Open Access

Open Access in Horizon Europe

In Horizon Europe, the new funding programme for research and innovation, open access to publications and open science principles' application are mandatory (Factsheet: Open science in Horizon Europe, pdf).
The challenge is for Europe to embrace open science as the modus operandi for all researchers who must share research outputs (articles, data, workflows...) as quickly as possible through open research infrastructures (e.g. Open Research Europe).
To know more about Open access in Horizon Europe see the Research Support page.

Open Research Europe

Open Research Europe (ORE) is the new open access publishing platform of the European Commission for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries.
The platform is compliant to EU open access policies and ensure quality and transparency in the peer review process. Expert reviewers are selected and invited, and their reviews and names are published alongside the article, together with the authors' responses and comments from registered users.

How it works:

  1. researchers can submit original scientific publications of any type (articles, books, case studies ...) and of any subject;
  2. open peer review;
  3. immediate publication of the articles in pre-print version and - after the peer review - in AAM (post-print) version; authors can publish an updated version of their articles at any time;
  4. no fees for publication for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries: all publication costs are covered by the European Commission. F1000 Research will manage the IT infrastructure and publishing services of ORE

For more information visit the page Open Research Europe (ORE) and the section FAQ.

APCs: news for authors

If you have just wrote an article and you want to publish it in Open Access, the University can pay the publication costs (APC) for you.
Recently the University Library System, through CRUI-CARE, has signed Read & Publish agreements  with facilitations reserved to Ca' Foscari authors (professors, researchers, PhD students...) who choose to publish their article in Open Access in a hybrid journal.
Please check the list of contracts and all the details in the "APC paid by Ca' Foscari" section below.
For more information or assistance on APCs write to

What is Open Access

Open Access (OA) refers to online, free of cost access to peer reviewed scientific content with limited copyright and licensing restrictions.

It is a movement born in the academic world aiming at sharing and growing a common good, knowledge, through free access to research results.
Thanks to the potential of the web, Open Access aims at a barrier-free scientific communication.
Open Access is a sustainable and alternative channel for the diffusion of research results, compared with traditional scientific communication, which is based on market-oriented publishing where costs (researcher salaries, research funding, rights to reuse content, journal subscriptions, APC) are supported by Universities.
Thanks to Open Access the publicly funded research complies with ethical principles.

Publishing Open Access ensures “to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose” (Berlin Declaration, 2003)

How to publish Open Access

There are many options to publish Open Access
Each author must choose the most suitable model of Open Access to increase the impact of his research.
The starting point is a conscious use of open licenses such as Creative Commons (CC).

Name Symbol You can You can't You must
Attribution use, modify, share give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made
Share alike use, modify, share give appropriate credit, indicate if changes were made, share under the same license
No derivatives use, share modify give appropriate credit
Non commercial use, modify, share use for commercial purposes give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made
Non commercial-Share alike use, modify, share use for commercial purposes give appropriate credit, indicate if changes were made, share under the same license
Non commercial-No derivatives use, share modify, use for commercial purposes give appropriate credit

The Creative Commons (CC) licenses allow you to communicate in a simple and standardized way what rights the author of the work reserves to himself and what he grants to users.

In the field of copyright, generally only 2 actors are considered, the author and the publisher. But when it comes to open access, a third actor appears, the reader.
The Creative Commons specify to the reader how to use the materials freely made available by the publisher and what rights he has.
Creative Commons licenses combine an image with the specific right.

CC licenses are periodically updated and universally used to share content on the internet because they are simple to understand and graphically identified.

To find out more, visit the CreativeCommons page.

Authors can publish Open Access mainly in two ways: Green Open Access (self-archiving a version of a publication into an institutional or subject-specific repository) or the Gold Open Access (the publication is freely accessible online, but an article processing charge or APC may be charged for the publishing).

However, there are other models that you need to know in order to make an ethical choice.

Green Open Access

The author deposits his own publication in an institutional archive (ARCA) or a subject-specific repository (ArXiv, RePEc), where it is openly accessible, either immediately or after an embargo period according to publisher policies. The publisher may also regulate which version of the publication can be self-archived into the repository (pre-print or submitted version, post-print or accepted manuscript, editorial final version or version of record) and the type of license to use (Creative Commons). Publishing policies are available on Sherpa/RoMEO database, which is integrated in ARCA. During the upload, the author can check in real time the publisher's conditions about self-archiving without incurring copyright infringement.
In the event of doubts about which version is more suitable for archiving, you can contact for advice
Self-archiving is free of charge for the author.

Gold Open Access

The publication is made immediately available by the publisher in full open access journals or monographic series without embargo.
The publisher guarantees peer review and quality editorial services upon payment of a fee called APC (Article Processing Charges). The APC charge may be covered by the author, by the university or by the funders.
The author maintains the copyright and the open licenses applied allow sharing and reuse and the deposit in the institutional repository.

