Guidelines for open access


A condition for receiving a grant from us is that you publish your research articles so that they are available to all, free of charge on the internet.

An increasing number of research funders, both Swedish and international, require that the research they fund is published with open access. There are several reasons for this. An openly accessible science system provides increased visibility and dissemination of research. The research can be advanced by allowing more researchers easier and faster access to research results. Researchers outside the academy, for example professionals in health care and school or the public, can access research results without paying high fees. Open access also contributes to global access to research results.

Open access to scientific publications

Researchers with grants from 2010 and onwards must publish their research results with open access. The requirement applies to peer-reviewed scientific publications in journals and conference reports.

Choose one of the following ways to make your research results openly available:

  • Publish in an open access journal - there are many open access journals that use experts to assess the quality of the articles, a process known as peer-review.
  • Parallel publication in an open access archive - in principle, all Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) have an open digital archive. When the article is published, or no more than twelve months later, you save a copy of your article in an open archive. It is the reviewed, final version of the article that shall be added to the archive, not the pre-print version.
  • Publish in a hybrid journal – a hybrid journal is a traditional subscription-based journal that offers authors the option to publish with open access in exchange for a fee.
  • Publish on a website of your HEI – you upload and make the article available on the site, for example in pdf format. However, this is not recommended, given that links to websites often become invalid and the publication can therefore be difficult to find. If you choose this option, then also place a copy in the digital archive that will open up when the embargo time has expired.

You must publish under a license that allows others to access and use your research results. Researchers who pay a publication fee (article processing charge, APC) to publish an article with open access must publish under a Creative Commons licence, the version named CC-BY. Under the terms of such a licence, those who use, adapt or distribute your articles are required to credit you as the author. You will also retain the right to distribute your research. Please note that it must be the CC-BY version, variants as CC-BY NC, ND etc. are not approved.

The CC-BY licence is the standard licence recommended by several international organisations. Read more on Creative Commons web site.

RJ presupposes that researchers working at a HEI that through the Bibsam consortium have access to various national transformative agreements or their equivalent as far as possible publish within the framework of these agreements. Through these transformative read and publish agreements, Swedish researchers are given the opportunity to both read and publish open access in most scientific journals at no cost of their own. The purpose of transformative agreements is to change the system, from paying for subscriptions to paying for open access publishing. In this way, the transformative agreements support Swedish researchers in the transition to an openly accessible publication system. RJ can then financially contribute to open access publication for researchers who cannot utilize the agreements or where the journal is not part of a transformative agreement.

RJ's open access policy do not yet include monographs or book chapters. However, RJ would like to encourage researchers to publish these with open access as well. Through the platform Kriterium, researchers can have their monographs scientifically reviewed and make it openly available.

If you have questions about publishing with open access or need practical help, contact your HEI.

RJ supports the transition to an open science system in many ways

RJ supports the transition to an open science system not only through requirements for publication with open access, but also by supporting different platforms and through collaboration with other organizations.

  • RJ supports Kriterium, a platform for scientific review, publication and dissemination of scientific books in line with established principles of open access.
  • RJ also supports the Open Library of Humanities, a publishing platform that supports academic journals in the humanities.
  • RJ collaborates with other research funders and with the National Library. The National Library has a mission from the government to nationally coordinate open access to scientific publications and the Swedish Research Council has a mission from the government to nationally coordinate open access to research data.
  • RJ stands behind the international initiative OA2020, aiming at a large-scale transformation towards an openly accessible publication system.
  • RJ stands behind the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which emphasizes the importance of making comprehensive assessments of research, based on the content of the research and on what contribution the individual researcher or the specific project adds to the research area.

RJ follows up the policy for open access

RJ monitors that researchers with RJ grants follow the open access policy. As the recipient of a grant from RJ, you are responsible for ensuring that the applicable guidelines for open access are known and followed within the project.

  • At the time of the application, the applicants must include a plan for how research results will be communicated, both within scientific community and society at large. This means that the applicants also must also indicate the costs associated with the planned scientific production, how it should be made openly available and the costs for this.
  • At half-time of the project, a mid-term evaluation is carried out where the project manager submits an evaluation report. Then the requirement for open access is also followed up and the project manager is asked to answer how they will ensure that the project results are published open access. At the actual evaluation meeting, RJ also reminds the project manager that the research results should be published open access.
  • At the final report of a grant, the publication list must clearly state which publications that are published open access, links to these must be included and it should be stated how open access has been obtained.

Open access to research data

RJ recommends that research data used as a basis in publications is also made available to the public.

Read more about data management plans.