New funding scheme for open access publication

“Institutions are in the midst of a costly transition period, where they have to maintain their journal subscriptions as well as pay to publish articles in open access journals. The Research Council’s new funding scheme is designed to make this transitional phase easier for the institutions, and will at the same time enable them to set up good systems for financing open access publication through dedicated funds,” states Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway.

The STIM-OA scheme will facilitate the transition to open access publication. Research institutions may be reimbursed for up to half of their outlay for publication in open access journals. (Illustration: Shutterstock).

The STIM-OA stimulation scheme to encourage open access publication is targeted towards the universities and university colleges as well as the independent research institutes. The Research Council will use the scheme to ensure that institutions have the means to cover fees associated with publication by researchers in open access journals.

Funding will be announced once a year and grants may be used to pay for up to 50 per cent of the publication costs for the previous year. A total of NOK 9 million has been set aside to cover open access publication fees paid in 2014.

Unrestricted access makes research more useful


“Open access to research results will make research even more useful,” says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen. (Photo: Thomas Haugersveen, Statsministerens kontor/The office of the Prime Minister)

“Open access to research results makes research even more useful and enables society to reap even more benefits from its research investments,” says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen. 

Ensuring open access to scientific publications is an important research policy objective internationally. The objective is explicitly stated in the Norwegian Government’s white paper on research, Long-term perspectives – knowledge provides opportunity, and the Research Council has drawn up internal principles for open access to scientific publications. Along these same lines, Norwegian universities and many university colleges have established their own funds for covering publication fees. The STIM-OA scheme will strengthen these publication funds and similar funding instruments at the research institutes. 

The STIM-OA scheme will help to speed up the transition process towards open access publication. The scheme will be in place until 2019, after which the Research Council will cover costs for open access publication as a part of an institution’s indirect expenses, as is the case for subscription costs today.

Requirements under the STIM-OA scheme
The STIM-OA scheme will cover costs for publication in entirely open access journals. Applicant institutions must attach a list of articles and the associated fees they have paid out in the previous year. All articles must have been published in a journal categorised as level one or level two in the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) database of publication channels. The journal must also be registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), an international directory of Open Access journals.

Universities and university colleges are in addition required to have established a dedicated publication fund. This requirement does not apply to research institutes.


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