Open access

A scientific article is openly available when it is available free of charge, without barriers to intellectual property and permanently on the Internet.

There are currently different types of open access:



What is Open access

Open Access facilitates free access to scientific or academic production, without economic barriers or restrictions arising from intellectual property rights. It encompasses scientific articles, research data, learning objects, and academic work in general.

La Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) understands for open access articles with free availability in the network, allowing any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or use for any legal purpose, without any means of economic, legal or technical barrier.

Other declarations and initiatives on open access: 



The fact that an article or academic paper can be consulted free of charge on the web does not mean that it can be used without any restrictions. The work can only be used in accordance with the Intellectual Property Law (private copies, right of summons, ...), but no other use can be made without the authorization of the author or owner of the exploitation rights.

However, a free access article has a license assigned Creative Commons which indicates under what conditions it can be used.

    To achieve open access to scientific communication, 2 ways are promoted:

    The green route or self-archiving in a tank

    Self-archive articles in institutional repositories such as UPCommons or in thematic deposits like ArXiv to make them accessible on the net and to be able to reuse them. It is necessary to always respect the conditions established by the magazine where the article is published, basically:

    • If the magazine allows self-archiving of articles.
    • which specific version can be deposited in the repository: the preprint, the postprint, the layout version of the editor.
    • If an embargo period is required.
    In the contract (Copyright Transfer Agreement) signed by the authors with the publisher indicate the uses that can be done.

    If not, consult editorial policies and auto-editing conditions of each publisher to find out what uses permit their publications.

    When the journal accepts your article and signs the Copyright Transfer Agreement, check the permitted uses for the dissemination of the article. If necessary, try to negotiate the inclusion of addenda to retain exploitation rights and be able to deposit the postprint in the institutional deposit.

    The golden path or the open access magazines 

    These journals ensure open access to articles they publish without charging subscription for access. The publication costs are covered by the authors or institutions to which they belong. Make sure the cost of publishing can be attributed to a research project. Check the directories of open access journals or publishers to publish on open.

    Publish in Open access

    La UPC supports open access with the institutional repository UPCommons and the regulations approved by the Governing Council:

    The PDI must deposit from DRAC a copy of article a UPCommons as soon as possible and, in no case, later than the period established by calendar of PAR points current

    If the article is published as part of a research project, the open access policy of: 

    • Law of Science, article 37 Open science: It is necessary to deposit a UPCommons the publisher's version if published in an open access journal (hybrid or pure) or the post-print. The deposit must be made simultaneously with the publication date of the article in the magazine.
    • Horizon Europe: You must deposit a UPCommons the final version published by the journal or post-print under a CC-BY license or equivalent. The deposit must be made at the latest at the time of publication of the article in the journal. 
    • 2020 Horizon: 6 months in science and 12 in social sciences and humanities.

    In the process of publishing an article: 

    • Verify if the journals you publish enabling a copy in open access of the article to UPCommons. Check which version you can deposit (author's final draft or the PDF published).
    • If the publisher imposes an embargo higher than that established by the funding entity, it checks whether the magazine allows payment to publish the article openly (hybrid model). 
    • If you publish in open access, you must anticipate the costs to publish there, the article processing charges or APC 
    • Check the contract (Copyright Transfer Agreement) you sign with the publisher and verify which rights you retain and what uses it allows for the dissemination. You can negotiate with the publisher more rights of exploitation (deposit the article in repositories, websites, intranets, etc.) by adding an addendum to the contract.
    • Always keep the contract and the latest version of the article reviewed after the peer review process. Some publishers only release this version in institutional repositories. 
    • This latest version is called postprint author's final draft, accepted manuscript, accepted version or postprint. 

    When the article has been published in the magazine: 

    • Through the  DRAC, make public a UPCommons the version of the article authorized by the publisher.
    • If the article has been published in an open access journal or in an external repository indicate the URL in the Editorial URL or External Repository URL field.
    • In other cases, attach the version of the article authorized by the publisher when registering the activity with the DRAC or completing it if you are informed that it has already been added from the uploads from Web of Science, Scopus, etc. Should the magazine impose an embargo will only be made public after the period set by the publisher. 
    • In both cases from activity to DRAC Link the publication to the funder. 

    When submitting project tracking reports:

    • It includes in the scientific-technical follow-up reports (section Dissemination of the results of the project) the reference of the articles published, attaching the handle ofUPCommons of the article deposited. 
    Following these instructions complies with the regulations UPC regarding the allocation of points PAR.

    Auto-editing conditions of the main publishers:

    The following directories summarize the uses allowed in each journal when it comes to self-archiving.

