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FEATURE Open-access policies

Research funders provide OA support

Siân Harris takes a look at some of the approaches that research funders take to open access and why


he past couple of years have seen a rush of new national and funder initiatives and mandates in the area of open access (OA). In recent months these have included new announcements from Norway, China and Mexico.

For example, the Research Council of Norway is introducing a new, five-year funding scheme to help pay for publication in OA journals. The Research Council is setting aside NOK 8 million per year for the new scheme, which is open to all Norwegian research institutions whether or not they are funded by the Research Council. Research institutions may apply for funding to cover up to 50 per cent of their expenses related to publishing in OA journals.

In announcing the scheme, Arvid Hallén, director general of the Research Council, said, ‘With this scheme we hope to facilitate a more rapid transition to OA publishing of Norwegian research. This is important for giving all interested parties free access to new research results as soon as they are published. ‘We know that the institutions are in the midst of a costly transition period in which they must maintain their journal subscriptions as well as pay fees to open access journals,’ he continued.

The Research Council has also revised its policy on OA to scientific publications[1]

. The

revised policy encourages researchers who receive funding from the Research Council to publish their results in OA journals, in

6 Research Information AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

addition to continuing the requirement to self-archive all articles based on research funded by the Research Council. In China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences will require its researchers and graduate students to deposit final, peer- reviewed manuscripts of research articles into the OA repositories of their institutes within 12 months of their official publication in academic journals [2]

. The National Natural Science Foundation

of China (NSFC) has announced a similar policy. Authors of research papers generated from projects fully or partially funded by the NSFC should deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted by journals in the NSFC repository for an embargo period of no more than 12 months. The NSFC said in a statement: ‘NSFC requires its relevant departments to actively collaborate with relevant governmental departments and public education and


Toria/Sarunyu foto/Bellenixe/Agsandrew/

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