Frequently asked questions - FAQ


We’re planning a research project. When should we think about open access questions?

It is worth considering open access in the plans and budget of the project from the very beginning. When writing the funding application, you should negotiate with the other possible members of the consortium to decide whether to choose Gold or Green open access. The choice made must then be considered in the budgets in the funding applications and the consortium agreements. If gold open access is chosen the budget has to accommondat Article Processing Charges  (APC) that can be 1500-3000 / per article.

Obtaining additional funding afterwards may be difficult, and even if the funding agency approved Article Processing Charges  as eligible project costs, the costs will in such cases have to be taken out of funds originally allocated to other purposes.

Often articles are published also after the project ends. The APC fees can no longer be paid from projects funds after the project has ended, ther has to be some other source of funding budgeted.


I am writing a funding application to the Academy of Finland. Which publications should I mention in the application? How much money can I budget for costs of open access?

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

Your application should mention the most esteemed publications of your field that are the best suited for your research, because they give your research the best impact and boost the competitiveness of your application. Check the SHERPA/RoMeO service to see whether the publications you have chosen allow self-archiving the publication free of charge (Green Open Access).

If the journal charges for open access (Gold Open Access), you may include reasonable publishing costs in the budget in your application (e.g. 1500 to 2000 euros/article, the charges vary by publication, so check the price on the journal site). The Academy of Finland requires making publications open access.

Why are there green and gold open access routes?

Open access by self-archiving the publication for instance in the university repository is free of charge for the author and can meet  the open access criteria of the funding agencies. Publishers do not however, always consent to allowing free-of-charge open access simultaneously or  in the time period required by funding agencies, because they wish to get payments also from the journal subscribers. This is why publishers offer open access for an article processing  charge  (APC) and set an embargo period for self-archiving. If the embargo period required by the publisher is longer than the embargo period allowed by the  funding agency, the gold open access route has to be selected.

Why have you set up this national site?

This website provides information about open access publishing that is not university specific but aims to be  usefull  to all researchers, universities and research institutions.    For contact information  for the unit responsible for open access publishing and open access guidelines of a given university see Open access at Finnish universities. This website  project received funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

Do I have to include the costs of open access in the budget of my project?

Open access is free of charge in many cases, if not immediately, after an embargo period (e.g. 6 months) after which you can self-archive the article in the repository of your university.

If the rules of the publisher are in conflict with the terms of the research funding agency (e.g. an embargo period exceeding 6 months in the Horizon 2020 project in other fields than the humanities and social sciences), you have to consider choosing Gold Open Access. The associated (APC) charges can, however, be included in the budget sent to the funding agency, but this must be done in the application phase. At some universities, the departments cover some of the publishing charges.

Is there an open access publishing channel suitable for my article with the working title Xxxxx?

You can ask the library of your university to do a search by topic and to find possible journals of interest. You should also consult your colleagues who may have experience of the matter, and look into your options for open access.

Do you know whether it is worth publishing in the “Systema - Journal of the Bertalanffy Centre for the Study of the Systems Sciences”?

The library can help you by searching the various databases measuring the quality and impact of publications (Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Elsevier Scopus, Thomson Reutersin Web of Science (WoS), Proquest, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Since the journal you mentioned is new, it is not found in these databases. To find out about the quality of the journal, you can ask your colleagues and look at articles previously published in it. You should also ask the publisher about their open access policy.

What do you think would be a suitable journal for my article in the field of art titled “xxxxxx”? How can I find out if the publication offers opportunities for open access?

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

The library can help you by searching the various databases measuring the quality and impact of publications (Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Elsevier Scopus, Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS), Proquest, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The search results may be compared in terms of the preferred viewpoint of the researcher being presented in the journal previously. For details on the self-archiving policy of the publication and any embargo periods set may be found either on the publication site or in the SHERPA/RoMEO service.

Is the publisher Scientific Online Publishing (USA), which offers open access publishing, a reliable publisher?

The open access ‘market’ also has fraudulent (predatory publishers and vanity publishers) who charge authors for publication (APC), article processing charge) but who do not meet the standards set for scientific publications or comply with the agreements made. For example, the following may be signs of a suspicious publisher:

  • the name of the editor-in-chief or editorial staff has not been given or their academic merits are not mentioned
  • no information of publication practices or long-term preservation is given
  • stops the search engine from crawling the publisher content to recognise plagiarism
  • information on the costs to the author are unclear
  • the mentioned references or the level of publication is not found in any other registers
  • publishes non-academic texts or copies of others’ texts etc.

For additional information on the criteria and their application, see the Scholarly Open Access service. Unfortunately, the publisher you mentioned is found on this list.

We are coordinating a H2020 project in which we have also corporate partners. Which repository can they use to deposit their publications if there are no university/research institute partners whose repositories could be used? Are there lists by discipline/any recommendations available?

Usually, university databases require at least one of the writers to be in an employment relationship or otherwise affiliated with the university.

Zenodo is an open dependable home for the long-tail of science, enabling researchers to share and preserve any research outputs in any size, any format and from any science. It is possible to accept or reject uploads to your own community collections (e.g workshops, EU projects or your complete own digital repository). There is integrated in reporting lines for research funded by the European Commission via OpenAIRE. Research output is stored safely for the future in same cloud infrastructure as research data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

To find out about discipline-specific alternatives, it is worth contacting the library or asking your colleagues.

Page content by: maria.rehbinder [at] aalto [dot] fi (Maria Rehbinder) | Last updated: 01.04.2016.