Open access resources and news

European Commission considering leap into open-access publishing

One of Europe’s biggest science spenders could soon branch out into publishing. The European Commission, which spends more than €10 billion annually on research, may follow two other big league funders, the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and set up a “publishing platform” for the scientists it funds, in an attempt to accelerate the transition to open-access publishing in Europe. DOI: 10.1126/science.aal0977

Heavyweight funders back central site for life-sciences preprints

Life scientists keen to share their findings online before peer review are spoilt for choice. Whereas physicists gravitate to one repository — the ‘preprint’ server arXiv — life sciences has a fast-growing roster of venues for preprints. There’s the biology-focused bioRxiv, and a biology section on arXiv too. But other sites have sprouted up in the past year, or soon will do, and these too provide opportunities for life sciences: ChemRxiv for chemistry, psyArXiv for psychology; even AgriXiv for agricultural sciences and paleorXiv for palaeontology.

Now, a coalition of biomedical funders and scientists is throwing its weight behind a ‘one-stop shop’ for all life-sciences preprints — a move that its backers argue should clarify any confusion and make it easier to mine the preprint literature for insights. On 13 February, ASAPbio, a grassroots group of biologists that advocates for preprints, issued a funding call to build a central preprint site; the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Wellcome Trust and several other leading funders announced their support for the concept.

Read more here.

New open access service is live: oaDOI

oaDOI is an alternative DOI resolver that gets free fulltext where available, instead of just an article landing page. 

       DOI gets you a paywall page:

       oaDOI gets you a PDF:

oaDOI looks up the following data sources for open copies of articles:

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals to see if it’s in their index of OA journals.
  • CrossRef’s license metadata field, to see if the publisher has reported an open license.
  • their own custom list DOI prefixes, to see if it's in a known preprint repository.
  • DataCite, to see if it’s an open dataset.
  • The  BASE OA search engine to see if there’s a Green OA copy of the article. BASE indexes 90mil+ open documents in 4000+ repositories by harvesting OAI-PMH metadata, including IIASA's PURE
  • Repository pages directly, in cases where BASE was unable to determine openness.
  • Journal article pages directly, to see if there’s a free PDF link (this is great for detecting hybrid OA)

Peter Suber on the State of Open Access

In the run up to Open Access Week,  Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and author of the seminal book, Open Access, discussed the state of Open Access answering questions submitted in advance and live on the advancement of Open Access and the future of the movement.

Wellcome Open Research

A new way for Wellcome-funded researchers to rapidly publish any results they think are worth sharing:

  • A platform for Wellcome-funded researchers to rapidly publish any research outputs they wish to share.
  • Supports reproducibility and transparency.
  • Uses an open research publishing model: immediate publication followed by open invited peer review.
  • Includes all supporting data, enabling reanalysis, replication and reuse.
  • Read more here:

Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada

Open access (OA) publishing via article processing charges (APCs) is growing as an alternative to subscription publishing. The Pay It Forward (PIF) Project is exploring the feasibility of transitioning from paying subscriptions to funding APCs for faculty at research intensive universities. Estimating of the cost of APCs for the journals authors at research intensive universities tend to publish is essential for the PIF project and similar initiatives. 

Solomon D, Björk B. (2016) Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada. PeerJ 4:e2264

The Vienna Principles: A Vision for Scholarly Communication in the 21st Century

Currently, there is a strong push to address the apparent deficits of the scholarly  communication system. Open Science has the potential to change the production and dissemination of scholarly knowledge for the better, but there is no commonly shared vision that describes the system that we want to create. Between April 2015 and June 2016, members of the Open Access Network Austria (OANA) working group “Open Access and Scholarly Communication” met in Vienna to discuss this matter. The main outcome of their considerations is a set of twelve principles that represent the cornerstones of the future scholarly communication system. They are designed to provide a coherent frame of reference for the debate on how to improve the current system. The document (available on Zenodo) is meant to inspire a widespread discussion towards a shared vision for scholarly communication in the 21st century.

