National Open Access Desk

  • The national open access policy constrain all beneficiaries of the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation to deposit openly all the scientific publications that are in the framework of the research financed by this plan.

    The FECYT is the public agent of the state public sector dependent on the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities which supports it in the work of implementation of the national policy of open access and in the design of the national policy of open science.

    RECOLECTA is the source to measure the degree of compliance with the national open access policy by researchers; we work in collaboration with the Follow-up Commission of article 37.

    Support and landscape

    • The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, FECYT has been acting since 2007 as a national hub for a different range of stakeholders in the research landscape due to its support services, namely open science related. In this sense, the project Recolecta (national OA harvester) works to provide standardization and interoperability within the repositories and academic libraries community. FECYT also provides support to researchers and research managers on how to comply with open science related mandates (both at the national and EU levels), actively promoting and providing training on open science to all stakeholders. Lastly, FECYT provides policy-makers, governmental agencies and funders with information about public funded research outputs in open access, and gives support and advice on open science policies. One of those activities is to hold the technical secretariat for expert groups on open science at the national level, gathering them to provide the required input on those matters to the RDI State Secretary.

      On the other hand, academic libraries and university programs are increasingly offering training in a full array of skills on open science and the reuse of research data. Courses, workshops, seminars are being provided by universities, research centres, libraries and research working groups.

      Besides OpenAIRE, there are other EU-funded projects with Spain participation providing training, support and outreach activities related to open science and, broadly speaking, promoting responsible research and innovation. Some of the projects, detailed below:

    National initiatives

    • At the State-level, the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation Act published in June 2011 includes an open access mandate for publicly funded research. Besides, the Ministry of Education established in that very year a mandate to deposit PhD theses and to make them publicly available in the corresponding institutional repositories. To aid in the process of a correct implementation of these mandates, a remarkable initiative of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) was to create a working group of experts that worked in a set of recommendations for decision makers, universities and public research centres, researchers, and big deals scientific journals subscriptions on how to comply with the new obligations derived from OA policies.

      A steering committee following up the compliance with OA mandate at the state-level is coordinated by FECYT. Their first report, Steering Committee report on the compliance of Spanish Science Act mandate (2016) developed a first methodological approach as well as pointed out limitations on the identification of open access publicly funded research outputs. A second set of recommendations were published in 2017: Open Access by default.


    OpenAIRE statistics

    1753727 OA publications in 608 repositories
  • National policy

    The Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation Law aims to establish a framework to strengthen scientific and technical research at the national level.

    Art. 37 of the Law dedicated to promoting open access of scientific publications.

    The Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation mentions open access to results and research data.

    Institutional policy

    An increasing number of research institutions are developing their own institutional policies to foster the adoption of open access practices, aligned with the State-level legislation and the EU mandate (Horizon 2020). Whether in the form of institutional declarations, recommendations or compulsory requirements, institutions are taking determined steps towards open access. Currently, 33 institutions have published any of those documents.

    For instance, the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) includes as part of its strategy and action plan the open access to publications and research data and open access is considered as one of the variables estimate productivity of its research institutes. Universities and other research centres have open access policies that encourage or request open access to publications.

    Nevertheless, there are still differences in the implementation degree among universities and PROs. Despite the fact that in Spain the open access principles are widely accepted among all the relevant stakeholders, there is a high degree of decentralization and differentiation of decision-making agents to take into consideration when policies and mandates are being discussed.

    Follow the link to institutional policies.

    FECYT 2017 - the Action Plan lists several activities to provide infrastructure for open access.

    Funder policy

    As mentioned earlier, at the national level the policy framework is represented by the Science, Technology and Innovation Act 14/2011 released in 2011 (article 37 on “Open access dissemination”). This policy is implemented through the Spanish Strategy for Research Development and Innovation, the State Plans and the Action Plans derived from them.The national calls for R&D projects carried out within the framework of the State Plans of Scientific-Technical Research and Innovation (2013-2016, 2017-2020) follow up the guidelines regarding open access stated by the national mandate. At the regional level, open access policies have also been developed by some funders, such as the governments of Madrid, Asturias or Catalonia, also in line with the national and EU mandates.

