Publishing your research open access

A condition for receiving a grant from us is that you publish your research articles so that they are available to all, free of charge on the internet. We only accept articles that are published with open access in your reporting on grants.

Your research results must be openly accessible

The articles you include when reporting on a grant from the Swedish Research Council must be published with open access. This means that your research results must be accessible to everyone via the Internet. The results must be available free of charge on the internet no later than six months after they are published. If your grant is within educational sciences or humanities and social sciences, the period is extended to twelve months.

Monographs and books are exempted from this requirement

So far, the requirement for open access applies only to scientific publications in journals and conference reports. Monographs and book chapters are not required to be published open access. However, the Swedish Research Council plans to extend the requirements to also include these forms of publication. For help with peer review and open access publishing of scientific books, researchers and publishers can use the Kriterium consortium, for example.

The additional costs for such publishing should be included in your application

You should estimate potential additional costs for open access publishing when applying for a grant from us. This applies whether you publish in an open access journal or a hybrid journal, which is a traditional journal that offers open access publishing for individual articles in exchange for a fee.

We have agreements on open access with the major publishers of periodicals

Open access has been successfully negotiated with the major publishers. This means that you do not have to pay an article processing charge (APC) to fulfil the Swedish Research Council’s requirement for open access when you publish articles in many of the journals. The publishers that Sweden has agreements with via the Bibsam Consortium are Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor and Francis, SAGE, SPIE, Wiley, and Oxford University Press. Publication is done under CC-BY licence according to most of the agreements, which complies with the Swedish Research Council’s requirements and terms and conditions.

Read more about the terms and conditions on the Swedish National Library’s website via the link below. This also has a list of the contact persons at each HEI who can give you further information about the agreements that apply for your HEI.

Swedish National Library’s platform for open access (in Swedish)external link


Four ways to publish with open access

Choose one of the following ways to make your article freely available:

Publish in an open access journal: There are over 4,000 open access journals across the globe that use experts to assess the quality of the articles, a process known as peer-review. A list is available in the Directory of open access journals (DOAJ)

Publish in a hybrid journal: A hybrid journal is a traditional subscription-based journal that offers authors the option to publish with open access in exchange for a fee.

Parallel publication in an open access archive: In principle, all Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) have an open digital archive. When the article is published, or no more than six or twelve months later (see above), you must save a copy of your article in an open archive. It is the reviewed, final version of the article that shall be added to the archive, not the pre-print version.

Publish on a website of your HEI: You upload and make the article available on the site, for example in pdf format. However, this is not recommended, given that links to websites can often become invalid and the publication can therefore be difficult to find.

Choose the correct publication licence

You must publish under a license that allows others to access and use your research results. Researchers who pay a publication fee (article processing charge, APC) to publish an article with open access must publish under a Creative Commons licence, the version named CC-BY. Under the terms of such a licence, those who use, adapt or distribute your articles are required to credit you as the author. You will also retain the right to distribute your research.

The CC-BY licence is the standard license recommended by several international organisations.

Read more about CC-Byexternal link

Why do we require open access?

The Swedish Research Council is driving development towards open access together with other research funding bodies in Sweden and abroad.

Reasons why we require open access:

  • We believe that everyone should have access to the results of research funded through public finances.
  • Research results that can be read free of charge on the Internet also reach researchers outside their specific field.
  • People outside the research community are given the opportunity to study scientific articles related to their professional activities.
  • Research published with open access is more rapidly disseminated and the articles are cited more frequently.

Consistent with the Government’s bibliometric distribution model

We are often asked whether the requirement for open access is compatible with the Government’s model for awarding funds. The bibliometric aspect of this model is broadly based on calculating a bibliometric index for each HEI by calculating how many articles researchers at the HEI have published and how many times these have been cited. The calculation also includes an estimate of the average number of articles a researcher publishes within different subject areas. The calculation is based on publications from the last four years and results in an index, which then serves as the basis for awarding funds.

The fact that a journal is open access does not affect the bibliometric index. Many journals with open access are highly ranked in their subject areas and the articles are well cited. Serious open access journals have the same interest in high quality as subscription journals. A serious journal does not compromise on quality.

If you have questions

The vast majority of Swedish HEIs have databases and staff that can provide practical assistance and advice on issues related to open access. Get in touch with your HEI for information on how to publish through open access.

If you have questions of a more fundamental nature, please feel free to contact us at the Swedish Research Council.

Read more about open access

National Library of Sweden’s website for open accessexternal link

The Berlin Declarationexternal link

Information on less serious open access publishersexternal link

Directory on Open Access Journals, DOAJexternal link

Kriterium – Portal for peer review and open access publishing of scientific booksexternal link

An open access handbook from the European Commission PDF (pdf, 3.2 MB)

Principles for the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications (Science Europe)PDF (pdf, 119.2 kB)

PublISHED ON 30 April 2018

UpDATED ON 28 April 2020

Pdf / Printout


Lisbeth Söderqvist


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