Stricter requirements for science to be open access

The demands on research data and science results to be open access are intensified. But how does it work in practice? During this year's Open Access Week, which runs from 24-30 October, the issue is in focus.

Photo: Lena Katarina Johansson

That tax funded research should be open access is a common goal in the political sphere as well as at the Swedish universities. Of the 3,868 peer-reviewed scientific articles published at Stockholm University in 2021, 87 percent were published with open access in some form. But the goal is 100 percent.

And with a new policy for open science, Stockholm University is gearing up the transition to an open scientific system. The same development takes place in the rest of the world, most recently in the United States where the White House recently decided that federally funded research should be made open access immediately upon publication.

– It is interesting that the United States is now following Europe and what the EU is doing, and is setting strict requirements for open access to data, articles and books. It changes the game plan for us in relation to the scientific publishers, says Wilhelm Widmark, Senior Advisor to the President with operational responsibility for Open Science at the university. 

Wilhelm Widmark, Senior Advisor to the President on Open Science.
Wilhelm Widmark, Senior Advisor to the President on Open Science. Photo: Cecilia Burman

New publishing platform

With publishers charging for both publication and reading of scientific journals, access to research usually becomes an expensive business – for researchers as well as the universities, says Wilhelm Widmark, who is also the Library Director at Stockholm University Library.

That is why Stockholm University is to launch its own publishing platform where researchers can publish articles with open peer review and with an open license. A pilot of the platform will be released during Open Access Week, where 50 researchers affiliated with Stockholm University will participate and try the tool for a few months, before it is made available to others as well.

– This is an example of us working to change the system for scientific communication. It will be a way to test a different kind of platform, to expose the market to competition, says Wilhelm Widmark.

Open science in practice

Are you a researcher and want no know more about open publishing?

On Wednesday 26 October, during Open Access Week, there is webinar aimed for researchers and PhD students. The webinar “Open Access in Practice” consists of four 15-minute presentations on open publishing, open research data, ethical considerations and how researchers can take part of the library's publishing agreements. 

There will also be a release of an episode of the library's podcast Behind the Bookshelf (Bakom bokhyllan) about how open science in practice from the researchers' perspective. The episode is in English, just like the lecture.

Open Access Week is an annual international event with the aim of drawing attention to open access. This year, the week runs 24-30 October. 


Open Access Week at Stockholm University


26 October: Webinar – Open Access in Practice

12.00-12.15 How to publish open access
12.15-12.30 How to publish research data
12.30-12.45 How to publish openly and ethically
12.45-13.00 How to use the library's publishing agreements 


27 October: Podcast Behind the Bookshelf – Open Science in Practice

The transition to an open scientific system is ongoing, but what does it mean for researchers in practice to work openly? In the podcast Behind the Bookshelf, listeners will meet two researchers in glaciology and ethology who offer an insight to their daily work. 


Facts: Open access at Stockholm University

Overall, around 4,000 scientific articles are published at Stockholm University each year, and the number of peer-reviewed articles is constantly increasing – from 45 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2021.

In 2021, 87 percent of the peer-reviewed articles published at Stockholm University were open access in some form.

New policy for open science at Stockholm University

Pilot for open access publishing platform (Youtube)