Frequently asked questions about complying with Eurac Research and funder policies on Open Access as well as aspects of Open Science more in general

What is the Eurac Research Open Access Policy?

It is a policy aimed at increasing the visibility and accessibility of Eurac Research’s peer-reviewed publications policy. It requires that the bibliographic metadata and a full text copy of peer-reviewed journal articles must be deposited in the Bozen-Bolzano Institutional Archive (BIA), the institutional repository of the Scientific Network South Tyrol. Metadata will be made openly accessible as soon as deposited in BIA; full texts will be made available in accordance with journals’ policies and embargo periods. The Eurac Research Open Access Policy is thus a Green Open Access policy.

What does it mean that the Eurac Research Open Access Policy is a green policy?

It is a Green Open Access because it enables researchers to achieve open access by uploading their peer-reviewed articles in the open institutional repository BIA, which does not require payment.

What is the relationship between Converis and BIA?

Converis is the current research information system, an internal tool where Eurac researchers input their publication records. BIA is a publicly accessible archive that covers the scientific outputs of Eurac Research, as well as those of the Free University of Bolzano. What happens in practice is that the Converis records marked for transfer to BIA get checked and validated by the library team and subsequently appear in BIA.

Which version of my article should I upload in Converis/BIA?

As a rule of thumb, if your publication is not in Open Access it is likely that you can upload the author accepted manuscript, possibly after an embargo period. If your publication is in Open Access, most likely you can upload the Version of Record, i.e the publisher´s version, as soon as the publication is out on the publisher website. For journals, Sherpa/RoMEO is a handy online searchable database where you can find information about the journal policies on self-archiving and embargoes of most journals. For books, either check what is written in your publishing agreement or ask the publisher.

Can I upload a full-text version of my publication in Converis/BIA even if the journal imposes an embargo?

Yes. Please indicate the length of the journal embargo in the notes field in Converis and the Library will set the full-text to transfer to BIA as soon as the embargo expires. If the publisher forbids self-archiving on an institutional repository you can indicate that too, so that only the bibliographic metadata will be visible in BIA.

Is BIA a repository compliant with the H2020 and Horizon Europe policies?

Yes. Uploading a manuscript or book chapter in Converis/BIA enables you to comply with the H2020 and Horizon Europe requirement for self-archiving in an open repository. In any case, all peer reviewed articles published by Eurac authors have to be deposited in BIA, in line with Eurac policy.

How can I find out what I am allowed to do with my journal article?

Journals have specific policies about which version of the article you can share, where you are allowed to share it (author´s webpages, institutional repositories, preprints, social networks etc.) and when you are allowed to do it (embargo periods). The rules vary within the same journal if you publish Open Access or not. Journal websites usually include this information - look for it in the "open access" or "authors' services" section. We recommend using Sherpa/RoMEO, a handy online searchable database where you can find information about the journal policies on self-archiving and embargoes of most journals. In any case, remember that your publishing agreement includes information about copyright and permissions, including permissions to share electronic copies of the published material. Bibliographic metadata is not copyrighted material and can always be shared through institutional repositories and elsewhere

Will I breach the book publishing agreement if I upload a full text version in an institutional repository?

Your book or chapter publishing agreement should include information in this regard. If this is unclear please check with the publisher. Some book publishers allow sharing at least a percentage of a book content on preprint servers and they may agree to self-archiving in an institutional repository. They may also place an embargo on the sharing of book contents. In the presence of a funder mandate they may adapt or modify their policies.

What happens if my publisher does not allow green open access?

If the publisher expressly forbids green open access, the bibliographic metadata of the publication in question should still be properly recorded in Converis and transferred to BIA. Bibliographic metadata is not copyrighted material and can always be shared through institutional repositories and elsewhere. You may also consider sharing the pre-print version of your article via BIA in those cases. Please note, however, that it is rare for publishers to forbid green open access because this form of open access is also mandated by many research funders and national governments.

Do I still need to include my scientific output in Converis if I did not include my Eurac Research affiliation in this publication?

No. Converis records only research conducted by Eurac Research researchers. If a researcher publishes something without including their Eurac Research affiliation, then this particular publication does not count as output of Eurac Research.

Will somebody check my submissions in Converis and their transmission to the institutional repository and verify copyright requirements?

Yes. The Eurac Research Library validates all submissions in Converis and thus also controls transmission of bibliographic metadata and full texts, when appropriate, into the institutional repository BIA.

Can Eurac Research pay my Gold Open Access fees?

In 2021 Eurac Research created a dedicated Open Access fund to support Eurac Research authors who have no alternative source to pay OA fees for their journal articles or books. Applications are subject to eligibility criteria and funds are capped. Please visit the Eurac Research Open Access fund webpage to read all the details. In addition, the Research Support Office can provide information about external funding opportunities and mechanisms to cover open access fees. All external PhD students should also inquire with their universities about any funding or off-set schemes in place for Gold Open Access fees

Does my funder have an Open Access policy?

Many research funders have clear open access policies and also consider open access fees an eligible cost in the research projects that they fund. Please refer to Policies to find the open access and open science policies of all the major funders that support projects undertaken in Eurac Research.

How can I tell a predatory journal from a legitimate one?

Predatory journals´ tactics have become more sophisticated with time and sometimes it is not easy to tell if you are dealing with a predatory journal. When you are in doubt there are checklists and webtools that can help you discern:

Please do not dismiss a journal as predatory just because it is new or based in a developing country. Consult the INASP JOLs page which lists journal platforms hosting legitimate journals from technologically underdeveloped countries. Keep in mind that sometimes the answer might be more nuanced than a definitive yes or no.

Useful Links

Liise Lethsalu and Maria Bellantone at the Research Support Office will answer your questions about Open Access and RDM, including training requests, questions about funders’ and journals’ policies, internal and external funding for Open Access and the Open Research Award. The Research Support Office can also be contacted for more information about the Open Access and the Research Data Management Working Groups in Eurac Research.

For questions about the current research information system Converis and the institutional repository BIA, please contact Antje Messerschmidt at the Library.