Changing the publishing landscape towards openness – supporting hybrid Open Access at the University of Bergen


  • Ingrid Cutler University of Bergen Library
  • Tormod Strømme University of Bergen Library
  • Irene Eikefjord University of Bergen Library



See video of the presentation.

In 2013 The University of Bergen established a publication fund to cover the costs for publishing Open Access. The fund covers Article Processing Charges (APC) in both Open Access journals and hybrid Open Access in subscription journals. The publication fund at The University of Bergen is one of few in Norway that includes support for hybrid Open Access. The hybrid model is controversial because the publisher receives income twice for the same article, first through APC and then through subscriptions.

The arguments for including hybrid were: (1) there are more journals to choose from, hence giving more researchers the opportunity and initiative to publish Open Access. (2) the quality issue of Open Access journals. The University believed that by including hybrid more articles would be published Open Access in renowned journals. This because a larger percentage of hybrid journals are registered on level 2 in the Norwegian System for defining quality of publication channels.

The fund has been a success in so far that it has led to an increase in Open Access articles in high quality journals, also within research fields that traditionally do not publish Open Access. The fund has granted applications for almost 9 million NOK. Of a total of 437 granted applications, 278 (64 %) are articles in hybrid journals. 103 articles (24 %) have been published on level 2; 11 in Open Access-journals and 92 hybrid.

When it comes to research field, the results show that about 90 % of granted applications come from researchers within medicine, psychology and the natural sciences, including many fields that already have a tradition for publishing their research Open Access. The fund has only led to a slight increase in Open Access publishing with APC within the humanities, social sciences and law.

Researchers are happy with hybrid publishing because they are able to continue publishing in the same journals as before. It is also the case that support of hybrid publishing results in more Open Access articles in high quality journals according to the Norwegian system. Yet, support for hybrid publishing has so far not altered which research fields that publish Open Access, although there has been an increase of Open Access publications within all faculties.

Our presentation will form a basis for discussing a number of questions pertaining to the hybrid model: What have the academic and economic consequences of the hybrid model been? Do all researchers at the University have the same opportunity to publish their research Open Access? Has support of hybrid lead to more Open Access in renowned publication channels?

The University has appointed a group to evaluate the publication fund and recommend if and how it shall continue. Will the fund continue to support hybrid after the trial period ends in 2015?

Author Biographies

Tormod Strømme, University of Bergen Library

Special Librarian

Irene Eikefjord, University of Bergen Library

Special Librarian