    Always check the information on auto-editing conditions on the magazine's website

    Here you will find a list of the main publishers that publish magazines totally in open access and the orientative prices to publish the articles. The price may vary according to the title of the magazine:

    American Mathematical Society (AMS)




    Nature Publishing Group

    • Open Access. Price: between € 3.300 and € 3.500. It may vary depending on the CC license chosen




    If you publish in an open access journal, review the license agreement signed with the publisher. This includes the rights of the author of the publication and those reserved by the publisher. Some journals allow authors to choose the type of open access license, which can cause the price to be published to vary. Others impose the same license for all items.  

    The authors or their institutions pay a fee for their articles to be published on the open, the rest are only available for subscribed users. This is what is called the hybrid model.

    Some publishers like IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) have a closed list of magazines with this option. Others, like the Royal Society of Chemistry, have the option to eliminate restricted access to articles in all their magazines. Check what publishers you can publish and how much it costs.

    Check the grants to post openly.

    In accordance with what is required in the Academic regulations of the School of Doctorate, in a thesis for a compendium of publications these must be included in a version that allows them to be published openly in public repositories.

    To do this, consult the website of the journal or conference where you have published. The editorial policy indicates which version(s) (pre-print, accepted version, published version, etc.) can be included in the thesis manuscript. 

    Some examples of editorials: 

    - Articles and participation in conferences published inIEEE

    - Articles published in journals ofElsevier i Springer i Springer Nature 

    You can consult the section Auto-editing conditions of the main commercial publishers.

    In case of doubt, contact info.biblioteques@upc. Edu


    Financing entities and open access

    According to him General Model Grant Agreement (Annex 5, Article 17 - Communication, dissemination, Open Science and visibility), the research staff benefiting from a project must:  

    • Deposit in immediate open access the published version of the journal article or the post-print (author's final draft) in a trusted repository  com UPCommons and with a CC-BY license or equivalent. The deposit must be made no later than the time of publication of the article. Warranty periods are not accepted.
    • Maintain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with immediate open access requirements.
    UPCommons meets the technical and organizational requirements required by the European Commission: preservation, interoperability, integration with DRAC. Depositor a UPCommons the regulations are also complied with UPC of assignment UPC: Agreement no. 177/2014 of the Governing Council approving the allocation of PAR points only for open access publications. 

    There are 3 options to meet Horizon Europe's open publishing requirement:

    • Pay for an Article Processing Charges (APC) to publish open immediately in a hybrid or gold journal. Publishing in a gold magazine is an eligible cost in Horizon Europe but it is not in the case of hybrid magazines. See the grants to publish in open access to the UPC.
    • Post on the platform Open Research Europe. In this case, the cost of the APC is borne by the European Commission. 
    • Opt for the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS), a mechanism that eliminates the embargo imposed by many publishers when the post-print (author's final draft) is deposited in the repository. When the corresponding author sends the article to a journal to be published, he/she informs the editor that the author's final draft will be deposited in the repository without any embargo and with a CC BY license. You can consult one cover letter proposal and publishing contract for articles and/or books.  

    In all 3 cases, when the article is published it must be deposited in UPCommons. 

    Should only articles be published in open access?

    • No, open access is also a requirement for other publications (conference entries, books, etc.). In the case of monographs the license may exclude commercial uses and derivative works. 


    All articles published under a H2020 project must be made public in a repository. Following the open access institutional policy of the UPC (PAR points) and through UPCommons, you meet this requirement. 

    The regulations for the open publication of projects funded by the European Commission are set out in the Manual of the H2020.

    You will also find information at: 

    OpenAire Guides for researchers: 

    OpenAire guides for coordinators and project managers

    La Law 17/2022 of September 5 on science, technology and innovation, in its article 37, provides that the research staff participating in national competitive projects must submit:
    • the article in a repository (a UPCommons and from DRAC): the editor's version if it has been published in open access in a gold or hybrid journal or the final accepted version of the publication (post-print: the author's final draft) in other types of journals. The deposit must be made simultaneously with the publication date.
    • the data associated with the article (supplementary data) in a thematic or multidisciplinary data repository com CORA-RDR. More information about how to publish datasets in CORA-RDR.

     Following these steps also complies with the open access institutional policy of the UPC (PAR points)




    The AGAUR requires that the beneficiaries of the FI Joan Oró and Beatriu de Pinós calls guarantee open access to the articles generated within the framework of the corresponding grant. Beneficiaries must deposit:

    • the article in a repository (a UPCommons and from DRAC): the editor's version if it has been published in open access in a gold or hybrid journal or the final accepted version of the publication (post-print: the author's final draft) in other types of journals. The deposit must be made simultaneously with the publication date.
    Following these steps also complies with the open access institutional policy of the UPC (PAR points)



    Last update: 09 / 05 / 2024