    It is stated that Spanish researchers funded by the State Plan for Scientific and Technological Research and Innovation should make public a copy of the final version of the accepted paper as soon as possible, and no later than 12 months after publication. Open Access copies must be available either through institutional or thematic repositories, and they should be taken into consideration within institutional evaluation practices. The State Plan encourage both green OA standard and gold OA standard. OA fees and costs (gold OA) are eligible for those R&D projects funded by the State Programme of Knowledge Promotion and Excellence and specific instruments within the State Programme of R&D addressing Societal Challenges.

    The level of compliance of the open access national mandate has been recently measured at institutional level. An exhaustive work was carried out in 2016 using a preliminary methodology that raised several technical issues to be addressed. A new monitoring process is being planned for 2017/18.

  • Key networks and aggregators

    • RECOLECTA or Recolector de Ciencia Abierta [Open Science Harvester] is a platform that gathers all the national scientific repositories together in one place and provides services to repository managers, researchers and decision-makers.

      There are currently 128 resources collected in RECOLECTA and 1.080.000 papers.

    Data repositories

    Some Spanish universities are taking steps forward related to research data both developing policies and infrastructure, but also designing new services to support researchers and fostering capacity building on librarians.

    Particularly, Madroño is gathering their main services through their website InvestigaM, starting from the DMP tool Pagoda till their new data repository e-Ciencia-datos. CSUC has also developed a tool to support the creation of DMPs Pla de Gestió de Dades de Recerca, besides a different set of guidelines to support researchers.

    Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) also provides data management services through Digital CSIC. Universities and research centres are working to establish the best tools to manage and open up research data, such as INIA.

    Additionally, national and international research infrastructures based in Spain are collecting and archiving datasets; data processing centres, such as Barcelona Supercomputing Center, is already an international centre of reference providing services related to open science. In some cases, the centres are dealing successfully with the challenges of open science, such as the data protection issues at CRG-Center for Genomic Regulation, European Genome-Phenome Archive at the CRG.

    National publishing initiatives

    Unlike other important publishing markets in the world, the majority of the Spanish research journals are published by not-for-profit organizations (75%): Public Research Centres, Universities, Professional Associations and Research and Scholarly Associations. This fact has been a favourable factor for the open access publishing model in Spain. 

    Taking a look into some numbers, the DOAJ indexes about 510 open access Spanish journals, therefore, about the 5.4% of the total journals in the database (2017). With regards to self-archiving policies, most of the Spanish journals contained in the Dulcinea database (76.31%) allow this kind of activity to authors.

    At the moment FECYT is running projects aiming to enhance the quality of Spanish research journals and Spanish research collections, including criteria related to open access and publications ethics, distinguishing through a Seal of Quality those considered excellent. Currently, some of the Spanish agencies evaluating researchers’ activity are taking into account those Seals of Quality that include qualitative and quantitative indicators, that are not only based on impact indexes.

    On the other hand, FECYT Unit of Scientific Resources is in charge of the negotiation of big deals with international publishers on behalf of the Ministry. As stated in the ERA Spanish Roadmap, one of its objectives is “to participate in the re-organisation and coordination of subscription and open access models with the key resource and scientific information suppliers – publishers – at national level, and to define a financially sustainable model in the mid-term in close relationship with the Conference of Rectors of the Spanish Universities.”
    Despite being very recently tried, it was still not possible to raise a fruitful negotiation with publishers on open access due to the variety of factors and stakeholders involved.

    National agreements with publishers


    OA books

    No information available.

  • FECYT performs continuous educational activities and outreach (expert training workshops, seminars, conference, Training and E-learning).
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