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About Open Access

Aarhus University Open Access policy

”Aarhus University recommends that the university’s researchers allow the public free access to their scholarly and scientific publications. The university supports the Open Access Initiative on the grounds that it will enable the university's research publications to be utilised more effectively. In addition, the initiative will strengthen the university's international position and influence.”
(From: The Rector's Newsletter no. 8, 2010)

Aarhus University has chosen the so-called 'green model' within Open Access (OA). Which means that an AU researcher - alongside their usual publishing procedure – will also save a version of their research publication in PURE and/or subject-specific archive  (See ’Copyright’).

The archived version can be made freely available immediately to anyone interested. However, it is also possible for the author to choose to disable access to the publication for a specified period. This is especially interesting in those cases where a publisher requires an embargo period, so that the publication only becomes freely available once the embargo has ended.

The Nationale Open Access Strategy

Denmark has a national Open Access strategy, adopted and published by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science in June 2014. The goal is that by 2022 there will be 100% access to all Danish academic articles from Danish research institutions. This should preferably be done via the "green model", but with respect to the publishing freedoms of the researcher. It is also essential that the quality and integrity of the research results remain uncompromised. A national steering committee has been set up to support the implementation of this ambitious policy.

A number of Danish public groups and foundations also require Open Access. This means that you must archive a full text version of your academic work in the relevant archive (for example PURE, or a subject-specific archive) if the publisher allows it. It should be placed in the archive within 6-12 months of publication, depending on the subject area (

Deadline for archiving:

• Health – 6 months
• Science and Technology – 6 months
• Engineering – 6 months
• Agriculture and Veterinary Science – 6 months
• Social Sciences – 12 months
• Arts – 12 months

The Danish requirement supports the Open Access policy adopted by the European Union in connection with the framework program, Horizon 2020, and the European Research Council (ERC). Here, the same requirements are made regarding the self-archiving of academic articles, while supporting both the "green" and the "golden road". The EU also recommends the archiving of research data. See recommendations here and here

The importance of Open Access – for you and for AU

Open Access (OA) automatically ensures a wide dissemination of your research. Your publications will be able to be read by more, and the readership will be broader in nature, as OA does not require a subscription to journals or payment for e-books, etc. The new readers could, for example, be researchers outside the established research areas, researchers from third world countries, doctors, lawyers, employees of private companies, high school teachers, politicians, journalists and private individuals.

Your publications will often be readable earlier, as the publishing process at some publishers can often be a long process. This is because you can provide access to previous versions of an article other than the one that will be released as the final version.

Your research will thus become more visible and you will, at the same time, be contributing to research from Aarhus University becoming more visible.

There is also an increasing tendency for foundations and research bodies to recommend (or explicitly require as a condition of granting funds) that the research results be made available via Open Access.

Who and how

As a researcher (professor, senior advisor, senior lecturer, assistant professor, postdoc, PhD student, etc.) at Aarhus University you are expected to archive your academic publications in PURE so that they can be made searchable and freely available to anyone interested.

The publications should be placed into the archive via PURE

At the same time as you register your research in PURE you can also attach a full text file of the publication, which will be included in the OA archive. You will also be able to choose to make the full-text document available on your personal website.

You also have the possibility to choose whether you want to restrict access to the archived version. For example, you could choose to close access during a given embargo period.

You can of course also attach files that contain different sets of data, sound, images, videos, etc. 

Publication types

All academic articles should, in principle, be included in the Open Access (OA) archive  (see ’Copyright’).It is also recommended that PhD and doctoral dissertations are archived to promote the visibility of these. Finally, it may be appropriate - depending on the field - to include anthologies, working papers, conference proceedings, audio and image files, additional data sets, etc., in the OA archive. With regard to the archiving of unpublished material, researchers should ensure that the possibility of publication elsewhere at a later date is not compromised.



Open Access (OA) means that in principle there will be free access to everything that is archived in PURE. This means that all, including non-AU affiliates, can gain access to search, read and use what is placed in PURE. However, it is still possible to restrict access to an archived publication, for example, during an embargo period  (see ’Who and hown’).


PURE does not take over any intellectual rights when you make your publications available therein. If you own the copyright to your publication, you can of course add it to the archive. However, if you have surrendered your rights, either completely or partially, to a journal or publisher, you should check whether you are allowed to give free access to your publication by placing it in PURE. You are responsible for ensuring that copyright laws are not broken when you put your publications in PURE.

The vast majority of publishers allow you to archive your publications as pre- or post-print on your university archive. You can relatively easily get answers to most specific questions on this via ’SHERPA/RoMEO Home – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving’ ( ). Here, you can find, for example, lists of what the individual publishers permit with regard to archiving in an 'Institutional Repository', such as the OA archive at Aarhus University.

Aarhus University recommends that researchers retain the rights to their own publications as far as is possible. Therefore, in the future you should not simply hand over all rights to a journal or publisher without question. At the same time you should be aware of the possibilities of OA publishing when you enter into contracts with publishers. Remember that as the author you have the copyright to the work unless other agreements have been entered into.


It is the individual AU-researcher's responsibility to archive their academic publications in PURE, and it is also the individual researcher's responsibility to ensure that it is legally archived  (see ’Copyright’).

If by some accident, error or misunderstanding any copyright violations occur in connection with publishing to PURE, the affected material will immediately be removed from the archive.

It is Aarhus University that finances, operates and maintains PURE.

Journals and publisher's Open Access policy

In principle there are two main roads through which you can freely provide access to academic publications via Open Access (OA). One is through 'Institutional Repositories', the so-called 'green model', which gives access to all, such as the PURE archive at Aarhus University. The other is to pay for publishing in OA journals; 'the golden model'. In reality there are of course many other OA-roads such as personal web pages, blogs, wikis, etc. Many researchers will most likely use a combination of all of these.

There are journals and publishers which are entirely OA, i.e. all articles are OA. These may be non-profit publishers, such as the Public Library of Science (PLoS) or commercial publishers such as BioMed Central (BMC). Many of the traditional journals, however, also allow researchers and authors to choose that an article be OA-published, with all that this implies, i.e. open access for all after publishing. Similarly, it is the author and not the journal who retains the copyright. Common to all OA articles is that any payment occurs 'upfront', i.e. before publishing, but the actual payment can be handled in different ways by the author, the institution (possibly via membership), foundation or sponsor.

Where can i get more help?

If you have questions that are not answered here, or in the FAQ, you can contact your local AU Library or send a mail to

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