Open access to scientific publications is one of the key objectives of open science. The Research Council of Finland has long-established practices for supporting open access publishing. The science policy priorities and practical measures have depended on the timely practices of the scientific community. The requirements and practices of open science that apply to a Research Council funding decision should always be checked in the funding terms and conditions that are appended to the funding decision. This page presents the basic guidelines from the currently valid funding terms and the Research Council’s activities to promote open access to scientific publications.
The Research Council of Finland requires that projects funded by us commit to ensuring immediate open access to their peer-reviewed articles in accordance with Plan S principles and Finland’s national policy for open access to scholarly publications. This requirement applies to projects funded from Research Council calls opened after 1 January 2021. The requirements that apply to projects funded earlier are available in the funding terms and conditions that were in use at the time the funding decision was made.
The Research Council requires open access according to Plan S definitions.
The Research Council requires that researchers and research projects funded by us make research outputs wholly or partially produced with Research Council funding available to the public immediately after publication. As regards peer-reviewed articles, this can be done in three ways:
1) By publishing the article in a Plan-S-compliant scientific journal based on immediate open access
The easiest way to check whether a journal or publishing platform is compliant with Plan S is to use the Journal Checker Tool, a database developed by cOAlition S. For Finnish scientific journals, the Research Council exceptionally approves journals in which all peer-reviewed articles are published in a manner that is compliant with Plan S:n but other published material is not fully open access.
2) By making the scientific publication openly available in a repository (either as a Version of Record or as an Author Accepted Manuscript) that supports immediate access and is in compliance with Plan S.
If the chosen scientific journal or publishing platform does not declare that they accept immediate self-archiving of either of these versions, the Research Council encourages the authors to propose making the article openly available immediately, as agreed in the publishing agreement. If the publisher refuses immediate self-archiving, the article can be made open access through self-archiving within an embargo (up to 12 months for social sciences and the humanities, up to 6 months for other scientific disciplines).
The Research Council considers that all repositories operating in Finland with the support of Finnish universities and government research institutes fulfil these conditions. Researchers funded by us may also use international, reliable repositories for self-archiving purposes.
3) By publishing articles in a scientific journal supported by a transformative agreement between a publisher committed to promoting immediate open access and a representative of the scientific community (e.g. the FinELib Consortium or an individual research organisation) or in a scientific journal committed to promoting immediate open access (transformative journal). The agreements must be valid during the period 1 January 2021–31 December 2024.
Peer-reviewed articles produced in projects funded by us may not be published using the so-called hybrid model, where individual articles published in subscription-based journals are made open access on payment.
Peer-reviewed scientific articles shall be published under a global licence that guarantees immediate access free of charge. The licence must also guarantee the free redistribution and reproduction of article contents. This condition supports both the dissemination and reuse of research outputs and the researcher’s rights to the research outputs and the results presented in them.
As a rule, the Research Council requires the use of Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0, but deviations from this requirement is possible in the following cases:
The articles may, subject to a licence, contain content produced by other authors, the copyright of which is not affected by the licences in question.
It is not necessary to ask permission from the Research Council for the use of permitted licences. This will be applied retroactively to Research Council funding decisions made after 2 November 2020.
To support open access to peer-reviewed articles, cOAlition S has published detailed technical conditions for scientific journals, publication platforms and repositories.
The coalition has also develop the Journal Checker Tool to help researchers supported by funder compliant with Plan S. The tool allows researchers to check whether a scientific journal or publishing platform complies with Plan S. In the case of non-compliant journals, the tool also provides guidance on how to implement immediate self-archiving as enabled by Plan S.
The Journal Checker Tool was opened in late 2020 and is still in beta. Researchers and other members of the scientific community using the Journal Checker Tool may send requests for supplementations and corrections through the portal.
If a scientific journal published in Finland meets all the other conditions set out in Plan S for the implementation of open access, the journal need not be registered or in the process of registering in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This especially applies to journals that have not made other material than peer-reviewed articles open access.
The Journal Checker Tool does not contain information on repositories compliant with Plan S. The Research Council of Finland considers that all repositories operating in Finland with the support of Finnish universities and government research institutes fulfil these conditions.
Regardless of the chosen method of open access, the scientific publications of projects funded by the Research Council of Finland must be archived in a repository that guarantees long-term storage for and free open access to the publication. This can be done with either repositories maintained by research organisations or international discipline-specific repositories.
The Research Council also urges researchers to publish their conference articles and monographs with open access. The Research Council will prepare guidelines on the implementation and funding of open access to conference proceedings and monographs once the national policy on open access to scholarly publications has been updated with a policy on monographs.
The costs of ensuring open access to scientific publications published under the Research Council’s funding terms and conditions may be included in the overheads of sites of research, insofar as the implementation of the publication is in compliance with the above conditions for open access.
The open access costs to be taken into account in the overheads mean that the site of research can finance the open access of the articles produced by the project it supports, even if the funding period for the project has already expired. The Research Council obliges the site of research to take into account in the overheads percentage the funding needed for the site’s research projects to implement open access. Furthermore, the site of research is obliged to ensure that the project meets the open access requirements set out in the Research Council’s funding terms and conditions and to finance open access to publications accordingly. Through cooperation between the Research Council and the sites of research, the practical implementation and financing of open access must be made as easy as possible for researchers.
The costs of open access to peer-reviewed articles refer to the following costs:
Article processing charges (APC) required by the Plan-S-compliant journal that supports immediate open access. The Research Council encourages international scientific publishers to join the cOAlition S Journal Comparison Service, which aims to shed light on publishing fees and services.
Maintenance and development costs for Plan-S-compliant parallel repository maintained by the site of research. Costs of articles published in accordance with Plan S within the framework of a transformative agreement with a publisher committed to promoting immediate open access until 31 December 2024, or costs of articles published in accordance with Plan S in a transformative journal committed to promoting immediate open access until 31 December 2024. These costs comprise two different types of agreements:
- organisation’s fees resulting from participation in the FinELib consortium that concern Plan-S-compliant open access costs until 31 December 2024 in accordance with agreements concluded between FinELib and scientific publishers
- Plan-S-compliant open access costs incurred by an individual research organisation until 31 December 2024 for subscription contracts concluded between the organisation and scientific publishers.
Justified layout and editing costs related to the preparation of scientific publications may be financed as research costs for the research project if they are associated with the project’s research or action plan.