Council of the European Union calls for full open access to scientific research by 2020

At the meeting of the Competitiveness Council of the European Union on May 27th 2016, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data openly accessible and reusable by 2020. In its communication, the Council offered several conclusions on the transition towards an open science system:

  • ACKNOWLEDGES that open science has the potential to increase the quality, impact and benefits of science and to accelerate advancement of knowledge by making it more reliable, more efficient and accurate, better understandable by society and responsive to societal challenges, and has the potential to enable growth and innovation through reuse of scientific results by all stakeholders at all levels of society, and ultimately contribute to growth and competitiveness of Europe;

  • INVITES the Commission and the Member States to explore legal possibilities for measures in this respect and promote the use of licensing models, such as Creative Commons, for scientific publications and research data sets;

  • WELCOMES open access to scientific publications as the option by default for publishing the results of publicly funded research;

  • AGREES to further promote the mainstreaming of open access to scientific publications by continuing to support a transition to immediate open access as the default by 2020;

  • ENCOURAGES the Member States, the Commission and stakeholders to set optimal reuse of research data as the point of departure, whilst recognising the needs for different access regimes because of Intellectual Property Rights, personal data protection and confidentiality, security concerns, as well as global economic competitiveness and other legitimate interests.

You can read the rest of the conclusions here. The Council said that “open access to scientific publications” will be interpreted as being aligned to the definition laid out in the Budapest Open Access Initiative: free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

CERN releases 300TB of Large Hadron Collider data into open access

CERN has released more than 300 terabytes (TB) of high-quality open data. These include over 100 TB, or 2.5 inverse femtobarns (fb−1), of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV, making up half the data collected at the LHC by the CMS detector in 2011. This follows a previous release from November 2014, which made available around 27 TB of research data collected in 2010.

E.U. urged to free all scientific papers by 2020

One of the perks of holding the rotating presidency of the European Union is that it gives a member state a 6-month megaphone to promote its favorite policy ideas. For the Netherlands, which took over the presidency on 1 January, one surprising priority is open access (OA) to the scientific literature. Last week, the Dutch government held a 2-day meeting here in which European policymakers, research funders, librarians, and publishers discussed how to advance OA. The meeting produced an Amsterdam Call to Action that included the ambition to make all new papers published in the European Union freely available by 2020.


Author Rights:
Using the SPARC Author Addendum

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

You would never knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.

Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you likely want to place it on your Web page or in an online repository if you had the choice. These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Open Access Spectrum Evaluation Tool

While the rapid growth of Open Access has seen an expansion in the availability of scholarly articles, it has also generated confusion within the research community. Many journals claim to be “Open” while actually placing moderate or severe restrictions on what an author or reader can do with an article, for example. It has become clear that not all “Open” is created equal. The Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool provides independent, expert analysis of journal OA policies beyond just “is this article free to read?” - Registry of Research data Repositories is a global registry of research data repositories. The registry covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. aims to promote a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data.Are you looking for a subject repository for your research data? Browse research data repositories by subject on

Dutch lead European push to flip journals to open access - Academic consortia urge faster changes in scholarly publishing

The Netherlands is leading what it hopes will be a pan-European effort in 2016 to push scholarly publishers towards open-access (OA) business models: making more papers free for all users as soon as they are published. More Information>>

Recommendations for the implementation of open access in Austria (OANA)

Based on 16 recommendations, efforts should be made to achieve the following goal: By 2025, all scholarly publication activity in Austria should be open access. In other words, the final versions of all scholarly publications resulting from the support of public resources must be freely accessible on the internet without delay (gold open access). The resources required to meet this obligation shall be provided to the authors, or the cost of publication shall be borne directly by the research organizations.

Pilot programme “Open Research Data”

Have you published your research as a result from FWF projects during the last 5 years?

Supported by the Nationalstiftung für Forschung, Technologie und Entwicklung the FWF launches a pilot programme for projects focusing on Open Research Data (ORD) and invites eligible applicants to submit outline proposals (letter of interest) from mid-January 2016 onward. The pilot aims to create role models and to gain experiences with open access to research data so that in line with the concept of Open Science open research data becomes the norm for all FWF projects in the future.

How Much Does $1.7 Billion Buy You? A Comparison of Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Version

Academic publishers claim that they add value to scholarly communications primarily by coordinating reviews and contributing text during publication. These contributions come at a considerable cost: U.S. academic libraries paid $1.7 billion for serial subscriptions in 2008 alone and this number continues to rise. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), researchers have investigated the publishers’ value proposition by conducting a comparative study of pre-print papers and their post-print counterparts. The preliminary results based on pre-print publications from and their post-print counterparts suggest that the vast majority of post-print papers are largely indistinguishable from their pre-print versions. 

