What is the FWF’s Open-Access Block Grant?
Costs for the open-access (OA) publishing of work (peer-reviewed journal articles, contributions to edited volumes, etc.) resulting in whole or in part from FWF-funded projects can be covered by means of an Open-Access Block Grant provided in addition to the approved project budget. Starting January 1, 2024, the Open-Access Block Grant will be replacing the previous procedures and guidelines of the Peer-Reviewed Publications program completely and for all projects, regardless of approval date.
The Open-Access Block Grant is awarded once a year to Austrian research institutions. It is calculated on a pro rata basis, based on the FWF’s annual budget for new approvals, and is intended to make it easier for FWF-funded researchers to comply with the FWF's Open-Access Policy. OA funding by means of the Open-Access Block Grant is in line with the PROFI funding mode, under which Austrian research institutions administer the funds.
Are all Austrian research institutions eligible for Open-Access Block Grants?
The acquisition of FWF funding in the last five years and the signing of the FWF's Open-Access Block Grant contract are prerequisites for receipt of the Open-Access Block Grant. Austrian research institutions interested in signing the Open-Access Block Grant contract should contact oap(at)fwf.ac.at.
When and how often is the Open-Access Block Grant paid out?
The Open-Access Block Grant is paid out at the beginning of each year to Austrian research institutions with a valid Open-Access Block Grant contract. The first Open-Access Block Grant payments will be in early 2024.
What are the requirements for publications funded under the Open-Access Block Grant?
The following requirements apply:
- The following text must be included in all publications upon submission:
“This research was funded in whole or in part by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) [grant DOI]. For open access purposes, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any author accepted manuscript version arising from this submission.”
For publications in German: „Diese Forschung wurde gänzlich oder teilweise durch den Wissenschaftsfonds FWF finanziert [Grant-DOI]. Zum Zweck des freien Zugangs hat der:die Autor:in für jedwede akzeptierte Manuskriptversion, die sich aus dieser Einreichung ergibt, eine „Creative Commons Attribution CC BY“-Lizenz vergeben.“
- In addition, the corresponding author must have a valid affiliation with the grant recipient, i.e., with the Austrian research institution administering the Open-Access Block Grant. The corresponding author is the person who is the official contact for the publisher and is identified as such in the publication itself. Austrian research institutions are entitled to establish their own additional criteria for Open-Access Block Grant funding as long as these criteria do not contradict the terms of the Open-Access Block Grant contract.
Which costs are eligible for funding?
The Open-Access Block Grant is intended to ensure compliance with the FWF's Open-Access Policy and can only be used to cover OA publishing costs. These costs inlcude:
- Costs for peer-reviewed publications under a CC BY license in DOAJ-listed, gold open-access journals (fully open access)
- Fees for diamond open-access platforms and alternative OA publishing platforms, if the publications are published under a CC BY license and without an embargo period
- Fees for bilateral as well as transformative national and consortium OA agreements involving the grant recipient, i.e., the research institution, and concluded with publishers by December 31, 2024. Publications under transformative open access agreements must be published under a CC BY license and without an embargo period. Funding for transformative agreements negotiated before the end of 2024 is available only until December 31, 2027.
Which costs are not eligible?
The FWF Open-Access Block Grant cannot be used for the following costs:
- Costs for open-access publications in subscription journals (hybrid open access), unless they are part of transformative open-access agreements. Please note that costs for articles in transformative open-access journals can only be funded under transformative agreements (cf. hybrid open access).
- Other costs associated with publication that are not subject to open access (e.g. page charges, color charges, cover charges)
- Costs for delayed or retroactive open access publication
- Reading access costs
- Costs for publications with licenses other than the CC BY license
- Costs for bilateral as well as transformative national and consortium OA agreements involving the grant recipient, i.e., the research institution, concluded with publishers after December 31, 2024
- Open-access fees associated with peer-reviewed monographs, entire edited volumes, or entire Special Issues. These costs are still eligible for funding under the FWF’s Book Publications program.
- Regular business expenses of the recipient
- OA administrative management costs (e.g., personnel costs)
Can expenses for book publications also be settled using the Open-Access Block Grant?
No, book publications (e.g., monographs, anthologies) will continue to be funded through the Book Publications program.
Can the Open-Access Block Grant also be used for publication in diamond open-access journals?
Research institutions may also use Open-Access Block Grant funds to fund diamond open-access models and alternative OA publishing platforms.