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Publishing guide: Open Access publishing

Publish Open Access

Open Access (OA) publishing means a form of online publishing that supports the free dissemination of scientific information. A scientific publication is openly accessible once it has been made available online to both the scientific community and the general public, free of charge and freely accessible.

Uniarts Helsinki requires open access publishing when possible.

Your research can be made open access in different ways:

  1. Publish in Open Access journals. Sometimes subject to Article Processing Charges (APC): see "APC funding at Uniarts" below.
  2. Self-archive your article in Uniarts Helsinki's institutional repository Taju. Through self-archiving you can make a publication otherwise behind a paywall openly available, but also ensure its long-term preservation. More information and instructions about self-archiving is available in this guide.
  3. Pay for your article to be opened in a subscription journal (also known as hybrid journals). There's no centralized funding at Uniarts available for publishing in hybrid journals.

Publishing flowchart in Open Access and subscription/hybrid journals.

Image: Publishing flowcharts at Uniarts for Open Access journals and subscription/hybrid journals. Click image to enlarge.

Benefits of Open Access

Open Access publishing increases the visibility, impact and openness of the research, the researcher and the university. Publishing Open Access also fulfills funder requirements and increases the number of citations.

Benefits of Open Access publishing in a graph.

Image: Benefits of Open Access, click to enlarge. By Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown, CC BY.

Tools to find suitable Open Access journals, and to check journal quality

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has strict criteria for journals in it. The absence of a journal from DOAJ doesn't necessarily mean anything yet, e.g. many Finnish scientific journals are not included in DOAJ because they do not meet some of the technical criteria, or haven't yet applied to be included, for example.
  • B!SON (beta version in April 2022) is a recommendation service for quality-assured open access journals, which leverages semantic and bibliometric methods. More information from the project website.
  • Publication Forum (or JUFO) is a classification system of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research. To accommodate publishing cultures specific to different disciplines, the four-tier classification system includes journals, book series, conferences and book publishers alike. If a publication channel is not included in JUFO, it could mean that it just hasn't been evaluated yet. See e.g. Publication Forum FAQ pages for more information.
  • Retraction Watch, a blog that reports on retractions of scientific papers in both subscription and Open Access journals
  • Think.Check.Submit is an online tool or a website which helps you in evaluating the reliability of a publication channel.

Funders' requirements

The aim to advance open science and research can be seen in research funders' requirements.

More information about funders' requirements in Uniarts guide to applying for research funding.

Academy of Finland

The Academy of Finland requires that Academy-funded projects commit to ensuring immediate open access to their peer-reviewed articles in accordance with Plan S principles and Finland’s national policy for open access to scholarly publications.

In calls opened after January 1, 2021, AoF no longer allows OA publishing with the hybrid model. At Uniarts you can achieve Open Access in AoF funded projects by publishing in Gold OA journals or self-archiving (without embargo and with a CC license) in Uniarts repository Taju. Read more about AoF guidelines on Open Access to scientific publications.


European Research Council requires open access from ERC-funded projects.

Sherpa Juliet service

Information about funders' policies are available in the Sherpa Juliet service.

Questionable publishers

Some journals have questionable motives for publishing, so make sure you choose your publication channel carefully. Questionable practices of some journals are not an issue related to Open Access only: established journals may have similar issues as the so-called predatory journals are accused of. See e.g. Bell, K. et al. (2018), Predatory Publishing,

A large number of journals sending spam to researchers may either be so-called vanity publishers or downright fraudulent. Publishers like these usually have impressive websites featuring the logos of esteemed international organisations without any actual affiliation and made-up impact figures, in order to create a good impression.

Questionable publishers and journals are openly discussed in scientific communities online: you find the discussions by searching the name of the publisher and journal online. From the results you can usually determine if publishing your research with this publisher would be an academic merit or a threat to you. 

If you're not sure about a journal, see section "Tools to check journal quality" above, or contact the library.

APC funding at Uniarts

To support Open Access publishing in Gold OA journals, Uniarts is compensating APCs (Article Processing Charge) to Uniarts researchers in accordance with conditions below. At the same time, researchers are encouraged to self-archive articles published in subscription journals.