Self-selected or mandated, open access increases citation impact for higher quality research

Articles whose authors have supplemented subscription-based access to the publisher's version by self-archiving their own final draft to make it accessible for free on the web (“Open Access”, OA) are cited significantly more than articles in the same journal and year that have not been made OA.

The Authors Alliance Guide to Open Access

Understanding Open Access - When, Why and How To Make Your Work Openly Accessible

Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access

The Max Planck Digital Library has put forward a study on the transformation of the subscription-driven system for scientific publications to an open access model. For the first time, quantitative parameters are presented showing that the liberation of scholarly literature is possible at no extra cost.

Publishing in transition – do we still need scientific journals? 

For decades, scientific journals were the only way to communicate new research findings. Up until today, very little has changed in that respect. The overwhelming majority of scientific journals still function as they did in the times when there was no internet, social networks, or crowd-based knowledge platforms. Is this form of dissemination of research findings still suitable in the 21st century? No, says the author of this piece.

Open Access by Peter Suber (MIT PRESS)

Open Access by Peter Suber is a pivotal work in the field and an approachable introduction to the basics of open access. In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn’t, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold. Distilling a decade of Suber’s influential writing and thinking about open access, this is an indispensable book on the subject for researchers, librarians, administrators, funders, publishers, and policymakers.

Fact sheet: Open access in Horizon 2020

A document explaining open access and its benefits, as well as the European Commission’s open access policy.

OpenAIRE H2020 factsheet for researchers

OpenAIRE Guide for researchers in European Commission-funded projects. 

Open Access to publications in Horizon 2020: Webinar course 2015 slides

Slides presented at the webinar on open access to publications in Horizon 2020 - 2 Dec. 2015 (part of the FOSTER e-learning course ). 

Print this page

Last edited: 30 March 2017


Michaela Rossini

Library Manager


T +43(0) 2236 807 283


Luke Kirwan

Open Access Manager


T +43(0) 2236 807 278


Höglund Isaksson L (2017). Bottom-up simulations of methane and ethane emissions from global oil and gas systems 1980 to 2012. Environmental Research Letters 12 (2): e024007. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/aa583e.

Nava LF (2017). Peer review report 3 on “Economic Effects of a Reservoir Re-operation Policy in the Rio Grande/Bravo for Integrated Human and Environmental Water Management”. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 9: p. 152. DOI:10.1016/j.ejrh.2016.12.048.

Margalef O, Sardans J, Fernández-Martínez M, Molowny-Horas R, Janssens I A, Ciais P, Goll D, Richter A, et al. (2017). Global patterns of phosphatase activity in natural soils. Scientific Reports 7 (1): p. 1337. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-01418-8.

Pokhrel YN, Felfelani F, Shin S, Yamada TJ, & Satoh Y (2017). Modeling large-scale human alteration of land surface hydrology and climate. Geoscience Letters 4 (1): 1-13. DOI:10.1186/s40562-017-0076-5.

Kautzky-Willer A, Thurner S, & Klimek P (2017). Use of statins offsets insulin-related cancer risk. Journal of Internal Medicine 281 (2): 206-216. DOI:10.1111/joim.12567.

Kraxner F, Schepaschenko D, Fuss S, Lunnan A, Kindermann G, Aoki K, Dürauer M, Shvidenko A, et al. (2017). Mapping certified forests for sustainable management - A global tool for information improvement through participatory and collaborative mapping. Forest Policy and Economics 83: 10-18. DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2017.04.014.

Purohit I & Purohit P (2017). Technical and economic potential of concentrating solar thermal power generation in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 78: 648-667. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.059.

Höglund Isaksson L, Purohit P, Amann M, Bertok I, Rafaj P, Schöpp W, & Borken-Kleefeld J (2017). Cost estimates of the Kigali Amendment to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons. Environmental Science & Policy 75: 138-147. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2017.05.006.

Koch N, Reuter W H, Fuss S, & Grosjean G (2017). Permits vs. Offsets Under Investment Uncertainty. SSRN Electronic Journal 49: 33-47. DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2711321.

Mignan A, Komendantova N, Scolobig A, & Fleming K (2017). From Multi-Risk Assessment to Multi-Risk Governance. In: Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction & Management. Eds. Madu, C. & Kuei, C., London: World Scientific Press & Imperial College Press. ISBN 978-981-3207-94-3 (In Press)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313