ERC, De Gruyter retroactive OA
OAPEN and De Gruyter enable retroactive open access for ERC-funded publications
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.
The ERC supports the principle of open access to the published output of research as a fundamental part of its mission. This requirement includes monographs, book chapters and other long-text publications, which are particularly important in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The ERC Scientific Council recommends the use of the OAPEN Library as repository for this kind of publications, as indicated in its “Open Access Guidelines for research results funded by the ERC”[1].
In February 2016, the ERC and the OAPEN Foundation announced their cooperation to increase open access to academic books and book chapters. Within the context of this cooperation, OAPEN has developed a tailor-made deposit service for long-text publications based on ERC-funded research. OAPEN also provides hands-on support to ERC grantees and their team members who want to use the OAPEN Library to provide open access for their publications.  
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.
The publications will be made freely available according to the following framework:
  • Both monographs and book chapters resulting from ERC grants
  • The published version
  • As the publications were published before 2014, there is no embargo period
  • The publications will be freely available, under "all rights reserved".  Authors that are interested in making their work available under an open license, should contact De Gruyter directly at
Eelco Ferwerda, Director of OAPEN, said: “This agreement extends beyond current open access requirements and demonstrates De Gruyter’s willingness to work with research funders supporting open access to books. We hope this framework will be acceptable to other publishers, to provide free access 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.”


For more information, please contact Eelco Ferwerda, director of the OAPEN Foundation

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