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Section 1: Open Access

Section 2: OAR@UM – Open Access Repository

Section 3: Open Access Policy

Section 4: Copyright/licences issues

Section 5: Open Access Journals

50. Does the UM provide financial support for the costs involved to publish in Gold Open Access?
51. How do I know if a journal is an Open Access journal?
52. I want to publish my paper in an Open Access journal. How can I find the relevant journal?

 

Section 1: Open Access

Open Access can be defined as the practice of providing online access to scientific information which is free of charge to the end user and is also reusable. 'Scientific' refers to all academic disciplines.

2. Why is Open Access important?
Open Access enhances transparency and visibility of research, and ensures equal access to research on an international scale. Furthermore, Open Access significantly increases the impact of publications

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● Gold Open Access refers to the publishing of a peer-reviewed article in an academic journal which makes the article openly available on the publisher’s platform. A growing number of journals charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) for Open Access but there are still many Open Access journals which do not charge any APCs.
● Green Open Access refers to the depositing or self-archiving of a copy of the final version (or post-print) of a peer-reviewed article, regardless of the journal (Open Access or non-Open Access) where it is published. If the article is published in Open Access, the copy to be deposited can be the Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM) or Publisher Version (PV), including all the formatting.  For articles published in non-Open Access journals where no APC is paid, usually there will be an embargo period to Open Access set by the publisher.


Besides from ensuring immediate visibility of scientific and research output, researchers can benefit from increased impact of their publications. As the publications are accessible without any restrictions or limitations, the entire research cycle is significantly accelerated which results in fostering collaboration with other institutions.


There are two ways how to do that:

● By publishing the article in an Open Access journal (Gold Open Access)
● By publishing the article in a non-Open Access journal that allows you to deposit the copy of your publication in the UM’s Institutional Repository - OAR@UM (Green Open Access)


An Article Processing Charge (APC) is a fee which some journals charge authors to publish articles in Open Access. This fee may be covered by the research organisation or the researcher.


Publications can be placed in Open Access at no charge:
● if you publish in an Open Access journal that does not charge Article Processing Charges (APCs)
● if you publish in a non-Open Access journal that allows deposit of your research article in OAR@UM with an embargo period


No, owing to the fact that research published in Gold Open Access or Green Open Access has gone through the peer review process.


Section 2: OAR@UM – Open Access Repository

An Institutional Repository is an online platform which collects, preserves and disseminates the intellectual output of a research institution.


OAR@UM is the University of Malta’s Institutional Repository. It serves as an online platform for the submission of Open Access research produced under the auspices of the UM. All content in OAR@UM is managed by the UM Library. In accordance with the UM Open Access Policy, all researchers are recommended to deposit their research in OAR@UM.


Depositing your research in OAR@UM makes it widely available to anyone around the world. It also increases the visibility of publications and in doing so enhances the prospects of the work being viewed and cited. It also provides long-term preservation and accessibility to all publications with a persistent URL. Finally, publications deposited in OAR@UM are searchable through search engines, such as Google and Google Scholar as well as through OAI Service providers like BASE and CORE. Depositing research papers also helps students since OAR@UM is integrated within the Library’s portal, HyDi, hence makes the publications also searchable through this search engine.


Depositing a research paper in OAR@UM takes around 10 minutes. Instructions on how to use the platform can be found at OAR@UM Help.

