University Library System
University Library System

Open Access

Open Access to the scientific literature

Open Access, originally born as a movement within the academic world, promotes the sharing and dissemination of scientific knowledge through free access to research outputs.


The University of Padua and Open Access

The University of Padua, one of the first signatories of the Messina Declaration (the document of adhesion of Italian universities to the Berlin Declaration, the formal act of initiation of the Open Access movement), adopts the principles of full and open access to scientific literature and promotes the free dissemination on the web of the results of the research produced in the University, in compliance with the Italian Law on open access n. 112/2013, to ensure the widest possible dissemination, as defined in its Statute [Title III, Art. 56, Paragraph 3], in the "Policy on Open Access (Open Access) to the scientific literature" approved by the Academic Senate on 8 June 2015 and in the "Regulations for Open Access to the scientific production of the University of Padua", approved by the Academic Senate on 11 July 2017.

The University of Padua is also active in promoting open access to the scientific literature by organizing periodic training initiatives and public events such as conferences and seminars.


The European Commission and Open Access

The European Commission supports the publication in Open Access of the results of funded research and provides infrastructures and guidelines for filing in institutional open access archives, in particular through the OpenAIRE project.

Open Access is the main method of publication envisaged by the mandates of bodies and institutions financing national and European research projects. In particular, for projects funded under “Horizon 2020” and “Horizon Europe” framework programs, publications must be disseminated with open access, as required by clause 29.2 of the Multi-beneficiary Grant Agreement: "Each beneficiary must ensure open access (free of charge online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results". Therefore, anyone accessing EU funding (ERC, Horizon, MSCA) will have to ensure open access to all peer-reviewed publications that include the results of funded or co-funded projects.

The Journal Checker Tool is a tool provided by Plan S to verify journals against the open requirements requested by funders.


Open Access colours

Green Open Access

Though publishing in a subscription journal or a monograph is accessible at a cost, it is also possible to publish an open version of the same work.
Self-archiving (or Green OA) is one of the strategies for making scientific production open. It consists of uploading documents, in the version permitted by the publisher or by the license previously chosen, in an Open Access institutional or disciplinary/thematic archive, without additional costs for the author.
The versions allowed for Green OA republication, which vary concerning the policies of the individual publishers, are the pre-print or submitted version (not referenced, author's manuscript - AM), the post-print or accepted version (= after peer review, without editorial layout, also called Author's Accepted Manuscript - AAM) and, to a much lesser extent, the editorial version (Version of Record - VoR).

Often an embargo period is required by publishers (usually for postprint and editorial versions), before being able to make the contribution open; the expiring date of embargos can be indicated at the moment of submission to the institutional archive.

The Green OA contribution can be accompanied by an open license, chosen by the authors or defined by the policies of the publisher.

Tools to verify publishers' policies and look for Green OA versions of research documents:

  • Sherpa Romeo: the platform that collects information on the self-archiving policies of publishers and journals
  • ShareYourPapers: a tool with which authors can check which versions of their document can be shared with open access
  • Unpaywall, Dissemin and Open Access Button: to find Green Open Access contents available in preprint, postprint and institutional servers

Gold Open Access

The work is made available immediately by the academic publisher in a completely Open Access journal or collection or book, upon payment of a fee called APC (Article Processing Charge).

Generally, the copyright is maintained by the authors or by the scientific societies who edit the journal/monograph, which is published with a license that allows different levels of reuse.

Facilities may be provided for authors on the payment of the APC.

Diamond Open Access

Immediate Open Access publication without paying an APC fee. Copyright can be maintained by the author and the open licenses allow for sharing and reuse (generally Creative Commons licenses are applied). The Directory of OA Journals (DOAJ) makes it easy to locate Diamond non-profit academic journals.

A subgroup of these journals is called Platinum Open Access: the license applied to contributions (published OA without APC) is the only Creative Commons CC-BY, which allows the widest use of the published content.

