, reuse the raw data and as yet a 'static' image of a graph in a traditional journal doesn't allow this.
56 - What exactly is OpenAIREplus trying to achieve?You have to step back a bit. Imagine a place where you can browse through the entire EC-funded research and not only be able to read about the results – but actually download articles with the data which the results claimed in the articles are based on. Sounds good doesn't it?