The UM Library also provides regular group workshops as well as one-to-one training sessions to support researchers with the depositing process. To book for a workshop please visit the Library’s Training Workshops webpage or send us an email on oar.lib@um.edu.mt
There are three levels of access that can be selected during the process of deposit:
● Open Access (highly recommended) - will make your publication accessible for everyone worldwide
● Restricted Access -  while metadata will be visible for everyone, access to the full-text will be limited to users who are in possession of a UM IT account
● Closed Access (accepted only in certain cases) - will make the metadata visible for everyone. However, the full-text will be available just for the author
● Embargo period - upon deposit the metadata is immediately visible for everyone.  However, the full-text will be available just for the author, for a defined period of time. Once the embargo period elapses, the publication will be made available in Open Access


There are two versions of the publication:
● post-print – the version of the research paper after completion of the peer review process which is the version accepted by the journal for publishing
● final publisher’s version - the version of the research paper as published in a journal with all the formatting done by the publisher such as the final page layout and formatting

Researchers are required to deposit in OAR@UM the final peer-reviewed and accepted versions of the peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings. Nevertheless, subject to publisher restrictions, the UM encourages researchers to deposit the final published version in OAR@UM.


According to the UM Open Access Policy, researchers are encouraged to deposit all research output published after the implementation of the Policy. However, researchers are also recommended to deposit research output published before the implementation of the Policy. All forms of research output such as, but not limited to, journal articles, monographs, book chapters, reports, working papers, post-publication corrections and updates, video and audio representations can be uploaded on OAR@UM. It is highly recommended that research data and other research material supporting journal articles are to be deposited alongside the article.


All publications submitted in OAR@UM are complemented with additional metadata that describes the content. In order to access the full description, click on the "Show full item record" button available within each publication. There, you will be able to identify whether the publication is peer-reviewed, non-peer-reviewed or not applicable (in case of material that does not require peer-reviewing such as newspaper articles or reports).


Depositing your publications in OAR@UM has many benefits. Your personal website has to be kept updated which is time consuming. In case of OAR@UM, you do not have to worry about that. Your publications will be deposited in a standardised format in a central location, ensuring their long-term preservation and managed by the UM Library. This will lead to better exposure and retrievability.

Unlike various websites, you are guaranteed that OAR@UM will not be closed down.  Furthermore, the URL is short and it will never change. Moreover, publications deposited in OAR@UM are searchable through search engines, such as Google and Google Scholar. Additionally, your research will be indexed by OAI Service providers like BASE and CORE. This is not possible for research uploaded on ResearchGate or Academia.edu.


One of the main aims of OAR@UM is to provide an indefinite preservation of the research output. For this reason, it is not recommended to withdraw publications that have been deposited. However, in certain cases, researchers can withdraw specific content.  Please refer to the Withdrawal Policy

The preferred option would be to have access to your publication changed from Open or Restricted to Closed which would mean that only the author or designated personnel would be able to access the full-text of the publication.


The metadata used to describe the publication can be modified at any time. The PDF file can be replaced with an updated version if needed. However, the UM Library recommends to keep the original version too as someone might have already cited the paper and made reference to OAR@UM as the source.  


One of the main aims of OAR@UM is to serve as an online platform for the submissions of Open Access research produced under the auspices of the UM. 
However, as this is the only Repository on the Maltese Islands, it also includes works that are of importance to Malta's cultural heritage and identity. If your publication meets these criteria, you are encouraged to deposit these publications in OAR@UM.  Nevertheless, prior proceeding with the submission, it is important to obtain permission from the university where you produced your work.


No. The main aim of OAR@UM is an indefinite preservation of the research output produced under the auspices of the UM. 


Publications deposited in OAR@UM are searchable through search engines, such as Google and Google Scholar.  Furthermore, your research will be indexed by OAI Service providers such as BASE and CORE.  This is not possible for research uploaded on ResearchGate or Academia.edu.  Furthermore, the UM Library is currently working on a software upgrade which will offer additional tools with regards to analytics. 


The reason might be that the co-authors of your work deposited it without informing you. It is beyond the UM Library's control to check the copyright holders for all the publications. It is the submitter's responsibility to have the copyright clearance and permission from other co-authors.

Another reason might be that the Library uploaded your publication on your behalf. The UM Library performs active collection development exercises. If research articles published by UM researchers are found in Open Access on ResearchGate, Academia.edu, or other subject repositories such as PubMed Central or arXiv, or your publication was published in an Open Access journal, such material can be immediately uploaded in OAR@UM by the Library. This exercise is being done to increase the visibility of the research produced under the auspices of the UM and to ensure that the UM actively collects and preserves the institution’s intellectual output.


