Open Access: How to use the Rights Retention Strategy?

Funders such the European Commission (Horizon Europe) require immediate open access with a CC BY license to all peer-reviewed scholarly publications. To meet those requirements, researchers have three options:

  1. Publish with a diamond open access journal or platform, which does not require the payment of publication costs.
  2. Publish with a journal or platform which requires the payment of an APC (“Article Processing Charge”) for the open access availability and use the grant budget to pay for these publication costs.
  3. Use the Rights Retention Strategy to retain the right to immediately publish the Author Accepted Manuscript or possibly the Version of Record, open access with a CC BY license. 

What is the Rights Retention Strategy?

The Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) is based on the principle that the peer-reviewed Author Accepted manuscript (AAM) is the intellectual creation of the authors and belongs to them.
Publish in a subscription/hybrid journal that is not fully Open Access may hinder your possibilities to upload your publication in a repository without an embargo. By applying a CC BY licence to your accepted manuscript, you retain copyrights and are able to deposit a version in Biblio. Furthermore no APC is paid. The aim of the RRS is to enable researchers to retain sufficient intellectual ownership rights on their work.

How to apply the Rights Retention Strategy?

  1. Upon submission of the manuscript, include one of the following texts in the submission letter, on the first page or in the acknowledgements:

    For EU (Horizon Europe) grants: “This work was funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe grant <grant number>. As set out in the Grant Agreement, beneficiaries must ensure that at the latest at the time of publication, open access is provided via a trusted repository to the published version or the final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication under the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public License (CC BY) or a license with equivalent rights. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-ND or equivalent licenses could be applied to long-text formats.”

  2. Before signing a publishers agreement, check the agreement for conflicts with your grant's open access requirement. Negotiate changes, request a waiver, or find a different open-access friendly journal if needed. Don't sign something that forces you to break your grant agreement.
  3. Upon submitting your article, apply a Creative Commons CC BY license to your AAM by including the text "CC BY 4.0" and/or the CC BY logo. This license allows for open access and lets you deposit your work in Biblio, a repository, without any article processing charges (APCs).
  4. Once your paper is accepted for publication, deposit your AAM in a repository/Biblio. Ensure it's available by the time the official version is published.

For other options to shorten an embargo see the research tip: "Open Access: How to make publication Open Access when an embargo from a publisher applies?"


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Last modified April 8, 2024, 1:29 p.m.