Publication in Open Access

What are the different types of publication?

  • The "green road" to Open Access refers to the self-archiving or secondary publication of articles already published (in conventional journals) on a publicly accessible document server (repository). This may be an institutional server or a subject-specific repository. In contrast to storing your own articles on your own website, repositories have the advantage of providing long-term storage for your content, whilst ensuring it remains stable, accessible and easier to search for; they also ensure the research of one institution is gathered together.
  • The "gold road" to Open Access is for the first publication in journals which follow the Open Access model. For books, a combination of Open Access and book on demand is also possible. A "gold" publication is free of charge for readers and immediately accessible on the Internet.

What do I need to consider? The 4 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) lists more than 6,500 Open Access journals for all academic fields -> see more under point 3.
  • Do you want to publish your dissertation electronically? As a University of Bern Kurzanleitung Open Access (pdf, 233KB), your dissertation is made immediately accessible worldwide and in full text.
  • If you are unable to find a suitable Open Access journal, refer to point 2 (safeguarding copyrights) to enable you to re-publish your work.

2. Safeguarding copyrights

  • Without fail, you should reserve the right to place your article in a repository or on your homepage, by only conveying simple usage rights to the publishers that are not exclusive and not without restriction.
  • You may delete wording, such as "exclusive" or "all rights" or complete a pre-prepared addendum, such as the SPARC addendum, 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 Creative Commons license, enabling you to make simple distinctions to rules regarding the rights to your publications.
  • You will find further information on your rights as an author and on publishing contracts on the University of Zurich's pages referring to copyright law (see point 13 in particular) or at SPARC, an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries in America.

3. Arrange financing

  • Some, although by no means all, Open Access journals are financed by authors' fees, known as Article Processing Charges (APC). The University of Bern has supporter membership with BioMedCentral and SpringerOpen, which reduces these fees for our researchers by 15%. We would be happy to look into your suggestions for other memberships.
  • Please 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 will find  subject-based repositories at OpenDOAR.
  • Members of institutions that do not have their own repository can use what are known as "orphan repositories". The orphan repository for EU projects is OpenAIRE, which also gathers data from other repositories at the same time, for all others, see e.g. OpenDepot.
  • The University of Zurich's copyright database or the SHERPA/ROMEO pages will tell you which version of your publication you are permitted to use for this and allow you to search for publishers and journals.
  • You can distribute "gold" Open Access publications as often as you like in the original version. In contrast, for journals where a subscription is payable, you are generally not permitted to use the publisher's PDF for self-archiving, at least not in the original format.
  • The Electronic Journals Library (EZB) also contains a link to SHERPA/ROMEO directly for the relevant journal.

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