INSTITUTIONAL OPEN ACCESS POLICY

1. Aims and Scope of the Policy

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] commits to the advancement of science and the wide dissemination of knowledge to the benefit of society by adopting practices on open, reproducible and responsible research.

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] recognizes “openness” as one of its guiding principles and commits to promoting it by – among others – supporting and encouraging open access to publications and data and open science.

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] also recognizes that open access advances the principles of social justice through promoting a culture of open sharing, mentorship and skills development.

For this purpose, the [Name of the University/Research Institute] has defined the following policy that applies to all researchers active at [Name of the University/Research Institute]. In cases where research is funded by a third party, any agreement with that party concerning access rights, deposit and storage takes precedence over this Policy.

The Policy has been approved by [……] and takes effect from [dd/mm/yyyy].

2. Rights, Roles and Responsibilities

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] is responsible for:

1.      Supporting and empowering the transition to open access and open science through education, training and awareness-raising actions targeting researchers and other employees. Acquisition of open science skills should form an integral part of professional training and career development offered to researchers.

2.      Establishing  (if one does not yet exist) an Institutional open access repository [Name of the Repository].

3.      Appointing a Research Data Officer responsible for all research data related matters, including – but not limited to – issues related to the development of Data Management Plans (DMPs) and compliance with national and donors policies.

4.      Developing and providing mechanisms and services for the storage, safekeeping, registration, deposition and distribution of research data and other records as well as their long-term preservation and providing appropriate guidance to researchers.

5.      Embedding open science practices in recruitment, research assessment and evaluation criteria, such as open access to publications and data, involvement in collaborative community science projects, the use of open educational resources etc.

6.      Monitoring policy compliance by comparing the content of the repository with information gathered from indexing services and through data on the use (access and downloads) per publication/ department/unit/ institute etc.

7.      Having Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and data protection policies and documentation as well as an open licensing policy mandating a coherent and comprehensive set of licences for releasing content and data.


Researchers are responsible for:

1.      Managing publications, data and educational resources in adherence with the principles and requirements expressed in this Policy.

2.      Complying with the organizational, regulatory, institutional, and other contractual and legal requirements related to the production, curation, deposit, management, and distribution of publications and research data in case there is no other agreement with third parties taking precedence.

3.      Where relevant, compiling a DMP for research activity they are coordinating.

4.      Documenting the IPR status of their research and choosing the appropriate type of licensing for their research output.

3. Open Access to Publications

1. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] requires that a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or a final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication of  all peer reviewed publications produced by researchers, is deposited in the Institutional open access repository/national 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 [Name of the University/Research Institute] requires that the full-text of all such publications be made openly available immediately where possible and in any case no later than six-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 [Name of the University/Research Institute] encourages researchers 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. If possible, the full text of all publications referred to in 1 to be made available under a standard open license.

5. For purposes of individual or institutional evaluation of the research output of the institution and its members, [Name of the University/Research Institute] will only consider as publications those which metadata and full texts are deposited in the institutional repository according to the requirements stated above (access could be closed in case of embargo periods, publishers requirements, etc.).

6. 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.

7. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] researchers to deposit in the institutional repository/national repository publications authored prior to the date of effect of the current policy and make them openly accessible whenever possible.


4. Open Access to Theses and Dissertations

1. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] requires that an approved final version of the thesis or dissertation must be deposited in Institutional repository/national 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. If possible, the full text to be made available under a standard open license.

5. 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 [Name of the University/Research Institute] requires researchers to deposit the research data needed to validate the results presented in scientific and scholarly publications in a suitable repository.

2. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] follows the principle “as open as possible as closed as necessary”. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] 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. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] encourages researchers to submit a DMP for research activities showing how data will be handled according to the FAIR data principles.

6. Licensing

1. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] encourages that publications are made available under an open content license, such as Creative Commons (CC BY).

2. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] requires that research data must be made available under an open content license, such as Creative Commons (CC BY or CC0).

7. Open Science

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] encourages the uptake of open science practices such as open access to publications and data, involvement in collaborative community science projects, the use of open educational resources etc.

8. Research Assessment and Evaluation

The [Name of the University/Research Institute] commits to:

1. Developing in cooperation with [Name of the Ministry] a framework for research assessment and evaluation that incentivizes research quality and open science behaviors. Such systems should take into consideration disciplinary differences and their impact on researchers at different career stages.

2. Setting up reward mechanisms for researchers using open science practices (e.g. sharing provisional results through open platforms, using open source software and other tools, participation in open collaborative projects, open access to publications and data, using open educational resources etc.).

9. Training

1. The [Name of the University/Research Institute] library in cooperation with institutional departments or any other appropriate body (such a legal services, research support staff, data officers) commits to developing training courses to facilitate the adoption of open science and equip researchers and librarians and other support staff with the necessary skills and expertise. Such training courses should include skills necessary for open access publishing, research data management and sharing, research integrity.

2. Training should be tailored to different disciplines and delivered to researchers at all career stages and should be embedded into curricula.

10. Validity of the Policy

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.).

·      Open Educational Resources (OER) according to the OECD are “teaching, learning and research materials that make use of tools like open licenses that permit their free reuse, continuous improvement and repurposing by others for educational purposes”.

·      Publication is defined as the peer-reviewed published (or under publication) work of researchers based in the institution.

·    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.

·    Researcher is defined as any member of the research staff of [Name of the University/Research Institute], of all levels and irrespective of their employment status including employees and doctoral students.