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How can I correctly manage my self-archiving & have more info about Open Access and Licenses?


 - Funding and Open Access -



A.1  What is Open Access?

A.2. How can I make my work Open Access?

A.3. The European Commission and Open Access

A.4. How to implement Open Access requested by funding bodies

A.5  Which versions of the research output can be uploaded to the Institutional Repository?

A.6 What does "embargo period" mean?

A.7  Elsevier imposes embargo periods (a delayed access from the date of publication) rather long: how can I meet the requirements of H2020?

A.8  Which kind of legal matters may I come across?

A.9  Is access also open for the research output funded by Italian governmental bodies?

A.10 Creative Commons licenses: how do they work?


A.1 What is OpenAccess?

Open Access is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without restrictions on its use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. The research outputs include peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, monographs and datasets of various kinds. Access to knowledge is essential in higher education and research: it increases more visibility both for the authors and the Institution, and promotes progress and innovation in our society. Furthermore, the more a scientific work is visible, the more it will be cited.
The European Community and funding agencies require open access to the scholarly outputs in compliance with the Budapest Open access Initiative (BOAI), the Berlin Declaration (2003), the UE legislation which Italian Law 7 Ottobre, 2013 n. 112. conformed to. In its Open Access policy for Horizon 2020, the European Commission explicitly asks to deposit the work in a repository and make it Open Access (after an embargo if necessary).


A.2 How can I make my work Open Access?

There are two main ways of making publications Open Access:

IRIS SISSA Digital Library is the institutional repository of the research output produced in SISSA. The repository offers a unique platform for the archiving, the access and the long-term conservation of the research output of the SISSA researchers and it is interoperable with the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR site) for the purposes of evaluation exercises of the research (e.g. VQR, ASN), and OpenAIR..
It makes available the SISSA research output as requested from the European Union protocol (H2020, FP7),

  • Open access publishing: possibly in Open Access Journals with Creative Commons Licenses which allow you to reuse your work and archive it in your institutional repository.

          European funding projects (e.g. H2020) require not only the O.A. publishing but also the self-archiving in an institutional or subject repositories.


A3. The European Commission and Open Access

The European Commission requires the Open Access publication for the research output funded by “H2020. The EU framework programme for research and innovation”, in accordance with clause 29.2 of the Grant Agreement. To comply with this clause, each beneficiary of EU funding has to assure  the open access of all the “peer reviewed” publications which provide the funded projects’ results. For this purpose the European Community has provided both facilities and guidelines (See OpenAire)

Recently the EU has decided to set up and manage an open access publishing platform for the European Commission as a service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiares. The platform will provide a full open access peer-reviewed publishing service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries – with all article processing fees paid directly by the EC. The platform is planned for launch in early 2021.

Another international initiative for  making open access of journals articles is Plan S which goal is to increase pressure on large publishing house to change their economic model and make open access to their articles of journals. Recently an agreeement was signed by COAR (Confederation of Open Access Respository) and cOAlition S to work together so that the istitutional archives of academic institutions can confirm to the Plan S.

Plans S commits the member organizations to deposit the final manuscript before publications (green OA) in open archives and not to publish in hybrid journals except those of trasformative agreement.

PLEASE NOTE: failure to fulfill any obligation indicated in the Grant Agreement, including the open access dissemination, may cause the reduction of the starting funding.


A.4 How to implement Open Access requested by funding bodies

In order to meet the requirements of funded bodies, each researcher funded by the European Commission and/or other ones will have to make their publications open access within the time stated in the agreement. In high energy physics all the articles published online are made accessible on free access mode through "Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics -SCOAP".

This project launched in 2014 by CERN converts librararies subscriptions costs of the journals in high energy physics into a article processing cost. In Italy SCOAP3 is coordinated by INFN in collaboration with Conference of Italian universities (CRUI).

You can find the funding bodies’ requirements for open access on SHERPA/JULIET database

Publishing open access on the publisher’s site is not enough: you also have to self-archive the permitted publisher’s version in an institutional or subjet-based repository.

The two main ways of archiving open access are:

Green Road-Self Archiving in an institutional repository Gold Road-Open access on a journal

Upload the permitted publisher’s version.

Generally the publisher allows the Author’s Accepted Manuscript version without the publisher’s layout and already submitted to the peer-review process (known also as postprint).

The publisher can request an embargo period:
the publication is available open access after a certain period.

See SHERPA/ROMEO database for the publisher’ self-archiving policies.

ELSEVIER sets different embargo periods
depending on the journal you have published in



Publication in peer-reviewed open access journals with sharing of publication costs by researchers, institutions or funding bodies.

DOAJ is an online directory which indexes high-quality open access journals.

GOLD APC: publication in traditional commercial journals through the payment of a fee.

