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NATIONAL OPEN ACCESS POLICY OF [Country]


1. Aims and Scope of the Policy

The [Ministry… - adjust to your needs] is committed to supporting research of high quality and to ensuring that this investment leads to maximum economic and social return. The [Ministry] supports the principle of openness to research outputs and processes as the most effective way in which they can be publicly and freely available to and (re)usable by other researchers, as well as businesses, and the general public. Open access also advances the principles of social justice through promoting a culture of open sharing, mentorship and skills development.

For this purpose, the [Ministry]  has defined the following policy which must be observed by all recipients of research funding as of [date].

2. Rights, Roles and Responsibilities

The [Ministry]:

1. Fosters the transition to Open Science through the adoption of the present policy and the provision of appropriate guidance and training to ensure the implementation of the policy.

2. Supports open access repositories for publications and research data in [Country].  

3. Monitors policy compliance and provides public accounts of its progress and research impact.

4. Encourages the uptake of Open Science practices (in addition to open access to publications and data) such as the involvement in collaborative community science projects, the use of open educational resources etc., by including “openness” as one of the criteria during research assessment and evaluation.


Researchers manage research outputs in adherence with the principles and requirements expressed in this policy.

3. Open Access to Publications

1. The [Ministry] requires that a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication of all peer reviewed publications produced as a result of research supported, either in entirety or in part by [Ministry], is deposited in a suitable open access repository. Deposit should be made immediately upon acceptance for publication and the metadata made fully open, searchable and machine-readable from the time of deposit.

2. The [Ministry] requires that the full-text of all such publications be made openly available immediately where possible and in any case no later than 6-months after publication in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or 12 months after publication in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). If a journal’s permitted embargo period is longer than these, authors should either negotiate with the publisher to retain the rights so as to comply with this policy, or find a journal that enables them to comply without the need for negotiation.  

3. The [Ministry] encourages its members to retain ownership of copyright and to licence to publishers only those rights necessary for publication. This is possible through the use of addenda to the publishing contract. Templates are available at https://sparcopen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Access-Reuse_Addendum.pdf.  

4. While the dominant type of scientific publication is the journal article, researchers are strongly encouraged to provide open access to other types of publications such as monographs, book chapters, conference proceedings, grey literature, reports, etc.

4. Open Access to Theses and Dissertations

1. The [Ministry] requires that an approved final version of the thesis or dissertation must be deposited in a [national/University's institutional repository].

2. This policy applies to all graduate and post-graduate students who author a thesis or dissertation as part of their University graduate degree requirements and following issuance of this policy.

3. To assist the University in archiving and openly disseminating theses and dissertations within the scope of this policy, all of the University’s graduate students will submit the final version of the student’s thesis or dissertation to the University before conferral of the student’s graduate degree, regardless of whether an embargo is obtained. Such thesis or dissertation will be made freely and openly available to the public after filing, unless the graduate student obtains an embargo.

4. Graduate and postgraduate students may delay the date their theses or dissertations become available in an open access repository by specifying the embargo period – up to two years – upon filing. Upon compelling circumstances, the University may grant embargoes of longer than two years or embargoes requested after filing.

5. Open Access to Research Data

1. The [Ministry] requires the deposit of the research data supporting publications resulting entirely or partly from its funding and their metadata, preferably in a research data repository.

2. The [Ministry] follows the principle “as open as possible as closed as necessary”. The [Ministry] requires research data to be handled according to the FAIR principles (i.e. Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable). If data cannot be open due to legal, privacy or other concerns (for example personal or sensitive data) this should be clearly explained.

3. Researchers are encouraged to submit a Data Management Plan (DMP) showing how data will be handled according to the FAIR data principles.

6. Licensing

1. The [Ministry] encourages that funded publications are made available under an open content license, such as Creative Commons (CC BY).

2. The [Ministry] requires that research data must be made available under an open content license, such as Creative Commons (CC BY or CC0).

7. Resources for training/ awareness-raising on Open Science

The [Ministry] ensures researchers have access to appropriate training and support activities on Open Science on their institutional level.  

8. Policy Review

An evidenced-based review of the policy implementation will take place three years following its adoption and subsequent reviews will take place on biennial basis.


ANNEX I: Definitions

·         Data Management Plan (DMP) is a brief plan that defines how the data will be created, how it will be documented, who will be able to access it, where it will be stored, who will back it up and whether (and how) it will be shared and preserved.

·         Embargo is the period during which a publication can be ‘closed’ while deposited in the repository (i.e. the publication is not openly available).

·         FAIR Data Principles for scientific management and data stewardship refer to a set of principles to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable https://www.force11.org/group/fairgroup/fairprinciples.

·         Metadata are the descriptors used for describing, tracing, use and management of the deposited item (indicatively: title of publication, author(s), institutional affiliation, name of journal where the publication has been accepted, etc.).

·         Research Data is any information that has been collected, observed, generated or created to validate original research findings (such as raw data captured from instruments sensors, visualizations, models, algorithms, images, audio and video files, etc.).

·         Research is defined as any creative and systematically performed work with the goal of furthering knowledge.

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