Open Access options for the Cochrane Library
On 1 February 2013, open-access options were introduced for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR).
Authors can choose one of two options for publishing their articles:
- Gold open access: immediate open access upon payment of an article publication charge fee.
- Green open access: publication via the ‘standard’ model, with free access to the full article 12 months after publication.
Gold open access: immediate open access upon payment of an article publication charge
Via Wiley’s open access service, OnlineOpen, authors and their funders have the option to fund individual articles, or groups of articles, to enable them to be published on an open access basis immediately.
How and at what stage in the article’s development do I pay for immediate open access?
Contact your Managing Editor to discuss open access as early as possible and before the authors sign the licence for publication form.
Article publication charge (APC)
The APC will depend on the status of the Cochrane Review; see Table 1.
Table 1. Article publication charge (APC)
|Cochrane Review status||APC in US dollars|
|Cochrane Review or Update||$5000|
|Cochrane Review if APC paid for Protocol||$2500|
|Cochrane Review Update if APC paid for Cochrane Review||$2500|
The version of the article that will be open access immediately is the new citation version, as identified by the unique digital object identifier (DOI). If gold open access is purchased for an update, the previous versions of the review (as shown in the "Other versions" tab) will be made free to view as per green open access. Only the gold open access version will receive the benefits of gold open access.
Licence for publication
Authors paying an APC for gold open access will sign a licence for publication form that reflects the open access nature of the article. Authors retain copyright and then (1) grant The Cochrane Collaboration exclusive rights of copyright in and to the article; and (2) choose between selecting a CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND licence (see Table 2). If authors are funded by RCUK or Wellcome Trust a CC-BY licence is available on request.
Table 2. Description of gold open access licences
|Type of licence||Description|
|“This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.”|
no derivatives )
|“This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially|
Source: creativecommons.org/licenses/ (accessed 12 March 2012).
Archiving articles in repositories
Gold open access articles will normally be deposited automatically in PubMed Central, and other repositories as determined by funder mandates, on behalf of the authors. Authors retain the right to deposit the article in other repositories of their choice or as required by their funder. A standard PDF of the final version will be deposited.
Waivers and discounts
Authors from HINARI A and B countries (www.who.int/hinari/eligibility/en/) who are the first author of the Cochrane Review, Protocol, or Update are eligible for a waiver for the APC, provided funding for the Cochrane Review does not include funds for the APC. Qualifying authors should contact their Managing Editor before signing the licence for publication form.
Funders should contact Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss discounts, such as the block purchase of APCs.
Green open access: publication via the ‘standard’ model, but with free access to the full article 12 months after publication
Cochrane Protocols and Reviews (including updates) published in the CDSR, with the exception of gold open access articles (see above), will be made freely available in the CDSR 12 months after publication. This will happen automatically and there is no charge for this.
This applies only to those versions published with a new citation on or after 1 February 2013. If, for example, a Cochrane Review update is published on 1 February 2013, on 1 February 2014 the Cochrane Review will be free to view. However, earlier versions, including the Protocol and first version of the Cochrane Review will not be free to view.
Licence for publication form
Authors continue to retain copyright and, as stated in the licence for publication form, retain the rights, shown below and updated to incorporate the right in relation to repositories, in return for granting The Cochrane Collaboration an exclusive licence for publication.
Author rights in licence for publication form
- The right to post the Protocol or Review as an electronic file on the author’s own website and/or the author’s institution’s intranet, using the PDF version of the Review available in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
- The right to post a PDF of the final version, as specified by the Publisher, in an institutional repository or any repository mandated by the author’s funder, such as PubMedCentral, 12 months after publication.
- The right to photocopy or to transmit online or to download, print out, and distribute a reasonable number of copies of the published Protocol or Review in whole or in part, for the author’s personal or professional use including teaching purposes, but not for commercial purposes.
- The right to re-publish without charge all or part of any published Protocol or Review authored or contributed to by the author in a book written or edited by the author.
- The right to use selected figures and tables, and selected text, including the abstract and/or plain language summary from the Protocol or Review, for the author’s own teaching purposes.
How will open access articles appear in the CDSR?
Articles with gold open access will be identified in the CDSR with this logo and through text describing the selected copyright licence.
Articles with green open access will be free to access in the CDSR after 12 months and will be identified by this logo .
What if my funder mandates different criteria for open access than those outlined above?
Wiley will respect funder mandates and implement the requirements. Contact Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (email@example.com) for queries.
Authors funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust should note that both funders have new open access policies effective from 1 April 2013. These policies state that to be compliant, journals must offer a "pay to publish" (gold OA) option. When an article publication charge is paid, the policies also mandate the use of the CC-BY licence. The CC-BY licence allows others to modify, build upon and/ or distribute work (including for commercial purposes) as long as the original author is credited.
We have created a promotional video for authors to understand the new UK funder mandates and Wiley's compliance.
How does content published in the CDSR fit on the ‘How open is it’ scale?
In 2012, the Public Library of Science (PLOS), The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) developed the “How open is it?” guide that shows the spectrum between open access and closed access; see www.plos.org/about/open-access/howopenisit/. Figure 4 shows where the CDSR fits onto this open-access spectrum.
Machine readability is one of the core components included in the guide. Contact Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss permission to crawl or access the article full-text, metadata, and citations, and the use of an API for this purpose.
Figure 1. How open is it? Gold and green access in the CDSR