1. What is the Telethon policy in support of OA publishing? 

Telethon considers supporting unrestricted access to the published output of research a fundamental part of its mission. To this end, Telethon actively took part in the initiative led by the Welcome Trust to establish a European version of PubMed Central (Europe PMC). In order to share a common approach with the other members of the Europe PMC Funders Group, to open up access to its funded research, Telethon has implemented the Telethon Open Access Policy, compliance with which is mandatory for all funded grant holders. 

2. How do I comply with the Telethon Open Access policy? 

As an author, you comply with the policy by following the guidelines provided in the Guidelines for Telethon’s Open Access Policy. There are two routes: 

“Green Route” - Many publishers allow authors to self-archive the manuscript version of their article and make it freely available through PMC/Europe PMC within six months of publication. Authors should archive these papers using the Europe PMC plus manuscript submission system. 

“Gold Route” - Many publishers offer an open access option implying that through the payment of a fee, the publisher will deposit the final version of the published article in PMC and Europe PMC and make this available at the time of publication. Telethon-funded authors are advised to select this option if the “Green Route” is not available. 

You can search the SHERPA/RoMEO database, which provides information as to whether or not a journal has a publication policy that is compliant with Telethon’s Grant Conditions. 

If the journal to which you wish to submit your manuscript is not listed in the database, Telethon strongly advises you to speak directly to the journal's editorial staff to determine their policy. If you need further information, please contact [email protected]

3. What should I do if the journal does not have an OA option, nor allows me to self-archive my manuscript in Europe PMC? 

Authors are unlikely to be able to comply with the Grant Conditions if the journal does not have an Open Access option or does not allow self-archiving in PMC/Europe PMC within six months of publication. If this is the case, authors have three options: 

(a) Grant a copyright licence to a journal instead of assigning copyright. Such a licence would have to cover the rights granted to the journal to allow the journal to publish and at the same time to allow the authors to make their research available through Europe PMC. In this way, you should be able to retain ownership of your copyright as well as allow publication in a journal. This could be achieved, for example, by using the JISCSURF Licence to Publish, which was developed in consultation with the Wellcome Trust. 

(b) Agree to a journal's normal arrangements only if it is specifically agreed that deposition in Europe PMC can take place. Copyright agreements can take many forms, but the following is an example of the sort of wording that could be included in an agreement with a journal that would allow you to comply with Telethon’s Open Access Policy Conditions: 

“Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this agreement, the journal acknowledges that the researcher will be entitled to deposit an electronic copy of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript into Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC), and for this manuscript to be mirrored to all PMC international sites. Manuscripts deposited with Europe PMC may be made freely available to the public, via the internet, within six months of the official date of final publication in the journal”. 

(c) Reconsider where to publish. This is considered to be an exceptional circumstance. 

4. If a publisher offers a paid open-access option, am I obligated to select this option? 

It depends on the policy of the publisher. 

If the publisher offers to deposit the accepted version of the author’s manuscript in Europe PMC, and sets a public release date of six months post-publication (at the latest), Telethon would advise its authors to take advantage of this. 

If a publisher only offers a paid open-access option - which provides free access to the published version in PMC/Europe PMC, at the time of publication - then to comply with Telethon’s Open Access policy the author must select this option. 

5. Instructions for self-archiving 

If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

B. If I am self-archiving, which version of the article should I archive and when should I archive it? 

An electronic version of your final manuscript resulting from research funded in whole or in part by Telethon must be submitted upon acceptance for publication. The version of the paper that should be archived is the final version that is accepted for publication in the journal, and includes all modifications following the peer-review process. When self-archiving, the publisher’s PDF version should NOT be deposited. Papers should be deposited via Europe PubMed Central Plus

C. Who can self-archive a manuscript? 

Manuscript files may be submitted to Europe PMC - via Europe PMC+ - by the author or anyone given access to the author's files (administrative personnel, graduate students, librarians, etc.). 

If a paper has been written by someone other than the principal investigator (PI) -typically named as the grantholder-, submission to Europe PMC plus should be made using a user-created login (a login account can be created at the Europe PMC plus site). When the PI is the author, submissions should be made using the Europe PMC plus login account, automatically supplied to the PI. If you are a PI and have not received or have mislaid this login, please contact the Europe PMC helpdesk by email: [email protected]

Irrespective of who submits the paper, approval of the PDF receipt and web version of the manuscript must be reviewed and authorised. This authorisation is usually given by the PI - but the PI can also appoint someone to do this on his/her behalf. 

For example, if the research has been undertaken by staff other than the PI (e.g. research assistants etc.), it might be more practical to grant approving rights to the actual author of the paper - not the named PI. 

In any case, submitted papers are not processed until approval is given. Once approved, the citation in PubMed - and the full text in PubMed Central/Europe PMC - will cite the authors as listed in the manuscript, irrespective of whether or not the PI is a named author. 

6. What is the difference between a PMCID and a PMID? 

The PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) is different from the PubMed reference number (PMID). PubMed Central is an index of full-text papers, while PubMed is an index of abstracts. The PMCID links to full text papers in PubMed Central, while the PMID links to abstracts in PubMed. PMIDs do not demonstrate compliance of published papers with Telethon’s Open Access Policy. 

