Basic Open Access Information
What is the difference between “free” content and “open access” content?
Free content usually consists of editorial material such as tables of contents, covers, advertisements, etc. This content is available to all within IEEE Xplore® and it is not supported by article processing fees.
Open access content is technical in nature, peer reviewed, supported by article processing fees, and available to all.
What do the terms “green” and “gold” open access refer to?
“Green” open access refers to the practice of depositing a version of an article in a repository. Usually, that article version is freely accessible to the public. For example, if an author posts the accepted version of his or her NIH-funded article to PubMed Central, that article is said to be available through green open access.
Posting requirements and embargo periods vary by publisher. IEEE allows authors to post the accepted (not final) version of their article to their website, employer’s website, or a repository specified by their funding agency. More information on article posting and embargo policies may be found at the IEEE Author Center.
Authors may obtain the accepted version of their article through the IEEE Author Gateway.
“Gold” open access refers to articles that are freely available in their final form. Most gold open access articles are supported by article processing charges (APCs), rather than through subscriptions. APCs may be paid by the author, the author’s institution, or a funding agency.
IEEE offers three gold open access options. Authors may publish an individual OA paper in a subscription journal Hybrid, OA topical journal, or IEEE Access.
Why should authors publish open access?
IEEE strives to support all authors and readers globally. That means being able to offer any author a publication venue that is compliant with their circumstances, regardless of their funding status, the publishing mandates they may have in place, or where in the world they may work.
An author may choose to publish in a traditional journal or in a fully open access journal.
There are many benefits of publishing scholarly research. Some reasons why some authors may choose to publish their research through open access depend on the unique circumstances and goals of the individual author. These reasons could include:
- Get Published More Quickly – Many IEEE fully open access titles follow a rapid yet rigorous peer review process, enabling authors to accelerate the sharing of their work to a broad audience. with the capability to get published in a matter of weeks with select fully open access titles such as IEEE Access.
- Share Your Latest Research with a Wide Audience – Increase exposure and quickly reach millions of global users through the IEEE Xplore Digital Library with free access to research available immediately to all users.
- Satisfy OA Publishing Requirements – Authors using government research funding or university consortium funding may be required to publish in OA journals. Some funder mandates (such as Plan S by cOAlition S) require authors to publish their work in open access journals. Many institutions also encourage their authors to publish OA, and some provide funds to help authors do so.
- Multidisciplinary Research Scope – A topic that is inclusive of multiple technologies may be considered out of scope for some journals but might be perfect for a multidisciplinary title such as IEEE Access.
Are IEEE open access journals compliant with funder mandates such as Plan S?
Yes, all of the IEEE fully open access journals are compliant with funder mandates as all articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) or the Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial, No Derivatives License (CCBY-NC-ND), enabling authors to retain copyright.
Do all IEEE journals accept OA articles?
Most journals produced by IEEE accept OA articles. Journals co-sponsored by IEEE and another organization accepts OA content when both groups agree that the content is appropriate for the publication. Please go to the IEEE Publication Recommender for more information.
Do IEEE magazines accept OA articles?
Many IEEE magazines do publish open access content, while some do not. For a listing of all titles that publish open access, click here.
How does an author select open access?
Authors publishing in fully OA journals must confirm that they accept the OA terms and charges at submission. Authors publishing in hybrid journals will be able to select OA after acceptance, as part of the copyright transfer process.
What fees are charged for OA publication?
Similar to most gold open access publications, IEEE open access articles are supported by article processing charges (APCs), rather than through subscriptions. APCs may be paid by the author, the author’s institution, or a funding agency. For more information on APCs, please see the Article Processing Charges page.
Why do IEEE and other publishers charge an APC fee for Gold open access? What are the funds used for?
There are a number of factors IEEE takes into account when developing pricing for article processing charges (APCs) or any of its publishing offerings. IEEE designs its open access publishing program to be sustainable, taking into account all of the costs related to publishing an article and maintaining a high-quality publishing program. This includes:
- Editorial work, peer-review administration, management, and platform maintenance
- Professional production of articles, copy editing, and formatting in PDF and other formats
- Tools and administration for securing and protecting IP rights and plagiarism checks
- Dissemination of papers in various venues for bibliometric monitoring and management
- Technical infrastructure such as data storage and management, publishing platform development, data security, and maintenance
- Institutional open access administration tools
- Ensure proper indexing of articles and maximize discoverability
- Marketing and communications to raise awareness of published content
- Customer service for authors, readers, and institutions, and author support tools
- Digital preservation services to ensure long-term archival access to scholarly literature
- Governance to ensure enforcement of editorial policies, procedures, and quality controls
- Various other publishing functions and infrastructure costs
Do IEEE journals charge submission fees?
No, IEEE journals do not charge submission fees.
Does IEEE provide a discount on OA article processing charges to IEEE members?
Yes, IEEE will apply a discount to current IEEE members. IEEE members will receive a 5% discount, and members of IEEE societies or councils will receive a 20% discount. Discounts cannot be combined or applied to any other fees such as overlength or color page charges.
Select publications also offer special promotional discounts to society members. Please check the individual journal home pages, for more information.
Does IEEE have an APC waiver policy?
Gold open access journals have a waiver policy for authors from low and lower-middle income countries.
Corresponding authors from low-income countries are eligible for a 100% waiver on APCs. Corresponding authors from lower-middle-income countries are also eligible for a discount on APCs ranging from 25% to 50%. The discount level is determined by the GNI per capita for the corresponding author’s country as listed by the World Bank Country and Lending Groups.
What is the IEEE Refund Policy for APCs?
An author’s open access APCs may be refunded when alternative funding is provided (e.g. by a funding agency or the author’s institution). If you need additional assistance, please contact email@example.com.
What OA license types are available to authors?
All open access articles are published under either the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) or the Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial, No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND), in which the copyright remains with the author.
What is the CC-BY license?
Creative Commons licenses such as CC-BY are used by many academic publishers. The CC-BY license grants the most liberal reuse rights of all commonly used OA licenses. It allows users to distribute, reuse, modify, and build upon work as long as proper attribution to the original article is provided. Works published with a CC-BY license may be used for commercial purposes.
Some funding agencies require grant recipients to publish with a CC-BY license. Authors should verify with their funding agency before selecting their copyright license.
What is the CC BY-NC-ND license?
The CC BY-NC-ND is similar to the CC-BY license, in that authors are allowed to retain copyright to their work, and end users may reuse the work, provided that they credit the original author. The end user does not have to obtain permission from the authors or IEEE to reuse the work, but the reuse cannot be for commercial purposes or change the work in any way.
Some funding agencies require grant recipients to publish with a CC BY-NC-ND license. Authors should verify with their funding agency before selecting their copyright license.
At what point does an author select an OA license?
After an article has been accepted, the corresponding author will be prompted to complete the IEEE electronic copyright form (eCF). If an author is publishing OA, the author will be asked to choose either the CC-BY or CC BY-NC-ND license.
Who should authors contact if they have more questions about IEEE’s OA policies and procedures?
Authors with questions or concerns should contact firstname.lastname@example.org