Open Access Clinic

A guide to make your science 100% open access
OA first aid kit
1) Find your work
2) Check your rights
3) Upload your work
4) Get recognition

Open science = healthy science!

Also its good for your career! Keep your science healthy by publishing your works open access, and be sure to share all your scholarly outputs (including data and code) via on-line repositories. If you have to publish in non open access journals, or have done so in the past, do not worry, there is a cure! Follow the simple steps below.

Find 1) Find your work

The first step in making your works openly available is to create a list of all your scholarly works. This way you can step through all your works and find ways to make each openly available. Your scholarly works may include articles, abstracts, figures, posters, and also data sets, software and hardware designs. You could create your list manually, however, here we recommend the use of ORCID.
Done with your list? Already have an up to date ORCID profile? Great, let’s move on to the next step.


“ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognize”.

Through ORCID you not only create a clear and “canonical” list of your works, you also help others find it!

If you do not already have an ORCID account (your institute may have already created a profile for you) you can create one here. Once you are set-up with ORCID you can start to populate your profile with all your scholarly works. Entries can be added manually or you can import them from other systems (i.e. ORCID member organizations such as DataCite, CrossRef, Scopus, and ResearchID).



  1. The ORCID site can help you create badges like this one here to link to your profile:
    ORCID iD
    The code for this link looks like:
    <a href="" target="orcid.widget" rel="noopener noreferrer" style="vertical-align:top;"><img src="" style="width:1em;margin-right:.5em;" alt="ORCID iD icon"></a>
  2. You can also use ORCID to create a scannable QR-code for your profile which is handy for display on posters and business cards:
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rights 2) Check your permissions and rights


Before attempting to make your work open access you may wish to:

  1. Consult with superiors, co-workers/co-authors to see what their opinion is on sharing the scholarly works openly.
  2. Check your rights and permissions. Some publishers or journals do not permit the open sharing of works. Therefore you need to check your rights before proceeding to share your work.

You can do the above for each of the item in your list of works. You can also check if your institute (or the institute of one of your co-workers) has an overarching Open Access License which enables you to share works.

Checked your rights? Ready for the next step?

How to check your rights?

If you are at a university your librarian may be able to advise and inform you about your rights for a given publisher/publication. You can also check yourself since most publishers list their policies on their website.

Quickly check your rights for published articles

Depending on the journal you may or may not be able to share the pre-print, post-print, or published article form of your article. The site Sherpa Romeo may also be a helpful resource since you can search individual journals and quickly get insight into sharing rights.
Sherpa Romeo

For instance searching for “Journal of Biomechanics” provides us with:

While searching for “Journal of Biomechanical Engineering” provides us with:

Therefore, using this system you can quickly get an idea of the rights for a particular journal. However, this may not be the complete story as the institute you work for might have its own policies or licenses in place to help enable open access sharing. Consult your legal department or a librarian for more information.

Institute wide open-access policies affecting your rights

Some institutes have an over arching open-access license. In some cases these automatically apply, while in other cases individual researchers may opt-in. An example of such an institute wide policy is MIT’s opt-in OA license. If you (or one of your co-authors!) is covered under such a license you may be able to share your works irrespective of the sharing policies of the individual journals. Consult your librarian for more information and to check if your institution has such an open access license policy in place.

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upload 3) Upload your work

  1. Gather your works
  2. Find suitable repositories
  3. Upload your works

Identified suitable repositories? Uploaded all your works? Let’s move to the next step.

What repository to choose?

There are many different types of repositories for your content. Your repository of choice may depend on the type of content (e.g. articles, data, or code) and on the particular discipline. If you are at a university your librarian may be able to advise your. Here is a list of repositories (and pre-print servers) per discipline: Disciplinary repositories.

Repositories like Zenodo can house any type of content, offer long term and stable storage, and provide a DOI, allowing one to cite your works.



  1. Click here to learn how to automatically push GitHub content to Zenodo to make it citable.
  2. If you have made unpublished works available through online repositories you can likely automatically list them on ORCID. For instance repositories like Zenodo provide a DataCite type DOI for your shared content, since DataCite is an ORCID member organization you can incorporate content with DataCite DOI’s easily (more on that here).
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award 4) Get recognition, be discovered.

Now that you’ve shared all your content it would be good to announce your efforts to the rest of the world. Post links to the openly available works on social media and on your personal and institutional websites where possible. However, it is also possible to create a list, similar to the list of your ORCID profile, providing links to all your shared works. One system that allows for this is ImpactStory (click on impactStory profiles on that page).


ImpactStory (see also the wikipedia page) “ImpactStory is an open source, web-based tool that provides altmetrics to help researchers measure and share the impacts of all their research outputs—from traditional ones such as journal articles, to alternative research outputs such as blog posts, datasets, and software. It aims to change the focus of the scholarly reward system to value and encourage web-native scholarship.”.

In short ImpactStory allows you to:

  1. Link to ORCID and import the list of all your works
  2. Add the open access link for others to obtain access to each item in the list
  3. Keep track of altmetrics (e.g. social media shares) associated with your works


  1. As you add open access links to all your works ImpactStory lists the percentage of your works that are now open access and provides a badge to accompany your open access efforts. Once you have made 100% of your work open access you join the ranks of open access heroes:
  2. Similar to your ORCID profile link, you can also use create a single link to all your open access content (which you could for instance incorporate on your website or in your e-mail signature), e.g.:
    The code for this link looks like:
    <a href="" ><img src="" style="width:1em;margin-right:.5em;" alt="ImpactStory"></a>   

    You can also embed the list in your own website. For instance you can incorporate the following HTML code:

     <iframe   src="" width="100%" height="1000" frameborder="0" style="border:0" allowfullscreen>
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The content presented here is NOT legal advice. Consult your superior or a legal adviser when in doubt about the legality of sharing your work. If at a university, your librarian may also be able to provide advice.