7. Which licence should I choose for my article? 

In the case of publication in a journal that authorises self-archiving of the article in Europe PMC within six months after the official date of publication, Telethon advises authors and publishers to license research papers using the Creative Commons Attribution licence so they may be freely copied and re-used (for example, for text- and data-mining purposes, or creating a translation), provided that such uses are fully attributed (e.g., Creative Commons licences CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, or CC-BY-NC-ND). 

Should Telethon’s funds be used to pay the Open Access option, Telethon asks authors and publishers to allow the article to be covered by the Creative Commons licence CC-BY. 

8. An article is licensed under CC-BY: what does this mean? 

The CC-BY licence allows anyone to: 

  • copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • adapt the work 
  • make commercial use of the work under the condition that the user must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse the user or their use of the work). Further, none of the following rights are affected by the licence:
  • user’s fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations; 
  • the author's moral rights; 
  • rights other persons may have either in respect of the work itself or in respect of how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights. 

9. How will OA costs be covered? 

Open Access fees are advised only if you are publishing in a journal that does not archive nor allow self-archiving in Europe PMC within six months after the date of publication. 

To cover OA costs, authors may: 

A. Use funds from their active Telethon grants 

This is valid for: 

  • peer-reviewed, original (primary) research publications in English language journals that have been supported, in whole or in part, by a Telethon grant. The policy does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews or conference proceedings 
  • articles which are strictly relevant to the Telethon-funded grant
  • a Telethon-funded project which is still active 
  • articles where the Telethon-funded author (or key-personnel) is listed as first, last or corresponding author. 

B. Use other funds and/or, when a paper has arisen from research funded by more than one funding agency, split the costs among the funding agencies. 

E.g. Gold Open Access fees are fully covered under the item “Dissemination Costs” in European Calls (FP7 and Horizon 2020); moreover, the Funding Open Access for Post-Grant FP7 Publications is active until 28 February 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/extension-openaire-fp7-post-grant-open-access-pilot, this is a pilot funding instrument (form) to support Open Access publication after the end of FP7 projects. 

10. How do I proceed to use funds from my active Telethon grant? 

To use funds from an active Telethon grant, authors must: 

- Check the availability of their funds; either using the appropriate budget item ‘Publications’ or, if the expenditure item is not foreseen, the budget remodelling request should be sent to [email protected]

- Place the online order in the PI’s own account in “Ad Hoc Infinity” https://myportal.telethon.it/Ahi_Telethon_23/jsp/login.jsp, providing information about the publication in the Notes field: Title, authors, acknowledged Telethon grant number. 

Note: All other publication costs, such as colour printing or page charges, will continue to be covered by the authors, who may use funds from their Telethon grants. 

11. When an open-access fee is levied what does Telethon require from the publisher? 

In return for the payment of the Open Access fees, Telethon requires the publisher to: 

a) Deposit, on behalf of the author, the final version of the article –which includes all the changes that arise from the peer-review, copy-editing and proofing processes –in PubMed Central (PMC), where it must be made freely available at the time of publication. A link to the article on the publisher’s site is not sufficient. [Details of the specific technical requirements for depositing papers in PMC can be found on the PubMed Central website.] 

b) Attach to each author-paid article the Creative Commons, Attribution licence (CC-BY), which explicitly permits these articles to be freely copied, distributed, displayed, performed and modified into derivative works by any user. See: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/

c) Sign the PMC Selective Deposit Agreement in order to formalise the deposition process in PMC. 

12. Will Telethon pay the Open Access fee for a research paper which has been supported in part by Telethon and in part by another funding agency? 

If a paper has arisen from research funded by more than one funding agency making an OA policy mandatory, the costs of making that paper Open Access should be split proportionally. 

13. Procedures for publishing 

Authors can check the Open Access policy of the Journal they intend to publish in: 

  • The website of the Journal/Publisher 
  • The SHERPA/RoMEO database, which provides information as to whether or not a journal has a publication policy that is compliant with Telethon’s Grant Conditions. 
  • If further information is needed, Telethon strongly advises authors to speak directly to the journal's editorial staff to determine their policy AND/OR to contact [email protected]

The following cases apply: 

a. Open Access Journals - The journal is fully compliant with Telethon's Open Access Policy, i.e. it provides free access to the articles and deposits the paper in PubMed Central/Europe PMC; no author action is required. 

b. Journals allowing the “Green Route”- Authors must self-archive the final manuscript version (i.e. after all revisions) of their article – or sometimes the publisher's version/PDF may be used - and make this freely available via PMC/Europe PMC within six months of its publication. Authors should archive these papers using the Europe PMC plus manuscript submission system. 

See point 5. Instructions for self-archiving. 

c. Journals allowing the “Gold Route” - Many publishers offer an open access option where, in return for an OA fee, the publisher will deposit the final version of the published article in PMC and Europe PMC and make this available at the time of publication. Telethon-funded authors are advised to select this option only if the “Green Route” is not available. 

See points 9. and 10. on how to cover OA costs. 

d. A short-term exception applies for Telethon-funded authors publishing in Wiley journals. In this case, during the online submission process the author must choose "Telethon" from the drop-down menu. Telethon will automatically be notified and if the article is compliant then no further action is required.  

If the article is compliant with our Open Access Policy, Telethon will pay for the Open Access fees. If the article is not deemed compliant then the author will receive an email from Open Access stating that we will not pay. 

14. Who can I contact for more information? 

If you have any queries about this policy and its implementation please email: [email protected]

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