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OAPEN and De Gruyter enable retroactive open access for ERC-funded publications

June 20, 2019

The OAPEN Foundation and De Gruyter have developed a framework agreement that outlines good practice for retroactive open access to books and chapters resulting from research funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7).

Since FP7 did not include a strict open access mandate for publications, publications resulting from these grants are generally not freely accessible. The framework agreement between De Gruyter and the OAPEN Foundation supports authors by establishing compliance with the ‘best effort’ requirement to make publications open access.

De Gruyter has been promoting open access since 2005 and has developed into one of the most significant independent publishers of open access monographs and edited collections in the Humanities, among them several gold OA publications that originated from ERC grants under the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. All open access titles are available in the De Gruyter Open Access Book Library to read, download and share, and all of De Gruyter's open access books (just under 2,000 titles at the moment) and those of publishing partners are included.

De Gruyter published its first open access monograph almost 15 years ago, making it one of the first traditional publishers to offer open access books. All of De Gruyter’s open access books are listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), and all books will also be available – in open access and for free, of course – in the OAPEN Library.

As part of the agreement, ERC, OAPEN and De Gruyter have now identified 110 publications (24 books and 86 chapters) resulting from ERC-funded research that will be made freely available retroactively in the OAPEN Library.

Eelco Ferwerda, Director of OAPEN, said: “This agreement extends beyond current open access requirements and demonstrates De Gruyters’ willingness to work with research funders supporting OA to books. We hope this framework will be acceptable to other publishers, to provide free availability to many more books and chapters resulting from ERC grants.”

“Long form publication and open access has long been considered an oxymoron, but De Gruyter now shows that this is simply not the case. All scholarly publications funded with public money should be freely accessible to everyone. De Gruyter’s willingness to enter into this agreement is a significant step towards the realization of that goal," said Martin Stokhof, Vice-President and Chair of the Open Access Working Group at the European Research Council.

Emily Poznanski, Strategy Director for De Gruyter, said: “We have been working very successfully with OAPEN for some time and are very pleased that we are now able to work with the ERC on this project. Our ultimate goal is to support open access where we can and to be of more practical assistance to researchers.”

The full version of the press release issued by OAPEN, which contains more details, can be read here.

De Gruyter
Eric Merkel-Sobotta
Tel: +49 30 260 05 304