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Open access

How to publish as open as possible

Open access (OA) means that research results are published freely available in digital form. The university's open access policy should contribute to open access being the norm, and there are several ways for you as a researcher to make your publications open access. This page provides an overview of why and how to publish your research open access and what to consider.

Open access (OA) refers to a publishing model that means that scientific publications are accessible for free in electronic form. Increased accessibility favors the dissemination and use of research. Universities, research funding agencies, interest groups, and publishers worldwide support and encourage publishing open access.

In pure open access journals, the content is available for free to everyone. A financial model other than subscription covers the cost of publications. Journals that are subscription-based but contain open access articles are called hybrid journals. Lund University supports publishing in both alternatives. There are several agreements with publishers or use the financial support for publishing in pure open access journals.

Lund University open access policy

Lund University's Open access policy for publications and artistic works will contribute to open access being the norm for scientific communication. The policy aims to support the University's goal of making research findings accessible for free, enabling the broadest possible dissemination and reuse of research, and increasing its impact.

Read Lund University open access policy for publications and artistic works in full (PDF, new tab)

Requirements from research funding agencies

There is an increase in research funding agencies requiring publicly funded research to be available to everyone. Often there is a policy for how and when accessibility is to take place. The funding body usually covers costs for the publication fee when researchers include it as a cost in the project application.

Search among the policies of research funding agencies regarding OA using the Sherpa Juliet service

Publishing fees paid by Swedish research funding agencies

The Swedish research funding agencies Forte, Formas, Vinnova and The Swedish Research Council have jointly decided to finance the APC fee of publishers that hold only fully open access journals. 

Researchers connected to organisations which are part of the Bibsam Consortium can publish in journals from selected publishers without any fee for author or organisation. Lund University is part of the Bibsam Consortium. The decision applies to articles accepted for publication from 2024-01-01.

The publishers covered by the decision are Frontiers, MJS Publishing, PLOS and Copernicus.

Articles published within the decision from the research funding agencies will not be subsequently invoiced either to the university, the faculty or individual researchers.

Plan S

Plan S is an initiative to promote open access publishing of scientific publications. Behind this is "cOAlition S", a consortium of mainly European research funders. The goal of Plan S is to publish results from research conducted with grants from public research funding agencies with immediate open access. From Sweden, Formas, Forte, and Vinnova are members of Coalition S.

Read more about Plan S on Coalition S's website

A digital tool can help you check if a journal is compliant with the requirements of Plan S.

Search for journals with the Journal checker tool

Ways to publish open access: gold, hybrid and green

Publications can be made open access in different ways:

By publishing in a journal where all articles are openly available, the entire journal is free and open to everyone. In most cases, paid for by a so-called Article Processing Charge (APC), and for books, a Book Processing Charge (BPC).

Apply for funding for publishing in a pure OA journal

Apply for funding for publishing books open access

A hybrid open access journal is a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access for a fee. The article is also available in the publisher's subscription journal.

The model offers the possibility for researchers to publish in traditional journals while meeting the requirements set by funders. It is, however, controversial. The most common objections are that the costs for publishing in hybrid journals are on average twice as high as those of established OA journals, regardless of the journal’s prestige. The freely available articles “disappear” among the large majority of articles in a journal that require a subscription. It is unclear how publishers can deal with the transition from increasing revenues from hybrid publications to reduced subscription prices in a transparent way.

Through publishing agreements, researchers at Lund University can take advantage of discounts and free or subsidized author fees for publishing with open access in hybrid journals. Some of the agreements also include pure OA journals.

Search for journals included in current publishing agreements

Self-archiving, also called green open access, provides free access to a published or accepted research publication. A version of an article is made publicly available through an institutional archive or a research information system such as LUCRIS, even if the final version is behind a paywall. There may be restrictions on making a version available, such as which version to use or that it must take place with a delay, a so-called embargo period.

To find out what applies to your article, you can search for the journal in Sherpa Romeo's database. It contains information about the conditions for many journals and publishers.

Find out how to use self-archiving in LUCRIS

Search for journals and publishers in Sherpa Romeo

Select and check your publishing channel

Several factors play a role in what constitutes a good publishing channel. It varies depending on, for example, the field of research, financial resources, and requirements from research funders.

The easiest way to publish openly is to choose a channel, a publisher, a journal that is overall open access. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an extensive database of quality-controlled OA journals. DOAJ strives to cover all topics and languages.

Search for open access journals in DOAJ

Find a publisher that publishes open access books through the Open Access Directory

Dubious publishers and journals

Always check that the journal or publisher you intend to publish with is of high quality. Although many publishers and journals are of good quality, some unscrupulous publishers use the OA journals payment model. It can be challenging to keep track of the publishing world and reliable journals and publishers. Find out more on our website about checking a journal or publisher, or contact your faculty library or the University Library if you need further help in assessing a journal or a publisher.

Read more about what to consider when choosing your publishing channel

Publication fees (APC/BPC)

Most journals and publishers offer some form of publishing with open access. It is financed through so-called article management fees (APC) or book management fees (BPC).

When publishing with open access at Lund University there are several agreements you can use that reduces costs and facilitates the administrative handling. When a pure open access journal is not included in an agreement there are extra funds to apply for.

Costs of publishing open access at Lund University

When publishing open access, the entire amount for the APC or BPC is initially paid by the University Library. Parts of the cost of publishing (within the agreements, those paid with the extra publishing support or the Book fund) are later invoiced to the faculties. Depending on how your faculty choose to handle the costs, you may have to pay a part of the publication fee later on.

The allocation model for Lund University's publishing costs was decided by the vice-chancellor in 2022.

Through negotiated publishing agreements, researchers at Lund University can publish open access in hybrid and open access journals at favorable terms. Some publishers give a discount on APC.

Read more about all the publishing agreements and discounts

Use our search service to find out if a journal is included in any agreement.

Search for journals included in current publishing agreements

Researchers at Lund University can apply for funding of the APC in pure open access journals that are not included in any of the publishing agreements.

Read more and apply for financial support for publication fees

Authors can apply for funding for publishing books open access (monographs or anthologies).

Read about and apply for funding for publishing books open access

Copyright, licensing and distribution


An author will always have the copyright to the own text, i.e., the moral rights and the economic rights. The moral rights are non-negotiable, but the economic rights can be sold or transferred to, for example, a publisher or a scientific journal. Add a Creative Commons license (CC license) to specify how a publication can be used for copying, sharing, and reuse.

Read more about copyright and how you can share and disseminate your research

Journals and publishers have different conditions for copyright, sharing, and green open access. You find the terms and conditions on the journal or publisher's website or in the Sherpa Romeo database, where you can find out what conditions apply to different journals.

Search for journals and publishers in Sherpa Romeo

CC licenses

Open access can mean different degrees of openness that affect what the end-user may do with the publication. The basic level means that you can read the publication, free of charge, on the web. A Creative Commons license (CC license) states how to use the material for copying, sharing, and reuse. The use of CC licenses is standard in open access publishing.

More about Creative Commons licenses for researchers and research publications on the website of the Swedish Royal Library


For questions about the publishing process, bibliometrics, research data, open access, please contact your faculty library or

publicera [at] lub [dot] lu [dot] se

For questions about LUCRIS, please contact:

servicedesk [at] lu [dot] se