Open Access Publications

If you are currently submitting a manuscript to an open access journal and you are requested to pay an article processing fee, there are funding and / or discount opportunities from UniTrento and CIMeC. Please, first check whether your target journal is mentioned in UniTrento list of agreements. If not, then you can proceed to explore further funding opportunities from CIMeC. 

Agreements and discounts may vary and official web pages may not be up-to-date.
The rule of thumb is to check (eg. write an email on topic) with the editors to see whether are there further opportunities.

For any questions or concerns, please contact thinkopen.cimec@unitn.it (Vittorio Iacovella).

List of UniTrento Agreements

Check if the cost of the publication might be covered by a university agreement with the publisher on the UniTrento webpage. This webpage is periodically updated. For each agreement, there is mentioned the period of validity. UniTrento webpage enumerates the latest national agreements, including ACS (American Chemical Society), Cambridge University Press - CUP, De Gruyter, Emerald, Springer and Wiley.

Elsevier 2023 – 2027 CRUI (Conferenza Rettori Università Italiane) Agreement 

(N.B. as of October 2023, UniTrento institutional page does not mention this agreement which is in any case officially in place).

Elsevier and CRUI Consortium have established an agreement to fully support authors in Italy who wish to publish open access. The cost of publishing open access is fully covered under the terms of this agreement.  When publishing open access in hybrid journals and fully gold open access journals, eligible corresponding authors do not have to pay an article publishing charge (APC).
Further details on the process can be found on the Agreement official web page, including the process and all the covered journals.

CIMeC Open Science Publications Fund

CIMeC intends to establish a permanent “Open Science Publications Fund” to partially support the costs for open publications in high-impact journals

  1. Who can apply and how?
    CIMeC PIs, whose availability in “publication funds” or “free funds” (e.g., overheads, conto terzi, PRIN open funds, start-up packages) from on-going or past projects does not exceed €20,000, at the time of the request. Requests should be accompanied with a short cover letter explaining the reason for this specific request, and any particular circumstances that should be considered when evaluating its priority. The application should be submitted after the first peer review round if the result is positive.
  2. How much is the support?
    The PI’s self-contribution is €800 and CIMeC covers the remaining costs of publication. In case of need, the PI can ask CIMeC a loan to cover the self-contribution, which has to be repaid to theCenter within the following year using any funds that become available including next-year’s personal allowance.
  3. What kinds of open publications are eligible?

    The funds will be given only for open-access publications in high quality journals (i.e., journal ranking Q1 for the scientific sector, according to the Scimago website). The journals must be ones where there is no possibility to publish in closed-access mode, without payment (i.e., so called ‘hybrid’ journals will not be considered, see above). The Giunta will check which publications are eligible, and, in case the requests exceed available funds for this action, will create a priority rank. The evaluation and priority ranking would be made according to the following criteria (in decreasing order of importance):

    1. not having received these funds yet;
    2. juniority;
    3. having made at least one grant application in the previous academic year.

Requests will be evaluated by the Giunta in February, June and October.

The following  editors and journals, whose business model does not comply with UniTrento guidelines, will not be covered by this fund: Frontiers; Hindawi; MDPI; Scientific Reports; others will be added.

Further information 

The definition of open access to a contribution according to Berlin Declaration (2003) includes:

  1. free, irrevocable access granted to everyone worldwide, with a license to copy and re-use subject to proper attribution of authorship;
  2. depositing a copy of the contribution in an online archive maintained by istitutions that seek to enable open access

This two-step definition allows open access to be implemented in many ways or "roads".

  • Green Road to Open Access
    Authors deposit their contribution in an open repository (including UniTrento- IRIS) free of charge. According to the publishers' rules, the uploaded text can be a pre-print (non-refereed article), a postprint (refereed article without editorial layout) or an editorial version (including editorial layout).
    Strong points: Free, easy to implement
    Weak points: Embargo period sometimes not supported by the funding agencies, access might be limited to the postprint (no editorial version)
  • Gold Road to Open Access
    Authors make their contributions available in open access by publishing them in initiatives granting the access to everyone. Such initiatives usually ask for a fee to the author: the so-called APCs (Article Processing Charges): in this case the publication will be immediately accessible online in its editorial version. No embargo can be applied if the APCs have been paid. The gold road can be of two types:
    1. Gold Open access journals that are free to the public but with a co-payment of editorial and publication costs. The journal is completely open access
    2. Paid commercial (hybrid) journals: the journal does not grant open access by default. However, contributions could be opened under a paid option
    ​​​Strong points: No embargo period, open access to final (editorial) version
    Weak Points: Usually expensive

Think - Check - Submit

UNITN suggests to the authors to follow a Think - Check - Submit procedure when submitting contributions to journals:

  1. Think: when you browse and select the journal mainly according to scientific features (e.g.: does the journal fit with the topic of my contribution, is the journal trusted, etc)
  2. Check: use online resources to verify the open access policies of the journal (e.g.: is the journal's open access policy compatible with the one of my funding agency? Are there any Article Processing Charges? Which open access roads could I pursue, etc.)
  3. Submit: proceed to the submission

To check for Open Access policies, you can refer to: