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UniversiteitsbibliotheekOpen AccessOpen access nieuwsbrief

Don’t miss out on discounts for open access publishing

Although many researchers have heard about the open access deals with publishers, many authors from the University of Groningen (UG) and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) have missed out on the opportunity to publish open access this year. These publisher deals make it possible to publish as open access in many journals, without a charge for the author.

UG and UMCG authors who have missed out on open access were not aware that the journal to which they were submitting was part of a deal. For many it went wrong in the submitting process, when an author has to actively select ‘open access’. Many UG and UMCG authors did not opt for open access here, because they thought they would have to pay the article processing charges (APCs).

How big are the publisher deals and how big is the problem?

Dutch universities have signed deals with 14 publishers, including major publishers such as Springer, Elsevier, Wiley and Sage. All Springer and Sage publications by authors from Dutch universities were open access in the first quarter of 2017, as they should have been. However, the success rate for Elsevier and Wiley was low, with 40% open access for Elsevier and only 21% for Wiley. This means that from January to March most authors from Dutch universities, including the University of Groningen and the UMCG, missed out on publishing open access when they published in journals that are part of the deals with Elsevier and Wiley.

What can authors do to ensure open access publishing?

You as an author can prevent mistakes by checking the open access options for the journal you plan to publish in. The national
Journal Browser is an informative source for this. A product of Dutch universities, the Journal Browser is where you can find whether a journal falls under a national agreement and whether there is an APC discount. It is important to have this information before you start the submission process, so that you know whether you can opt for open access without incurring charges later. Please be aware that if you have missed the opportunity to publish open access, most publishers are unwilling to apply this retrospectively. Information about open access and the publisher deals can also be found on the websites of the University Library and the Central Medical Library .

Use ‘rug’ or ‘umcg’ email address

If you publish in a journal that is part of an agreement, make sure that the publisher recognizes you, the corresponding author, as a researcher from the University of Groningen or UMCG. You should therefore use your ‘rug’ or ‘umcg’ email address and submit the article from a UG or UMCG computer. Also make sure that the affiliation details are correct. For UMCG authors, this includes both the UG and the Medical Center: University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department…, The Netherlands.

Example: comparison of open access options for two journals

The European Journal of Epidemiology and the International Journal of Epidemiology have a similar scope and impact. We will use these as an example to show the differences between them in terms of open access options and APCs (table 1). The first column of the table below lists which websites you should consult for the publisher deals and alternative open access options. The open access options for each journal are shown in columns two and three.

The national Journal Browser shows that there is an agreement with the European Journal of Epidemiology but not with the International Journal of Epidemiology. This means that you can publish open access in the European Journal of Epidemiology without charges. A publication in the International Journal of Epidemiology will only be available with a subscription. It is possible to make the article open, but then you have to pay charges. The alternative route to open access is to deposit the final author’s version, the post-print, in Pure, where it will be available after a 12-month embargo.

Table 1. Comparison of open access options and APCs between the European Journal of Epidemiology and the International Journal of Epidemiology

Last modified:21 February 2018 11.19 a.m.