Friday, 28 October 2016

Servizi Bibliotecari di Ateneo: PUBLISHING IN OA



Open Access: What is it?

Access is a movement, born within the academic world, that promotes
free access to results from scientific research and favours the sharing
and growth of scientific knowledge.

The aim is to ensure maximum
visibility and use of documents, via open access, starting with the
basic idea that the results of publicly funded research must be
available to everyone.

There are two paths for ensuring open access:
  • GREEN ROAD: self-archiving in
    archives open for public consultation that gather together the research
    work carried out by the authors, in accordance with publishing policies
  • GOLD ROAD: publication in open access magazines, that guarantee peer review, that are free for the user.

Declarations in favour of Open Access

Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), promoted by the Open Society Institute

public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic
distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free
and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers,
students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this
literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the
learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this
literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting
humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge".

Declaration of Berlin (2003), promoted by attendees at the Conference on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

mission to spread knowledge is incomplete if the information has not
been made widely and readily available to society. It is necessary to
support new possibilities of spreading knowledge, not just via
traditional channels but increasingly through the paradigm of open
access via the Internet. Let's define open access as an extended source
of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been validated by the
scientific community."

Declaration of Messina
(2004), promoted by CRUI in support of open access to academic
literature. The declaration was signed by 74 Italian universities, including the Politecnico di Milano.

they declare to adhere to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to
Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in support of open access to
scientific literature, with the hope that this gesture will constitute
an initial, important contribution by Italian universities to a broader,
more rapid diffusion of scientific knowledge."

Budapest Open Access Initiative, after 10 years (2012)

institution of higher education should have a policy assuring that
peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles by faculty
members are deposited in the institution's designated repository.

research funding agency, public or private, should have a policy
assuring that peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles
reporting funded research are deposited in a suitable repository and
made OA as soon as practicable.

Universities with institutional repositories
should require deposit in the repository for all research articles to
be considered for promotion, tenure, or other forms of internal
assessment and review."

"...CRUI and Italian Public Research Bodies,
aware of the benefits of open access for national research, in terms of
visibility, promotion and internationalisation, undertake to carry out
coordinated activities for the success of open access". - signatory
public bodies are: EPR - CNR, ENEA, INGV, INFN, ISS ( CRA body from 2
May 2013).

Why publish in Open Access

  • advantages for researchers:
    visibility for research work filed in institutional archives and
    published in Open Access journals, which translates into greater
    visibility, more citations (up to 600% depending on the subject),
    immediate diffusion of research results, greater impact for the author.
  • advantages for the institution:
    international window for the production of its own
    professors/researchers and possible economies of scale on subscription
  • advantages for the scientific community:
    results have greater visibility (greater dissemination), are seen
    earlier (thanks to self-archiving, there is no need to wait for material
    to be printed); thanks to greater dissemination, there is a greater
    impact and higher circulation of ideas; knowledge benefits from an
    overall increased growth and diffusion, which is also much faster; the
    free circulation of research results and data sets contributes to
    reducing the cultural divide.

Why do researchers support Open Access?

supporters of OA promote free access as they are convinced that the
results of publicly-funded research must be available to all; as
citizens have paid for this research, they should be able to access it
at no additional cost.
Other supporters of OA promote free access also because they believe that knowledge itself, or information, is a public asset.

OA has been approved of by several forces.
The web offers new publication methods: it makes circulating research easier, broader, faster and often less expensive.
web offers new means and methods for sharing and using research and for
supporting teaching, creating a demand for an access model that allows
professors and universities to take full advantage of these new media
and methods, or new openings for research using institutional or subject
By exploiting the potential offered by the internet,
the articles are made accessible free of charge to users, without the
restrictions and barriers foreseen by traditional licences. Diffusion of
information guarantees a real impact: the easier it is to download an
article, the more it is read and the more it is cited. This favours the
sharing of knowledge and therefore a faster advance of knowledge,
without barriers, worldwide.
Lastly many believe that open access
will contribute to reducing the problems of high prices and restrictive
conditions of use faced by universities who purchase licences and
traditional journals in digital format.

How does the Open Access economic model work?

Open access literature does not mean without expense.
access to research results and scientific culture is not free of
charge, there are costs to be met, to make research available.

economic model changes: the cost is no longer a barrier to access in
subscription form. but is covered at sources, by paying for publication
For institutional repositories, the costs are part of the
body's overheads, bearing in mind the clear advantages in terms of
visibility and prestige.
Journals entail costs linked to the
publishing work flow and the guarantee of a quality peer view. About
half the journals require payment of a subscription for the publication
process. These costs can be forecast in the initial research budget, and
are often covered by the institutions they belong to: in this way the
article becomes visible to everyone, always.