Diamond (or Platinum) Open Access

It is like Gold Open Access, in that the publication is made immediately available without embargo by a publisher who guarantees peer review and quality editorial services. However, in Gold Open Access, the author (or their institution or funding agency) normally has to pay a publication fee (APC) to get the article published. In Diamond Open Access no payment is required, so the process is completely free of charges to both authors and readers.
The author maintains the copyright and the open licenses applied allow sharing and reuse.

Hybrid (o Red) Open Access

There are fully open access journals, but also hybrid journals, subscription-based journals in which you can publish individual open access articles by paying an APC (Article Processing Charge).
The hybrid model, often defined with commercial names such as open choice, however, may cause a so-called double dipping situation, in which the university has first paid an expensive annual journal subscription fee, and in addition, the costs of APCs.

Bronze Open Access

The publication is immediately available for free on the publisher's website, but without a clear reuse license or any transparent declaration of licenses and copyright. Any ethical reuse or deposit in the institutional repository is not possible.
It is not recommended to accept this type of open access especially if an APC is requested for the publication.

Black Open Access

A publication that is not openly licensed, or for which reuse rights have not been granted, is shared online illegally with copyright infringement.
Remember that if you have transferred the copyright definitively and exclusively to the publisher, you can't deposit the editorial version of your publication in the institutional repository or academic networks such as Research Gate or or sites such as Sci-Hub.
The Black Open Access is not a desirable option under any circumstances.

Ca' Foscari University promotes the Green Open Access, i.e. depositing in an institutional or subject-specific repository. As specified in the University Guidelines about the institutional archive and the open access (Regulations for filing in the Institutional Archive and open access to scientific literature), in order to encourage this choice, the University makes available its own institutional archive, ARCA, to the scientific community.

Publishing in open access journals and depositing in ARCA not only attracts funding, but also enables authors to improve the visibility of their work.

All Italian universities use the same repository, IRIS, which is developed by Cineca on an open source software called DSpace. Sharing the same infrastructure has changed the attitude towards open access in terms of:

  • visibility of the metadata
  • focus on quality
  • reliability, coherence and consistency of data
  • availability of full text.

ARCA aims to encourage the dissemination of scientific information, promote the open access of research results and guarantee the availability of full text in full compliance with publishers contracts.

All the metadata in ARCA merges into Pleiadi, the platform for Italian electronic scientific literature capable of searching all the Italian scientific archives simultaneously.
ARCA is also interoperable through OpenAIRE: all authors intending to disseminate research results through peer-reviewed publication can upload their contributions to ARCA and find them also in OpenAIRE.

APCs and Open Access costs

Open Access literature does not mean literature free of charge.
In the case of the Green Open Access, the costs of open archive management are provided by the institutions, for the Gold Open Access, commercial publishers offer Open Access publishing of scientific contributions upon the payment of a fee (paid by the author or the institution), called an APC - Article Processing Charge.

The University Library System, through CRUI-CARE, has entered into certain agreements that allow discounts on APCs for authors of Ca' Foscari (professors, researchers, PhD students...), if they choose Open Access publishing.
These benefits, listed below, concern APCs paid by Ca' Foscari and APCs paid by the authors with discounts.

For more information or assistance on APCs write to

A list of the contracts according to which the costs of APCs are covered by University Library System is given below.
The number of APCs available per year can be unlimited (CUP contract) or limited. In the latter case, if the cost of the APC cannot be covered by the University, the author will be notified by the publisher and he could choose if he prefers not to publish open access or personally pay for the costs of the APC.

The initiative concerns a list of journals listed for each contract.

ACS - American Chemical Society

Contract duration: 2020-2023  
List of publications: All Pubs (except for ACS Omega)
How to get the benefit: the article submission process is managed by the publisher on a specific platform. The author must specify the correct affiliation to Ca' Foscari and opt for publishing Open Access.
Retrospective conversion to Open Access: according to the contract, authors can choose the open access option by modifying the license and the method of publication of articles already published in the same journals but not in open access. The choice must be made within the year of publication.

CUP - Cambridge University Press

Contract duration: 2020 - 2022  
List of publications: more than 300 journals, Gold OA Journals (fully Open Access journals) and Hybrid Journals (journals offering an Open Access option)
Type of article: article types covered by Read and Publish agreement
How to get the benefit: to submit a journal article in open access visit the individual journal homepages and click on Submit your article button. The author must specify the correct affiliation to Ca' Foscari and opt for publishing Open Access. For more information see the page: Publishing Open Access.
Retrospective conversion to Open Access: according to the contract, authors can choose the open access option by modifying the license and the method of publication of articles already published in the same journals but not in open access. The choice must be made within the year of publication.

CUP author's guide


Contract duration: 2020 - 2024
List of publicationsEmerald Journals List
License: CC-BY
How to get the benefit: the article submission process is managed by the publisher on a specific platform. The author must specify the correct affiliation to Ca' Foscari and opt for publishing Open Access.
Retrospective conversion to Open Access: according to the contract, authors can choose the open access option by modifying the license and the method of publication of articles already published in the same journals but not in open access. The choice must be made within the year of publication.