Note: Apply for APC funding before you submit your article to a journal.


  • The researcher/applicant is the corresponding author of the article, and in employment, a doctoral student or otherwise affiliated at Uniarts.
  • The researcher has no other funding for Open Access publishing. If the researcher works on project funding, APCs are primarily budgeted on the project, when allowed by the funder.
  • The article is a peer-reviewed, original research article published in a scientific journal or in an edited scientific book (Ministry of Education and Culture publication types A1–A4, in Finnish).
  • The journal is a Gold Open Access journal. Publishing in hybrid journals is not supported from the APC fund.
  • If other authors include researchers from other organisations than Uniarts, APC compensation is agreed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The article is published with a CC BY license.

Fill in the application here.

Identifying hybrid journals

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify hybrid journals from Open Access journals, an issue which the video below aims to answer.

Open Access books

Open Access books (monographs) are published by both commercial publishers and university presses and other non-commercial publishers. Often, books based on author fees (see APC and BPC in the glossary) cost considerably more than articles, which is why the Uniarts centralized APC fund cannot be used to pay for OA books. However, if you are interested in publishing an OA book and the publication involves author fees, please contact the library by email:

Although many OA book publishers charge author fees, there are also many publishers whose OA books are free of charge to authors. For example, Helsinki University Press and Tampere University Press in Finland do not charge author fees. Uniarts Helsinki's own publications are also open to all and free of charge.

Read more about this and find the publishers that are right for you using the OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) licenses allow a copyright holder to express the terms under which their works are available for others to use.

The Policy for Open Access to Scholarly Publications by the national coordination for open science recommends the CC BY license. Usually Gold Open Access journals offer the CC BY license by default, but if a journal doesn't have a policy on CC licenses, it is worthwhile to ask about it before signing the publishing contract.

More information:


  • APC (Article Processing Charge) and BPC (Book Processing Charge). Some Open Access journals (and all hybrid journals) charge a writer's fee which is used to cover the publishing costs instead of subscription fees. APC can vary from few hundred to thousands of euros. Read more: Article processing charge (Wikipedia).
  • Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM), see. Final draft
  • Embargo: the time defined by the publisher when you are not allowed to self-archive. Embargo begins from the first publishing date (online or print, whichever comes first) of the original article, and lasts anywhere between 6 and 36 months depending on the publisher. Some publishers don't have embargoes, and e.g. Sage and Emerald have removed them.
  • Final published version (or Publisher's PDF) refers to the final article version published in a journal and distributed by the publisher.
  • Final draft (or Author Accepted Manuscript, postprint) means the final manuscript after peer-review and corrections, but before the journal's layout and page numbering. Usually the version publishers allow to be self-archived.
  • Gold OA, the gold route to Open Access: publishing an article in a fully Open Access journal. Sometimes subject to a charge (see APC). Sometimes the OA model that doesn't include APCs is called Diamond OA.
  • Green OA, the green route to Open Access: self-archiving an article in a (usually the researcher's institutional) repository. Not subject to fees or charges.
  • Hybrid journals: a subscription journal which has the option for writers to pay for their articles to be opened, while the rest of the journal content remains behind a paywall. The problem with hybrid journals is "double dipping": publishers charge APCs on (or with) one hand, and subscription fees on the other. E.g. Academy of Finland doesn't allow publishing in hybrid journals anymore in Academy-funded projects. Read more: Hybrid open-access journal (Wikipedia).
  • Open Access (OA): published openly; available and accessible to everyone. Read more: Open access (Wikipedia).
  • Postprint, see Final draft
  • Preprint: the manuscript version submitted to a journal for publishing and peer-review. It is a common practise in some fields of science (physics and mathematics, for example) to upload the preprint version to a repository before the article is submitted to a journal. Read more: Preprint (Wikipedia).
  • Taju: Uniarts Helsinki's institutional repository. Includes self-archived articles and book chapters, Uniarts publications and theses. In February 2021 Taju replaced Doria and Helda archives, previously used at Uniarts.

Open Access training video

Open Access publishing flowchart with glossary.

Image: Open Access publishing flowchart and glossary by Sarah Humphreys (CC BY-SA, modified). Click image to enlarge.

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