Luxembourg Learning Centre (LLC)

Publishing & Open Access

Open Access (OA) is a set of principles and practices through which information is disseminated free of charge to the user in the online environment, and it is reusable. OA can be applied to all forms of research output, e.g. articles in academic journals, conference papers, book chapters, monographs, research reports etc. The OA movement is built on the discussion of scholarly communication, academic journals and their business models.

A publication is Open Access if it is universally and freely available, at no cost to the reader, via the Internet or otherwise, the copyright owner grants to all users the right to use, copy or distribute the article as long as proper attribution is given, and if it is deposited, immediately, in full and in a suitable electronic form, in at least one widely and internationally recognised open access repository committed to open access.

The OA movement is built on the discussion of scholarly communication, academic journals and their business models. Historically, print journals covered their costs through subscriptions, licenses, or pay-per-view charges. OA journals use a funding model which does not require the reader to pay to read content. Instead, they rely on author fees (APCs), public funding, subsidies, or other forms of payment of their publication costs.

Useful links Open Access and Open Science:

There are many benefits to publishing OA:

  • It makes you and your research more visible, reaching the widest possible audience.
  • By making your research more accessible, it allows others to build upon your ideas right away leading to a progress of new insights, new innovation and impact where it is needed the most.
  • Researchers globally can reuse your findings regardless of their financial means.
  • New collaborations and innovative ideas based on scientific discovery is enabled, e.g. start-ups, alliances, etc.
  • It also reduces research duplication and research waste, making science more efficient.
  • OA increases impact and transparency in research.

When you select to publish OA you as the author and the official right holder(s) (e.g. journal publishers) grant to all users free access to it and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly.  Your work must still be referenced appropriately (attribution of authorship) by those who use any of the content. 

Open-Access dissemination may follow many paths, but these are the three main ones:

  • The green path consists of uploading a version of the published work to an open archive, or to a themed or institutional repository. ORBilu fulfills this criterion.
  • The gold path involves publishing in Open-Access journals. You can find OA journals on the DOAJ website.
  • The diamond (or platinum) path involves publishing in journals and platforms that are entirely free for authors and readers. These are still new and developing with some challenges related to visibility, sustainability and technical capacity.

Periodicals that are distributed with a subscription that offers the author the option of paying to make their article free to read (hybrid journals) are not Open Access! This type of practice should be avoided as much as possible.

At the University of Luxembourg, we give priority to the green path, which means depositing your publication on ORBilu after acceptance/publication via traditional publishing routes, and the diamond path, perhaps by publishing your academic text via Melusina Press at the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) at the University of Luxembourg.

Most funders, research institutions, government agencies etc. now expect research to be published as Open Access (OA). Whilst at the University, funding bodies and collaborators of your research can direct you in your publishing efforts. Your department and research collaborators may also have internal policies or recommendations to help you choose the most appropriate publication route for your research.

Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)

The Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) is the main funder of research activities in Luxembourg.

If you hold FNR funding for a research project, FNR requires you to follow their Open Access policy, making all your publications Open Access. They will reimburse some or all the expenses when publishing Open Access, and you must use ChronosHub for declaring your publication and request a refund.

Useful links:

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe aims at strengthening the scientific and technological base of EU economies in order to help tackle major global challenges and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme will also strengthen the European Research Area (ERA).

The European Horizon programme has adopted a much broader Open Science policy, which includes sharing knowledge, data and tools as early as possible in the research process, in open collaboration with all relevant actors, including citizens. The goal is for greater responsiveness to societal challenges and to increase trust in the science system.

Useful links:

Copyright is a type of intellectual property which protects certain original creative work, including academic articles. Copyright allows the creator of a work to decide whether, and under what conditions, their work may be used, published and distributed by others. As such, it governs how others can use, publish and distribute articles.

Academic publishers fall broadly into two categories: subscription (i.e. pay-to-read) and Open Access (e.g. pay-to-publish), which take different approaches to copyright. Subscription publishers typically require researchers to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement from the authors to the publisher, with the publisher monetising articles behind paywalls. Such publishers sometimes allow certain rights to their authors, including permission to reuse parts of the paper in the author’s future work, to distribute a limited number of copies. But overall, authors do not own the rights to their work anymore. To know what each publisher allows, please check SherpaRomeo.

To assert ownership as the intellectual creator and original copyright holder, the author has a few options:

  • The author can choose to publish gold or diamond OA where author retains all copyright through a Creative Commons license, and the publisher retains the right to openly share, reuse and adapt the work.
  • The author can choose an appropriate license in agreement with the Publisher (check SherpaRomeo). There are various more or less restrictive licences which can be applied to the work. Publishers may try and convince authors to go for a more restrictive licence but this is not the best option for the visibility and reusability of a researcher’s work. We recommend using a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY 4.0 International).
  • Where the researcher is funded by an institution that is a member of cOAlition S, the author can use the Rights Retention Strategy (see Plan S) and apply a Creative Commons license (typically CC-BY) to their manuscript upon submission to the Publisher. In your cover letter you also include the statement and request that copyright is retained by the author. The publishers’ position wil be reflected by the Journal Checker Tool, a public web service that helps researchers to determine compliance with cOAlition S Organisations´ Open Access requirements for any given journal.

Useful links:

You can choose to publish in the journal of your choice, and always deposit the paper in ORBilu according to the University Deposit Mandate. By depositing you ensure that your paper is freely available to anyone anywhere in ‘green open access’ form.

Should you wish to publish in an Open Access journal, the LLC has three agreements with Publishers:

If your research project has FNR funding, you must use the ChronosHub platform to prepare and submit your manuscript. This is to meet their eligibility for refunds for publishing.