The international
trend is increasingly to include the Open Access publication costs in
the initial research budget. There is an increasing number of funding
bodies that require research funded with their money to be made
available to the public in Open Access, also undertaking to pay the
publishing process costs.
The choice in Open Access is to have the
(minimum) costs fall to those producing the research rather than the
readers, to ensure maximum diffusion.
Alternative economic sustainability models are currently being studied (from the PLEIADI website:
One of the existing models provides for a payment
when the authors files an article. This cost of publishing in open
access is usually included in the research grant funds. In 2004, and
Elsevier study revealed that the payment by the author model only
concerned 17% of Open Access journals. In a later study from 2007, Bill
Hooker carried out a survey among all known open access journals and
found that only 18% apply tariffs.
The open access publisher BioMed Central offers a comparative table of costs to the authors (table comparing such author side payments).

Other economic models have also been experimented:
for example, some new Open Access publishers, such as BioMed Central,
require payment by the author, but this is cancelled for those
institutes that have bought a subscription. In other cases, like the no
profit organisation PLoS, the subscriptions from institution libraries
reduce the publication costs for researchers considerably.

Many OA titles are subsidised by institutions or foundations.

Elsevier study from 2004 has verified that governments or universities
subsidise 55% of all open access journals, the largest portion. The
other open access titles (28%) that are not supported by payments from
authors were subsidised by subscription payments.

Some journals
are entirely open access: each article is available, without any
restriction. Other journals are hybrid, in the sense that they are
magazines with traditional subscriptions, but offer authors the
possibility of paying an amount to make their article freely accessible
to anyone in the world. The other articles in the journal are only
accessible via subscription.
Some publishers offer all their titles under a kind of open access policy, others have different policies for different titles.
Other research funding organisations have Open Access policies.
To monitor these policies, see:
    SHERPA's Juliet database of funder policies;
    BioMed Central's table for funding policies;
    the ROARMAP list of the largest funders and university policies.

Where can more information be found on this topic?

An excellent overview of Open Access has been written by Peter Suber from Harvard University

Websites of interest:
Updated list of OA Journals:
DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
List of journals with Impact Factor:
Open Access Journals with IF
List of institutional and subject repositories:
OpenDOAR: Directory of Open Access Repositories
Database that indexes the creation, location and growth of open access institutional archives and their content:
ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories)
Website for Italian Electronic Scientific Literature in Open Archives and Institutional Repositories:
is the national platform for centralised access to the scientific
literature deposited in Italian open archives, established and managed
by universities and research bodies.
Website on Open Access that registers news and information about the national and international movement:
Wiki on Open Access in Italy
Guidelines issued by CRUI (Conference of Italian University Rectors) and developed by the national work group on Open Access:
CRUI guidelines

University Policy

Politecnico di Milano promotes open access to scientific literature in
compliance with what is established by its own statute and as a
signatory of the Messina Declaration. To do this, it has an Open Access
policy that applies the EU Commission Recommendations and national law 7 October 2013, n. 112.
The university policy, that has been active since
1st October 2014, states that professors, researchers, and collaborators
of the Politecnico di Milano feed the university's institutional open
access archive by self-archiving their scientific products in it.
institutional archive is a platform where members of the academic
community file electronic documents, the result of university teaching
and research activity. The institutional archive can be queried via
search engines on the web, and spread and enhances the value of the
university's scientific productions.  Re-Public@polimi 
is the name of the Politecnico di Milano's institutional repository,
that collects electronic documents coming from professors', researchers'
and collaborators' work at the university.
A University scientific literature open access work group has been established with archiving and intellectual property management technical tasks.
The group can be contacted at the email address openaccess(at)

Publishing policies

rapid diffusion of University policies in favour of open access and
diffusion of institutional archives has brought most publishers to allow
the publication of articles published in institutional repositories (Green OA).

know more about foreign publishers' policies on auto-self-archiving in
institutional repositories or on personal websites, please refer to the
website Sherpa/RoMEO
  • Green - allows the self-archiving of pre-print and post-prints
  • Blue - allows the self-archiving of post-prints
  • Yellow - allows the self-archiving of pre-prints
  • White - does not allow any self-archiving
It is in the author's interest to know his own rights.
The recommendation is to always read the entire publishing contract carefully to see what the terms are about auto-self-archiving and add a clause (addendum)
that asks to maintain some exclusive rights for oneself (including, for
example, the one regarding self-archiving in open institutional

Materials and useful references for publication and/or auto-self-archiving in open access:

Materials and useful references for publication and/or auto-self-archiving in open access

Material from conferences and seminars

This section contains the stored materials that were presented during
seminars organised by the Politecnico di Milano about open access and
the materials produced during national conferences on OA.

Servizi Bibliotecari di Ateneo: PUBLISHING IN OA

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