Each publication submitted in OAR@UM has to be first reviewed and approved by the OAR@UM Team. This usually happens within three days of submission. Once your publication is approved, it will appear in OAR@UM in the respective collection as well as under “Recent Submissions”.

However, your publication will not be immediately available through Google and Google Scholar as it is beyond the UM’s control when the records are indexed by the aforementioned search engines.


Section 3: Open Access Policy

The UM's Open Access Policy is a legally binding document which ensures that all research produced under the auspices of the UM is made available in Open Access.  The UM strongly favours Green Open Access as a sustainable and effective means of providing access to research outputs. However, the UM will support Gold Open Access if funding for APCs is available.


The UM's Open Access policy ensures that all research produced under the auspices of the UM is made available in Open Access. Making its research available to the public greatly enhances its transparency and visibility as well as the impact on the scientific community.


The UM’s Open Access Policy applies to all research output produced under the auspices of the UM.  Researchers are recommended to deposit such output from the date of the implementation of the Policy onwards. Furthermore, if researchers wish to deposit past research, they are encouraged to do so.  In case of journal articles, only the peer-reviewed version will be accepted.


Researchers are encouraged to deposit their research output in OAR@UM as soon as possible upon publication.


In case of multiple authors, the submitter is responsible to obtain consent from the other authors to deposit the work in OAR@UM. 


The paper can be deposited in as many repositories as you wish. It can also be uploaded in other platforms such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu. We also suggest that you link the publication to your UM’s Publications List.


There are two ways to submit your research output in OAR@UM:
● Self deposit
The UM Library encourages its researchers to upload research papers themselves as self deposit since no one can better describe the publication than the author himself. Deposit of material must be accompanied by sufficient metadata describing its content, provenance and formats.
● Mediated deposit
The UM Library also offers a Mediated Deposit Service. Faculty Support Officers working within your Department can upload research content on your behalf. If you decide to do so, a special form has to be filled and signed to make sure that the person has your permission to deposit your publications. Relevant forms can be downloaded from the UM’s Library website.

In both cases, it is highly recommended to use OAR@UM Help or attend a training workshop.

Furthermore, you can fill in the Mediated Deposit Form & Deposit Agreement and send it via email so that your work can be deposited on your behalf by OAR@UM Team.


No. If some or all the authors are UM’s researchers, it is enough if one of them deposits the publication. If the authors happen to work in different departments, the item can be easily mapped within the respective departments by the OAR@UM Team. 


No. Depositing publications in OAR@UM is free of charge. 
Yes. It is very important that research papers published in Open Access journals are also uploaded in OAR@UM. Having all publications safely stored in one central location makes it easier to evaluate the research conducted on a departmental and faculty level, enhances visibility and also increases the probability of collaboration with foreign institutions. 


No, it is not enough. Such papers should also be deposited in OAR@UM.
Our aim is to collect, preserve and disseminate the intellectual output of the UM in digital format, but we also aim to collect any works of importance to Malta's cultural heritage and identity. If your publication meets these criteria, you are encouraged to deposit it in OAR@UM.


The UM Open Access Policy applies to all research output produced under the auspices of the UM, including books and book chapters. 

You can opt for one of the four levels of access that can be selected during the process of deposit:

● Open Access (highly recommended) - will make your publication accessible for everyone worldwide
● Restricted Access -  while metadata will be visible for everyone, access to the full-text will be limited to users who are in possession of a UM IT account
● Closed Access (accepted only in certain cases) - will make the metadata visible for everyone, however, the full-text will be available just for the author
● Embargo period – upon deposit the metadata is immediately visible for everyone. However, the full-text will be available just for the author for the duration of the embargo period. Once the embargo period elapses the publication will be made available in Open Access


The UM does not have a financial allocation to cover APCs, i.e. costs for publishing in Open Access. However, you are free to pursue any other source of funding.


