Open access, free access or - in the international name - Open Access means the permanent and free availability on the internet of free copies, without access restrictions, of scientific and/or scholarly literature. Open Access covers articles from scientific (peer-reviewed) journals, but also conference papers, technical reports, dissertations, and theses, as well as working papers. According to Open Access principles, anyone can read, download, distribute, print, search or make references to the full text of documents.
The main advantages of open access are:
The elimination of barriers to access and use of S&T information relating to the high price of journals and restrictions associated with copyright, licensing conditions, etc. The elimination of these barriers enhances the usefulness of the scientific literature, accelerates research, and enriches the educational process.
For the authors/researchers Open Access translates into greater visibility, readership, and impact (more citations) of their research.
For libraries and research units, Open Access can contribute to overcoming the limitations and contradictions of the current publishing model, with licensing conditions and prices that don’t correspond to the interests of these institutions.
Open Access journals also adhere to the standards and practices of the scientific publishing system - peer review process, are indexed in databases, have an impact factor, and are staffed by researchers and learned societies.
Currently a large part of the journals of reputed publishers and scientific societies have articles in Open Access. To support the publication in this model fees are charged to Authors (APC) so it’s necessary to know the publication policies of each journal to which you intend to submit articles.
The open access publications (journal articles, conference papers, books, theses, dissertations) of UNL students, teachers and researchers are deposited in RUN - Repository of NOVA University which is part of the RCAAP network.
RCAAP - Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal is the single point of search, discovery, location, and access to thousands of documents of scientific and academic nature, including journal articles, conference papers, theses, and dissertations, distributed by numerous Portuguese repositories.
At a time when the funding policies of the European Commission through the HORIZON 2020 programme and the Foundation for Science and Technology require the scientific production resulting from the R&D projects funded by them to be made available in Open Access (within a period of 6 months from the date of publication, in the case of medical sciences) and with the Decree-Law nº115/2013 of 7 August (Law on the Legal Deposit of Theses and Dissertations) which requires the archiving of theses and dissertations in institutional repositories 60 days after their defence - the RUN presents a relevant structure and information that allows the impact of the scientific production carried out at UNL to be assessed.
It should be noted that both the European Commission through the OpenAIRE portal and the FCT through the RCAAP portal have monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the scientific production resulting from projects funded by them is available in Open Access. In this aspect, the RUN plays a key role, not only because it allows teachers/researchers to comply with funding requirements, but also because it is interoperable with the portals OpenAIRE (which aggregates all open access scientific production funded by the European Commission) and RCAAP (which, soon, will aggregate all Open Access scientific production funded by FCT).
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