Open access 

The Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health is dedicated to publishing high quality peer-reviewed research in the field of occupational and environmental health and safety. High accessibility of all research data is critical for scientific interaction. The more people this research reaches, the better. The journal has been committed to open science for many years. Unlike most OSH journals, we have been making our ‘online first’ – peer-reviewed and accepted – content freely available until the final version is published in print. In 2020, we implemented an ‘opt-out’ approach to OA as a transition, and - as of 1 January 2021 - the journal will move to the gold open access model.

The Journal's overarching editorial goals are to (i) increase the relevance and quality of the manuscripts it publishes, (ii) speed up response times to authors and decrease publication lags, and (iii) most importantly further facilitate accessibility to and heighten awareness of manuscripts that appear in the Journal. We have taken many steps in recent years to achieve these goals, and open access is the ultimate solution.

The Journal has always had a rigorous peer review process with a high rejection rate and this will continue under the open access model. As a not-for-profit organization, the goal of NOROSH (the journal’s publisher) is impact above profit: as long as it is sustainable, open access enables the Journal to fulfil this objective. 

Under the OA model, anyone can share and adapt articles as long as the CC-BY 4.0 license restrictions are followed. For authors, this means greater visibility for their research, increasing the impact on health and safety efforts and also ensuring compliance with the requirements of funding agencies. OA articles are accessed and cited more often than locked content. They directly open in most search engines and can be shared on any website. As a result, university faculties and research bodies can increase awareness about their work and share their knowledge. Readers get free access to literature, which is particularly important for teachers and students faced with access barriers and libraries with their ever-shrinking budgets. Funding agencies and tax payers can see a return on their “investment” as publicly funded research becomes more widely available and disseminated more quickly to be used by policy makers and stakeholders to solve problems related to occupational or environmental health, and drive new technologies and innovations.

There are two ways an accepted paper can be published as open access:

  1. The author or his/her supporting institution pays the open access publication fee of EUR 2300 or takes an open access package (see subscription page). The OA fee is waived for first authors located in Hinari Group A countries and offered at a 80% reduction for Group B countries (https://www.who.int/hinari/eligibility/en).
  2. The first author is affiliated with an organization that is a member of NOROSH (For more details, visit http://www.norosh.org/pmwiki.php/Membership). NOROSH membership fees cover unlimited free online access to the Scand J Work Environ Health and a partial waiver (a payment of EUR 1150 is required) of the article processing charge for first authors from the member institution.

Funding for open access publication fees is available from several sources, for example funding bodies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust will reimburse authors as part of overall research grants.

FAQ

  1. What is Open Access?
    The free, immediate, online access, for any user, web‐wide, to digital scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer‐reviewed journals. At SJWEH, we publish under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license. With Creative Commons licenses, the author retains copyright and the public is allowed to reuse the content according to the restrictions in the licence.
  2. What is the difference between free and open access?
    ‘Free’ is generic, for any content at no cost, like a website, YouTube videos, free abstracts, or articles that are made free for promotion. Though the content is free to read, reuse and sharing is limited by standard copyright and licensing restrictions that applies to all non-open access content. Gold open access content is free permanently on all online locations and allows users to link, read, download, store, use, and data-mine the digital content of that article without copyright or licensing restrictions. The open access Attribution: CC-BY lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the journal and author for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of Creative Commons licenses offered.
  3. What is the difference between Gold and Green open access?
    Gold open access is where an author publishes their article in an online open access journal. Green open access is where an author publishes their article in any journal and then self-archives a copy in a freely accessible institutional or specialist online archive known as a repository, or on a website.
  4. Are authors given a choice to publish a paper open access?
    As of January 2021, anyone submitting to SJWEH must commit to publish their paper as open access. The cost can be waived under exceptional circumstances. 
  5. Why did SJWEH decide to go Gold open access now?
    The aim of the Journal has always been to promote high quality and impactful research in the field of occupational and environmental health and safety and increase knowledge through scientific publication. We strongly believe in the principle of open science and feel now is the time to transition. Our impact factor is strong (our highest ever in 2019 at 4.127), we are all the time receiving high quality research, and having an open access model will allow us to continue to attract the top content and grow our impact even further. The journal has been aiming for many years to transition to full open access but our economic model, which has been built mostly on subscriptions, did not allow for this. We are an independent journal (one of the few not owned by a commercial publishing house), and must cover our own operating expenses. As the pressure from funders to publish content has increased, increasingly authors are now selecting this option, and we have seen an uptick in income, enabling us to offset subscriptions. In 2020, the journal implemented an “opt-out” for open access which implied that authors should select this option unless they have strong justification not to. As a result, about 85% of our content in 2020 will be open access. It is not ethical to continue to charge subscriptions for online access to content that is (mostly) unlocked. Print costs must continue to be covered but online will be open.
  6. What are the benefits of open access
    Through open access, the Journal and its authors will gain a universal audience for research, increasing its visibility and, as a consequence, having a higher impact on health and safety. University faculties and research bodies can increase awareness about their work and share their knowledge. Readers get free access to literature, which is particularly important for teachers and students faced with access barriers and libraries with their ever-shrinking budgets. Funding agencies and tax payers can see a return on their “investment” as publicly funded research becomes more widely available and disseminated more quickly to be used by others to solve problems related to occupational or environmental health, and drive new technologies and innovations.
  7. Does open access threaten the quality of the research published in SJWEH?
    No, the quality will not be threatened. The Journal has always had a rigorous peer review process with a high rejection rate and this will continue under the open access model. As a not-for-profit organization, the goal of NOROSH (the journal’s publisher) is impact above profit: as long as it is sustainable, open access enables the Journal to fulfil this objective. 
  8. What is an Article Processing Charge?
    The Article Processing Charge (APC) is a payment that allows the article to be freely available online in perpetuity. The costs cover the journal’s operating costs, which include reviewer, copy‐editing, hosting, and promotion of the article. SJWEH’s APC is €2300 for articles with non-NOROSH-affiliated first authors and €1150 for NOROSH-affiliated first authors. An APC can be paid for by the funder, author, or institution.
  9. Is it possible to get a discount or a waiver on the article processing charge?
    Any first author affiliated with a NOROSH full or contributing member gets a 50% discount, i.e. pays €1150 instead of €2300. First authors from low income countries pay no fee and first authors from middle income countries receive an 80% discount (for list of qualifying countries, see https://www.who.int/hinari/eligibility/en/). There is no fee for editorials and letters.
  10. Are the peer review and production processes the same for open access articles?
    Yes, the peer review and production processes are the same for the open access articles as they have been for all articles published in the journal. Nothing changes in that respect.
  11. Where can readers access SJWEH content?
    All our published content is available on our website and is deposited on PubMed and PubMed Central, and the final published journal article is made freely available, immediately, to everyone.
  12. I have other questions, who can I speak with?
    For feedback and queries please contact lodo@ttl.fi.