Open access in practice

Openness and transparency strengthens the academic community, and research results can be disseminated faster and more effectively within the research world and to the public. Generally, there are two routes to open access (OA), the gold and the green, and within them a number of publishing models.


Gold open access means that researchers publish directly in a journal or with a publisher that makes use of open access. The book or the article then becomes immediately openly available online while you, as the author, retain your copyright. Today there are many reputable OA journals and publishers where you can be published and that have a peer review process. You can read more about how to assess and find good OA journals and publishers and avoid unreliable parties at Assess journals and publishers. It’s also possible to search for quality publications in established databases, such as Web of Science and Scopus or through the Norwegian list.

How much does it cost?

No subscription is required for readers to access articles, books and data published through open access. Costs are covered using other business models. Many OA journals levy a publishing fee called the article processing charge (APC). This one-time sum is paid by the researcher/department and most research funding bodies allow you to apply for funds for the publishing fee at the time of application. Some universities have OA funds that cover part of the cost, but none are currently available at Uppsala University. Free OA publishing also is available, where a higher education institution is responsible for publishing and carries out the publishing activities.

Vision 2026

To promote quality research and innovation, open access is highlighted in the research bill “Collaborating for knowledge – for society’s challenges and strengthened competitiveness” (2016/17:50), in which the Swedish government envisions that all scientific publications and research data that are the result of publicly funded research should be openly accessible when published. The goal is for this shift in publishing to the gold OA approach to be implemented by 2026 and that all actors in the research system have a common responsibility for fulfilling the vision.

Open access and books

Kriterium is Sweden’s national initiative for peer-reviewed open access publishing of research monographs. It is aimed at supporting books as a form of publishing and to clarify academic quality through peer-review by an academic assessment panel, responsible researchers and manuscript reviewers. A book is published by a publisher or in academic publication series at the same time as it is published and distributed digitally via Kriterium’s portal. Kriterium is an approved media channel in the Norwegian list, which means that books published there receive publishing scores in resource allocation.

Creative Commons

Research funding bodies, such as the Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Horizon 2020 now require that publications that are published using open access have a Creative Commons licence. The most common Creative Commons licence used by OA journals/publishers is CC BY. This licence means that you, as the author, allow others to use, distribute, tweak, modify and build upon your work, even in commercial contexts. Those who use your CC-licensed works should state that you are the author.

Hybrid open access

A variant of gold open access is the hybrid model that many commercial subscription-based publishers now offer. This means that you pay for the right to make your publication immediately available to interested readers and retain your author’s rights. This model is costly, almost twice as expensive on average as direct publishing in an OA journal, and is criticised because the publisher takes in revenues for both the publishing fee and subscription fees. Other articles in that issue of the journal for which the author does not pay an OA option wind up behind the paywall. The hybrid model may be an option when the research funding body requires open access within a certain period and you want to continue to be published in a traditional journal. Please look closely at UU’s discounts, both for direct and hybrid variations of open access publishing.


One route to open access is green OA. The author is published with a traditional publisher but also makes a copy freely accessible in an open digital archive. Open archives may contain publications from an organisation or a higher education institution or they may assemble publications in a particular subject field. Uppsala University has DiVA, which is also the University’s database for digital publishing and for registering publications. It offers a certain degree of archiving. You can self-archive here, and your research results will be disseminated in even more channels and indexed. The majority of publishers allow self-archiving, but this is linked to the requirement on a specific version of your work and a time embargo of 6 months or more.

Different versions

Publishers usually have different rules depending on which version of the article you wish to make freely available. The following versions are commonly mentioned:

  • Submitted version (in SHERPA/RoMEO: Author's Pre-print) - The early manuscript version that has been submitted to a journal/publisher for peer review.
  • Accepted version (in SHERPA/RoMEO: Author's Post-print) - The final manuscript version that has been revised to incorporate referee comments and has been accepted for publication. This version lacks the journal's/publisher's pagination and logotype, but has the same content as the published version.
  • Published version (in SHERPA/RoMEO: Publisher's version/PDF) - The publisher-created version that is published in the journal.

A cover page with a complete reference and a link to the published version will be added to the manuscript versions (accepted version and submitted version) that are self-archived in DiVA.

Example of a self-archived article in DiVA (accepted version with cover page).

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