APS - American Physical Society

Contract duration: 2020
List of publications: Physical Review C, Physical Review D, Physical Review Letters (project SCOAP3  - Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics)
Licence: CC-BY


What the contract offers: authors benefit from decreasing discounts for various journals over the 5-year contract.
Contract duration: 2018-2022
Licence: CC-BY
Details: authors benefit from the following discounts for various journals:

  1. 2018: 20%
  2. 2019: 20%
  3. 2020: 15%
  4. 2021: 15%
  5. 2022: 10%

List of Elsevier publications that offer APC discounts.
For more information, see the publisher’s website.

Elsevier author's guide


What the contract offers: authors benefit from a 10% discount on APCs for all MDPI journals.
Licence: CC-BY
Details: you can read more information about the agreement here: IOAP (Institutional Open Access Program)

RSC Gold - Royal Society of Chemistry

What the contract offers: authors benefit from a 15% discount on APCs
Contract duration: annual contract under renewal

A list of contracts with discounts on APCs costs is given below. The APCs are paid by the authors.

Open Access Tools

Scientific publications are expensive. Access to articles in subscription journals can be unaffordable, especially for young researchers, who often resort to illegal methods of access (i.e. Sci-Hub).
There are, however, alternative, legal, less well-known but efficient tools: we’re talking about plugins and browser extensions, which can identify available open access content or notify you if your university has a resource available.

EndNote Click (formerly Kopernio): developed by Web of Science, this is a freely available plugin for Google, Chrome, Firefox and Opera, which makes searching for articles easier because it allows to finds the OA version of subscription articles and automatically finds the personal or institutional version already available to the user.

Unpaywall: this is a freely available extension for Chrome and Firefox, which reports on OA versions of subscription articles (especially in scientific and social science sectors). It is developed by ImpactStory, a non-profit organisation that helps researchers find out where their works have been cited, shared and saved.

Open Access Button: this is a tool (freely available also as extension for Chrome and Firefox) which finds the OA version of articles in the following repository: Unpaywall Data, Share, CORE, OpenAIRE,, Europe PMC, BASE. If it cannot find a free versionOpen Access Button suggests contacting the author to invite them to share the article. Open Access Button is supported by SPARC and is part of OA.Works project.

Predatory publishers

Unfortunately, there are also predatory publishers out there, a fact that authors must bear in mind, though this should not be a reason to reject the idea of OA, but instead authors should act prudently when considering an offer of publication. For any doubts, contact


Think Check Submit offers guidance in making informed choices on journals using a checklist.

Compass to Publish
is based on a 26-question test. The more the needle turns red, the more likely it is to be a predatory journal.

The issue of the predatory publisher is very controversial. Consider Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers: initially created as a list of OA publishers, it aimed to stem unfair and unethical publishing practices, but it has caused a lot of controversy and has not been updated since 2016.
There is a wealth of literature on this issue:

  1. Alan H. Chambers, How I became easy prey to a predatory publisher (Science 2019)
  2. Agnes Grudniewicz, David Moher, Kelly D. Cobe et al., Predatory journals: no definition, no defence (Nature, 2019)
  3. John Bohannon, Who's Afraid of Peer Review? (Science 2013)

Open Access in Italy and @Ca' Foscari

By signing the Berlin Declaration in 2005, our University has embraced the path towards open access and, to make it effective, has adopted specific regulations.




"Researcher publications since 2004 must be uploaded to the Digital Library in order to be preserved Open Access institutional archive, with a limit of embargo to be negotiated with the publishers; in any case a maximum of 1 year"

Publications are available in digital format, free and Open Access


The Digital Library enhances the institutional repository, facilitating self-archiving and providing visibility and accessibility support services. It organises the publishing of research products in order to guarantee free and open access; it proposes initiatives to support OA

All Master’s theses must be submitted in digital format and added to the university’s Open Access thesis archive. PhD theses have been available since 2010


Exclusion from funding applications if the publications from the last 5 years fail to be delivered to the Digital Library to be preserved in the institutional archive with an embargo period of max 1 year.
Research financed with public funds for at least 50% of total funding shall be deposited in the institutional archive in the pre-print version within 6 months of the date of first publication

The goal is to provide basic information about OA, the importance of institutional archives and tools for promoting research


Ca’ Foscari is among the first Italian universities to issue Open Access regulations. It also provides the individual departments with DRAFT PUBLISHING CONTRACTS for publishing/depositing contributions in the institutional repository

University members have to make contributions available through the repository



Cineca develops the institutional archive containing the results of all scientific research at the university
The university catalogue, cerCa', can be used to search the ARCA metadata


Tackling the problems relating to the management of Open Access, publishing policies and the needs of researchers in relation to research data


This board offers advice for research projects on issues of privacy. The Board develops two models of Data Management for processing sensitive data and open data

The new challenges faced today in relation to research data include final publishing, the interoperability of platforms and data management. More info on the page Open Science e EOSC.

Last update: 25/05/2022