Skip to main content

Open Access: a guide for researchers

Science Direct Open Access Deals at Maynooth University

A guide for Academics interested in Open Access and identifying how to make their research available via Open Access

Open Access with Science Direct

A group representing the consortium of Irish universities and institutes of technology has been negotiating with Elsevier since May 2019. The consortium has been consistent from the outset about the need for a deal that made significant progress towards delivering Open Access (OA) on the ScienceDirect platform to publications by authors from our member institutions.

In January 2020 the negotiating group successfully concluded a new three-year agreement with Elsevier which will enhance research access and the transition to OA publishing in Ireland. This is the first time the consortium has negotiated an OA contract with a major scientific publisher.

The agreement means Irish researchers from 19 institutions will have continued access to 2,500 journals published by Elsevier and its society partners on ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s leading platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature.

However, this agreement also facilitates a transition to OA and will enable Irish researchers to publish more than 70% of their research Open Access without having to pay an Article Publishing Charge (APC).

This new deal represents a very significant step towards complete OA and will ensure that cutting-edge research from Ireland and beyond is available to the community in an affordable and sustainable manner.

The deal will be reviewed annually, and feedback from the scholarly community will be essential in ensuring that it meets the needs of all involved.  This guide offers Maynooth specific information, more general detail from Irel can be found  here

What is Science Direct

ScienceDirect, aspires to be the world's leading source for scientific, technical, and medical research. It contains a vast range of journals, books and articles.  Maynooth University has provided access to it since 2004 and it is one of our more heavily used resources.

Why choose Open Access with Science Direct?

The benefits of Open Access have been long established.  For authors who wish to publish in Science Direct, finding a way to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC) which would make the article immediately accessible to all has been a challenge. This deal works to address that for corresponding authors who are based in Maynooth University

Elsevier, the publisher of Science Direct have provided further information for authors here



Q: How can Maynooth researchers  avail of the ScienceDirect Open Access Agreement?

A: Once your article is accepted for publication (i.e. post peer review) the corresponding author will be be sent an e-mail with a link to an author workflow tool. The corresponding author is presented with Publishing Options.  If the corresponding author selects Gold OA as part of the agreement Maynooth University Library will validate the eligibility of the Corresponding Author under the agreement.

For more detailed instructions, please go to the Author Workflow document below.

Q: The agreement achieves Open Access (OA) to 70% of Elsevier Science Direct articles published by researchers in Irish institutions.  What does this mean for me?

A: The allocation of OA publishing charges is based on 70% of 2018 articles.  In 2018 researchers in Maynooth University published 44 articles in Elsevier journals so in 2020 our Open Access publishing charge allocation will be for 31 articles.

Q: When does the agreement take effect?

A: The deal applies to articles submitted in 2020, so any articles submitted in 2019 but accepted in 2020 are not eligible.

Q: What Elsevier journals can I publish in as Open Access?

A: The list of journals excluded can be accessed from this guide.  There are approximately 200 'excluded' Society journals - for which Elsevier advises it cannot support the application of APCs in this proposal.  If you wish to publish in these titles, you can continue to avail of Green Open Access as appropriate 

Q: Can I continue to publish using the Green Open Access model for Elsevier titles or do I have to choose the APC option?

Yes, you can continue to publish using the Green Open Access model for Elsevier titles. Our institutional repository MURAL is fully green OA compliant

Q: what type of open access license should I select?

There are two options and if you have funding, it may be that your funder requires you to avail of one of them:

  • CC-BY:  Allows users to copy, to create extracts, abstracts and new works from the Article, to alter and revise the Article, and to make commercial use of the Article (including reuse and/or resale of the Article by commercial entities), provided the user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license, indicates if changes were made and the licensor is not represented as endorsing the use made of the work.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND: Allows users to copy and distribute the Article, provided this is not done for commercial purposes, and further does not permit distribution of the Article if it is changed or edited in any way, and provided the user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license, and that the licensor is not represented as endorsing the use made of the work.

Q: What happens if Maynooth University's OA allowance is used up?

This deal to facilitate Open Access works on a first come, first served basis.  Once our allowance has been fulfilled in a calendar year Elsevier's system will offer corresponding authors the option of either publishing via the traditional subscription model (in which case your article will not be OA) or finding another way to pay for the APC, such as from a funding allocation.