Self-archiving: a way to publish open access

Today there are thousands of Open access journals to publish in. But finding a suitable, high quality Open access journal is not always easy and depending on your field of research, the choices can sometimes be slim. Publishing in an Open access journal that charges an article processing charge (APC) can also be expensive. Self-archiving, sometimes referred to as "green open access", is an alternative and complementary way to publish your research openly without charge.  

Self-archiving means publishing an article in a subscription based journal and making a version of the article manuscript available online. A common way to do this is by the author depositing a copy of the manuscript after peer review in a digital repository, thus sharing the manuscript and making it possible for anyone to read and download. Karolinska Institutet has its own repository for this purpose, called KI Open Archive.

KI Open Archive

KI Open Archive is Karolinska Institutets institutional repository, where full text publications and manuscripts produced at KI are published digitally. The archive also holds digitally published versions of KI:s doctoral and licentiate theses. More information on how to publish your article in the archive. KI Open Archive is managed by the KI University Library.

KI supports Open access and self-archiving

Since 2011 Karolinska Institutet has a policy on Open access. The policy encourages KI:s researchers to make their publications freely available to the greatest possible extent, taking into account publisher´s terms and relevant demands of grant-awarding bodies and government authorities.

Publishers policies on self-archiving and funders mandates

So when can a manuscript be self-archived and in what version? Publishing in subscription based journals involves signing a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) where the commercial rights are transferred from the author to the journal or publisher. For this reason, publishers have restrictions on how authors are allowed to self-archive. These restrictions apply to which manuscript version is permitted to share, where it can be shared and at what time. For example, many publishers allow that the accepted manuscript (post peer review) is shared in an institutional repository after a time delay, often 6 to 12 months, also known as an embargo period.

Conditions and restrictions differ between publishers. As a researcher it is important to make sure that the journal policy is in accordance with the mandates of the research funder or grant-awarding body. It is a good idea to check the journal policy on self-archiving and open access before submitting the manuscript. Publisher´s policies can be found on the journal web page or in the database Sherpa/RoMEO. Research funder´s open access policies can be found in the database Sherpa/Juliet.

KI University Library offers support and service

The KI University Library offers a wide range of services and support to KI:s researchers in matters concerning open access and scientific publishing. Here are some:

Learn more

For more information on self-archiving and open access, please visit the KI University Library open access web page.

Karolina Karjalainen

Librarian coordinating the education for researchers and doctoral students at the library. She also teaches researchers and doctoral students in subjects regarding scientific publication.