Open access through self-archiving

ERC requires that for all publications resulting from research funded through ERC grants, an appropriate version is deposited immediately upon publication in a repository, regardless of whether the publication is published in open access or not. ERC recommends the OAPEN Library for the deposit of monographs and book chapters and other long-text publications.

When a book or book chapter is not published in open access, self-archiving becomes the only way to make the publication freely available. This means that the author makes the version that has been deposited in the repository openly available. In most cases, the author will need permission from the publisher to self-archive. Publishers often have a self-archiving policy to comply with funder requirements, and this policy can usually be found on the publisher’s website. It should be noted that self-archiving of books and, to a lesser extent, book chapters, is relatively new and therefore less common among book publishers.

The self-archiving policy will normally contain the following elements:

  • Which version of the publication may be self-archived: this can be the published version, or an earlier version of the manuscript. In the case of the latter, ERC requires the final accepted manuscript. This is the manuscript after peer review has taken place, including any changes that were made as a result of the peer review process.
  • The embargo period: how long does the author have to wait after the publication date before the publication can be made freely available? Please note that ERC requires that the publication should be deposited at the latest upon publication and made freely available no later than six months after the publication date, or twelve months in the case of H2020 grants for publications in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The usage rights of the self-archived publication: when copyright has been transferred to the publisher, the publisher can determine the license under which the publication can be made available. The publisher can also determine that the publication can only be made available under “all rights reserved”. This means that users can only make use of the publication for personal purposes within the legal framework of their national copyright law. Users will need permission from the publisher for other uses of the work.

OAPEN can support authors who are seeking permission from publishers to self-archive their work.