Open access

A scientific article is open access when it is available for free, without barriers derived from intellectual property and permanently on the Internet.

What is open access?

Open Access or Open Access facilitates free access to scientific or academic production, without economic barriers or restrictions derived 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 routes 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 to the network and to be able to reuse them. Always respect the conditions established by the magazine where the article is published, basically:

    • If the magazine allows self-archiving of articles.
    • What specific version can be deposited in the repository: the preprint, the postprint, the stamped version of the publisher.
    • 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 magazine accepts your article and signs the Copyright Transfer Agreement, check the permissible uses for the dissemination of the article. If necessary, try to negotiate the inclusion of addendums to retain exploitation rights and to deposit the postprint in the institutional repository.

    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 She supports this international movement with the institutional repository UPCommons and the regulations approved by the Governing Council:

    To meet the requirements of these mandates, you must post the article to UPCommons as soon as possible and, in no case, later than the established period:

    • Legislation UPC: Attach to the DRAC the postprint or author's final draft (latest version of the article before it is published). Order: UPC/ H2020 / LCI.
    • Law of science: 6 or 12 months, according to the scope and the year of the call.
    • 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 a seizure superior to the one established in the mandates (Law of science, H2020), check if the magazine allows to pay to publish the article in open (hybrid model).
    • If you publish in open access magazines, you have to foresee the costs to publish them, the article processing charges or APC. They are usually inferior to those of the hybrid model. In both cases the expense is attributable to the research project.
    • 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, it indicates the URL in the editorial URL field or external repository URL.
    • 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 the 3.300 - 3.500 €. It may vary depending on the CC license chosen




    If you publish in an open access magazine, 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 magazines allow authors to choose the type of open access license, which can vary the price to publish. Others impose the same license for all articles.

    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.

    As members of the UPC, you have the following grants to publish in open access:

    American Chemical Society (ACS)

    The members of the UPC they have a $ 250 rebate to publish articles on open access at ACS Publications.

    More information

    Royal Society of Chemistry (CSR)

    During the 2020 the authors of the UPC They have an 15% discount on the publication of articles in the journals of the publisher Royal Society of Chemistry (CSR).


    SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is an international project led by CERN whose objective is to open prestigious journals of high-energy physics open access at no cost to the authors.

    The cost of publishing is assumed by each participating country in proportion to its scientific output. The articles are published in SCOAP3 and in the publishers' websites.

    The magazines included are:

    Post in magazines edited by UPC

    A UPCommons You can check all the articles in the magazines edited in open access by different units of the UPC. For the editing and publication process some use the magazine service from UPC and the Open Journal System (OJS) software.

    All of them are polytechnical and some are empty in the most prestigious international indexes, such as:

    Financing entities and open access

    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 financed by the European Commission are included in the Manual of the H2020.

    You will also find information at:

    OpenAire Guides for researchers:

    OpenAire guides for coordinators and project managers

    La 14 / 2011 Law, from 1 in June, of science, technology and innovation, in its article 37, states that researchers participating in national competitive projects must publish a digital version of their articles accepted by the magazines as soon as possible and, at the latest, six months after the official date of posting

    Following the open access institutional policy of the UPC (PAR points) and through UPCommons, you meet this requirement.

    Last update: 13 / 10 / 2020