See the SISSA procedure for the payment of the Article Processing Charge (APC).

BEALLSLIST is a database which lists predatory publishers and their related journals
















A.5  Which versions of the research output can be uploaded to the institutional repository?

Before self-archiving your output in the SISSA institutional repository (IRIS.SISSA.IT), you must always check the SHERPA/ROMEO database which provides information related to the international publisher copyright policies for self-archiving.
In accordance with the different publisher policies, the author can upload:

- The publisher’s version: if the publisher allows it. Articles are often published with licenses suitable for the re-use (e.g. Creative Commons licenses). The CC BY license (Attribution) and the CC BY-  SA (Attribution-ShareAlike) are the least restrictive.

-  The postprint version: the Author’s Accepted Manuscript after peer-review changes. It does not feature the publisher’s own formatting and logo.

-  The preprint version: it’s the Author’s version before the submission for peer review.

PLEASE NOTE: most publishers require an embargo of 12 months  (delayed open access) for the postprint version.


A.6  What does "embargo period" mean?

“Embargo period” refers to a delay, if any, of up to 12 months following publication until full text is made available either on Institutional repository or Subject repository . This is set by the publisher and would be included in the copyright transfer agreement or an addendum to same.


A.7  Elsevier imposes embargo periods (a delayed access from the date of publication) rather long: how can I meet the requirements of H2020?

Elsevier applies specific embargo periods to the respective journals. See: “Journal Specific Embargo Periods

You can then meet the open access requirement for H2020 in the following way:

IMMEDIATE ACCESS: archiving your “Preprint” (Submitted Manuscript) in arXiv, bioRxiv or RePec that are subject-based archives. The preprint will then be updated with the “Accepted Manuscript” also called “Postprint” (the Author’s referred version without the publisher’s layout).

PLEASE NOTE: the “Accepted Manuscript” has to report:

- the link to the publication with the DOI;

- a CC BY-NC.ND license (Creative Common Attribution, no Commercial, no Derivates works). See how to do  (link)


A.8 Which kind of legal matters may I come across?

Authors own the original copyright to papers they write, and publishers need their permission to publish the paper. In author-publisher contracts, publishers often ask for transfer of the copyright, sometimes even when the paper is first submitted to the journal. Some publishers instead only ask for a non-exclusive license like Creative Commons licenses (then you are free to self archive your work). However, authors can manage to retain the copyright or to negotiate with the publisher in order to reuse his work with the ADDENDUM. The “addendum” is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to retain some of yours rights such as to place your paper in an Institutional Repository. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, which are established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

H2020 proposes this contract addendum model (link)


A.9  Is access also open for the research output funded by Italian governmental bodies?


Decree Law No 91/2013 amended by the Law 112/2013 “Urgent provisions to protect the enhancement and the promotion of cultural and tourism assets and activities” provides that the public bodies responsible for the release of scientific research funds, adopt the necessary measures for the promotion of open access.

The open access for publications is achieved in the following ways:
a)  open access publishing;
b) archiving the Accepted Manuscript (without the publisher’s layout) both in an institutional repository and in subject-based repository within 18 months from the first publication for STM journals (Scientific Technical and Medical journals) and 24 months for Social Sciences and Humanities journals. The SISSA institutional repository offer a low cost and high value open access option for SISSA researchers and constitute an efficient mechanism for introducing innovation in scientific communication.


A.10 Creative Commons licenses: how do they work?

The Creative Commons refers to a form of rights protection where the creator has chosen to allow certain rights such as limited use, distribution and reproduction to become public provided the work is properly attributed. Many images and creative works that would normally carry full copyright protections have been voluntarily placed under a Creative Commons license by their creators to promote research, innovation and accessibility. Creative Commons licenses may allow for commercial or noncommercial use, and such licenses allow creators to define how their work may be shared and used by others with greater freedom and specificity than traditional legal copyrights..

Choosing Creative Commons licenses, the author retains copyright but gives the publisher a non-exclusive licence to publish his/her work. A suitable CC license can be chosen on LICENSE-CHOOSING TOOL.
By using Creative Commons licenses the authors allow certain uses of their work to third parties. CC uses three levels of “language”: embeddable metadata (machine readable), legal code layer, and commons deed (human readable). By looking at the symbols, or clicking on them, users understand what they can or cannot do without asking for the author’s written permission.

What Creative Commons License can I choose?

  • Attribution (CC BY)  
    This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as the work is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) 
    This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as the work is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) 
    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creation under the identical terms.
  • Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA
    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives work will also allow commercial use.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 
    This license lets others remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivatives work on the same terms.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) 
    This license is the most restrictive, only allowing others to download your work and share it with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change it or use it commercially.