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Wider access to scientific articles from Aarhus University

Many more research articles from AU must be available to a broad audience. With an adjusted Open Access policy underpinning the national Open Access strategy, AU will create greater awareness of the university’s research.

2016.02.12 | Signe Opstrup

Open Access means open and free access to publicly and externally financed research publications. Open Access increases awareness for researchers and the university as well as more effective utilisation of research results which benefits society at large.

The Danish government has adopted a National Strategy for Open Access, and a number of grantmakers require Open Access, including all public research councils and foundations.

“We have a huge task ahead of us in terms of living up to the national Open Access strategy. It has a very ambitious goal of ensuring 100 % access to all Danish scientific articles in 2022 – and with a target of 80 % already in 2017. We must, of course, do our best to live up to the strategy and ensure that our research results reach as wide an audience as possible,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.

The new element in the Open Access policy is that researchers – in cooperation with the library – must make their research publications available as Open Access in PURE, ideally supplemented with archiving in another online academic archive. The new policy also emphasises that quality and the researchers’ free choice of publication channel still have the highest priority.

How to deal with Open Access publication

You can publish in two ways with Open Access; ‘green Open Access’ or ‘golden Open Access’. The AU policy is for researchers to use green Open Access when possible.

Green Open Access means, that you can make your articles freely available online through a public archive such as PURE – something that many publishers offer free of charge after a brief embargo period, in parallel with publication in a traditional subscription journal. At national level, negotiations are being conducted with the individual publishers to reduce embargo periods; however, this should not be allowed to affect researchers’ choice of publication channel.  Today, only few AU researchers take advantage of the possibility of making their articles freely available online through a public archive such as PURE (green Open Access).

Golden Open Access means, that you have to pay a one-time fee (APC) to the publisher to make an article publicly available. At AU it is possible to use golden Open Access if it can be financed by your institute or by external funding for example from Danish funds or Horizon 2020.

Read more on openaccess.au.dk

Experience with Open Access

Hear four AU researchers talk about their experience with using Open Access. See videos.

AU Library can help

To make it as easy as possible for the individual researcher to use Open Access, AU Library is increasing its Open Access support. AU Library can, among other things, provide information about green and gold Open Access publication, rights, the use of Creative Commons and registration of Open Access in PURE. AU Library can also offer advice on projects with external financing from, for example, Horizon 2020 or Danish councils and foundations requiring Open Access. This is done in collaboration with the Research Support Office.

In 2016, AU Library will inform the individual departments about Open Access in collaboration with the faculties.

Further information


Facts about Open Access


  • Open Access is about open access to reading and using scientific information, including the possibility of downloading scientific publications.
  • Open Access offers direct access to published research results for a wider audience. Access does not depend on whether readers subscribe to a journal, either personally or via their library.
  • Open Access does not influence the peer review quality assurance process.
  • Horizon 2020, the Danish Council for Independent Research, the Danish National Innovation Foundation and the large private foundations already require use of Open Access.
  • Remember that you must secure as many rights as possible, including the right to Open Access publication, before signing a publishing contract. Many publishers allow archiving of the author’s version (post-print) – please note, however, that you as the author are responsible for ensuring that the version to which you grant electronic access in PURE is the correct version.
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