Hybrid Open Access

Also defined with trade names such as open choice or open select, hybrid open access occurs when a contribution is published in a subscription journal (or in a paid miscellany) but becomes immediately available for free on the Publisher's website upon payment of the APC. The open contribution is accompanied by an open reuse license (generally Creative Commons).

Particular attention must be paid by the authors to the license that accompanies the hybrid Open content so that it can be republished on platforms other than that of the publisher.

The Hybrid OA model implies the phenomenon of increasing costs to read and publish, the so-called double-dipping, dealt with by research and academic institutions through the subscription of transformative publish & read contracts.

Bronze Open Access

When the published contribution is, immediately or after a certain period, available for free on the publisher's website, without the presence of an open license or a transparent declaration of the rights of authors and re-users. This determines its unclear status from the point of view of intellectual property and the related reuse of published content, although payment by the authors of an APC is sometimes required.


Facilitations for Authors

Thanks to specific agreements stipulated with publishers, Unipd authors who wish to publish their work in Open Access can take advantage of discounts or concessions on the payment of APCs (Article Processing Charges).

The scientific publications market has entered a new phase characterized by the transition from the “pay to read” model to the “pay to publish” model.

CARE / CRUI is negotiating with the biggest international publishers a new type of agreement - defined as "transformative" - which provide for the authors of the institutions that adhere to these contracts the possibility of publishing Open Access at no additional costs for the author: these expenses are already included in the cost of the contract and are born by the respective universities.


Green Open Access at the University of Padua: self-archiving in Padua Research Archive

One of the strategies promoted by the Open Access movement is the self-archiving of a research document, in the preprint, postprint or VoR version, as allowed by the publisher, in open access, institutional or disciplinary archives.

The practice of self-archiving is accepted by most publishers: the Sherpa Romeo database is particularly useful for detecting publishers' policies and checking whether the document can be made public at the same time as the publication of the editorial version or after an embargo period.

Self-archiving is convenient to authors because they make their work immediately available to the entire international scientific community, choosing the platform they prefer, and without paying APCs. Furthermore, texts are read by a wider audience and consequently are cited more than documents reserved for subscribers only.

According to the Regulations for Open Access (Open Access) to the scientific production of the University of Padua, institutional staff are required to submit a copy of all research products to Padua Research Archive.

Padua Research Archive (PRA) is the institutional archive of the scientific production of the University of Padua: it aims to collect, document, store and publish, also with open access, all the research products of the University. It is based on IRIS (Institutional Research Information System), developed by Cineca and shared by most Italian universities and research institutes.

The advantages of a single institutional archive are mainly two:

  • official status: it is the institution that manages the archive that guarantees the prestige of the documents contained therein
  • the persistence of online information and long-term storage are better guaranteed
  • mandatory control of Open Access version of the full-text provided by the author(s), conducted by the OA expert librarian task force from the University of Padua.

The Regulation lists further reasons:

  • increasing the visibility of the research conducted at the University of Padua
  • increasing the relevance of scientific contributions in international consideration, encouraging the comparison of ideas and positions
  • increasing the efficiency in obtaining data and documents, thanks to specialized indexing
  • centralizing document management in a single file, avoiding the dispersion of resources in local archives
  • responding to the needs of funding bodies

More information on how to access and deposit research works in Padua Research Archive are available on the institutional web pages devoted to the catalogue (ITA).

There are many, disciplinary or interdisciplinary, open archives. The best known are Zenodo,,, and PubMed Central (PMC).

The international registry OpenDOAR allows identifying others and verifying at the same time their main characteristics.




Library Helpline

If you need any further information, please contact the Library Helpline. Select:

  • "Supporto alla pubblicazione accademica" (Scholarly publishing support)
  • "Consulenza tematiche diritto d’autore" (Copyright support)
  • "Supporto Open Science (Open Access, Open Data)" (Open Science support)