It is of utmost importance to adhere to the UM’s Open Access Policy if one of the funding institutions is the UM. Make sure to inform the other funding institutions about  the UM’s Open Access Policy prior to signing any agreement.


Section 4: Copyright/licences issues

As the author of the work, the researcher is the first copyright owner of the research output. There is no system of copyright registration in Malta but copyright is conferred automatically to all eligible works listed in the Copyright Act, Chapter 415 of the Laws of Malta.

The researcher must be aware of copyright obligations when signing contract agreements with publishers, and must ensure the retention of their copyright. The UM highly recommends publishing with publishers who support Open Access, whether opting for Green Open Access or Gold Open Access.  


The UM is committed to provide support with regards to copyright. Please refer to the following link: Copyright Guidelines

You can also get advice from the Legal Office by sending your query via the following email address.
The Library’s Open Science Team is also ready to help with clarifying any copyright issues. 


Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Their copyright licences provide a simple, standardised way to give the public permission to share and use creative work on conditions of the creator’s choice.  For more information see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/.

The UM’s Policy requires the use of the Creative Commons Licences. The specific type of licence can be selected directly by the author. For research funded by the EU, publications are to be made available under the CC-BY licence.

CreativeCommons
 

It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that publications uploaded in OAR@UM do not infringe the rights of the publisher or any other party.


By depositing your work under a CC-BY licence, you are allowing third parties to distribute, remix and build upon your publication, even in a commercial setting. However, this does not affect your moral rights in any way. You are still the owner of your work and whoever uses it MUST attribute you in any resulting works. To ensure that your work is used properly, each item deposited in OAR@UM includes a disclaimer instructing potential users to credit your work.


Primarily, this should be stipulated in the agreement you have signed with the respective publisher. Another way to obtain this information is by checking the publisher’s copyright and editorial policies against the SHERPA/RoMEO database.  Additionally, very often this information is specified on the publisher’s or journal’s website. You can also contact the publisher directly to obtain this information.

If you have not signed your publication agreement yet, the UM Library strongly recommends you to discover the publisher’s terms and conditions with regards to Open Access prior signing the agreement.

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In case the journal or publisher does not support Open Access, the following strategies should be applied:  
● Use the SHERPA Request Template to contact the publisher so as to ask permission to deposit your research paper in OAR@UM,
● Use the SPARC Author Addendum which is a proposed modification to the standard publishing agreement giving the author permission to publish in Open Access.


Yes, such papers should be deposited in OAR@UM.  However, the access will be restricted in order to honour the embargo period.  Once the embargo elapses, the publication will be automatically made available in Open Access.


No, however, each publication must always be referenced and the author must be properly acknowledged when used.


In case the publisher’s archiving policy allows for a self-deposit of the research paper in an Open Access repository only under specific conditions, you may use one of the following supported options: 
● to provide a citation to the journal over the course of the submission process using the ‘Citation’ field in the metadata form or in the publication itself if required
● to provide a link to the published version of the article located on the Publisher’s website using the ‘Description’ field in the metadata form or in the publication itself if required
● to provide the Digital Object Identifier using the ‘Identifier’’ field in the metadata form or in the publication itself if required
● to honour the relevant embargo period by selecting the appropriate options from the metadata form


Section 5: Open Access Journals

The UM does not have a financial allocation to support publishing in Open Access. Nevertheless, authors should take into consideration the APCs when applying for research funds.


Such information can be easily obtained from DOAJ, the online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access peer-reviewed journals.

Furthermore, you can do so by checking the publisher’s copyright and editorial policies against the SHERPA/RoMEO database. Very often this information is also specified on the publisher’s or journal’s website.


Such information can be easily obtained from DOAJ, the online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.

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Last Updated: 24 April 2018

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