Spain has a strong community of Open Access Institutional Repositories. Currently there are 56 institutional repositories across the country, which means that 80% of the Spanish Universities have their own institutional repository. 

Spain has a national harverster & service provider for the repositories community called RECOLECTA or “Open Science Harvester”. It is managed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology FECYT (a public foundation under the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Competiveness) in collaboration with the Universitary Libraries Network REBIUN. It is a platform that gathers all the national scientific repositories together in one place and provides services to repository managers, researchers and decision-makers. 

Spain also participates in European and International OA projects and initiatives. Spain promotes the Open Access movement through its participation as a partner in European FP7 projects such as OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe), OpenAIRE Plus (2nd Generation of Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) and MedOANet (Mediterranean Open Access Network). Also participates in international initiatives such as COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories). 

The International Open Access week is celebrated yearly and several activities are organized by national (promoted by FECYT and REBIUN) and local institutions (under the coordination of universities and research organizations).

Despite Southern European Countries having few commercial publishers and less funding, Spain is at the forefront of Open Access and has a long history of open access publishing. In 2014,  Spain's DIALNET ranked as one of the top two portals in the Ranking Web of World Repositories.

As of July 2015, there are 500+ OA journals published in Spain which are indexed in DOAJ. Currently, 27 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP. 24 of which are institutional and 3 of which are funders' OA mandates.

Enabling Environment:

The National Government in Spain is committed with Open Access policies. The new National Spanish Law 14/2011, of June 1st, on Science, Technology and Innovation was released in 2011 and it contains an article on open access to scientific publications: the Article 37 of the law, which is entitled “Open Access Dissemination”. It encourages Spanish institutions to stimulate the development of open access repositories for the deposit of the scientific output of their researchers, and to make sure that these repositories are interoperable with national and international initiatives. Also, it mandates that those Spanish researchers who carry out their research mainly funded by the National Government will make public a copy of the final version of the accepted paper as soon as possible, and no later than 12 months after publication. These open access copies will be archived in an institutional or a thematic repository. The evaluation agencies may take into consideration the availability of open access production of researchers in their evaluation processes. The Ministry will be responsible for providing a centralized access to the Spanish repositories network. It is expected that the Government will develop the open access article into a more detailed regulation. 

Spanish institutions with OA policies and mandates are specially committed with this international movement and support international declarations such as Berlin Declaration, Bethesda Open Access Statement and Budapest Open Access Initiative. 

The Alhambra Declaration comprises several Spanish institutions. The Declaration was developed in a seminar about Open Access that took place in 2010 and it was coordinated by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Catalonia (CBUC), with the support of the CSIC. 

Some Spanish networks have signed their own declarations to show publicly their commitment with the Open Access movement, like Consorcio Madroño. 

The national platform RECOLECTA promotes Open Access in the community and it addresses all stakeholders (i.e. decision-makers, researchers and librarians and repository managers) through the provision of services, continuous support, dissemination activities and advocacy.

Potential Barriers:

Publications produced in Spain have been studied by many authors. In the most recent article dealing with this issue, Rodríguez-Yunta and Giménez-Toledo (2013) highlighted the low level of representativeness of the country’s journals in the fields of humanities and social sciences. It may be that these subject fields have a low impact and low level of representativeness because of poor management. Another study analyzed 30 articles in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) focusing on the type of publisher, international presence on the editorial board, and the impact and profiles of their citations. At the time, the research revealed a predominance of 60% in the field of health, with 40% of this figure managed by commercial publishers. Research into the number of journals administered by universities in Spain (25% of the total) showed that numerous initiatives are necessary to improve the quality, visibility and impact of these journals.

Other barriers:

  • It is needed to keep working in guaranteeing a full institutional coverage of appropriated OA infrastructures. New institutional repositories need to be created. 
  • It has to be guaranteed a high quality standard for institutional repositories. Activities such as the promotion of DRIVER guidelines compliancy and the coordination of metadata and archiving policies need to be constantly done. 
  • Creation of indicators for measuring the use and impact of open access archived scientific production. 
  • It is necessary to develop step-by-step guidelines for implementing the National OA mandate in the forthcoming R&D projects call. 
  • It is required to develop a monitoring system to measure how the OA National mandate is being carried out by R&D institutions and researchers 
  • It is necessary to provide national researchers with the proper resources and tools for retaining their copyright and intellectual property rights when publishing, and to transfer to commercial publishers only those rights necessary for publication. 
  • To evolve the National OA mandate through comprising also research data management. Specific policies, long term financial resources, specialised human resources (for generating data, and for using and preserving it), and coordinated infrastructure to guarantee its interoperability will be required. 
  • Achieve a real cultural change in all the parties involved: researchers, research organizations’s staff, universities and research centres, funding agencies, scientific publishers and decision makers

Major Projects/Initiatives:

In Spain, activities in the support of OA are focused on technological development, training and advising, but without any direct financing of the publication of journals. Most relevant initiatives:

  • Fundación Española para la Ciencia y Tecnología (FECYT) – The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) is the government agency which supports academic publication through programs that include training and awards for quality in academic publishing. The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Network of Spanish Universitary Libraries (REBIUN) support the International Open Access Week. Both institutions organize several events to promote among the academic and research community the benefits of open access, and to share good practices in this area. They organize workshops, on line seminars and panel discussions with experts in the field.
  • Journal Evaluation Indexes – Alternative indexes measuring scientific impact were created in Spain with the objective of improving the performance of journals that are not currently indexed in WoS or Scopus.


Launched in January 2008, Digital.CSIC repository is coordinated by CSIC Unit of Scientific Resources for Research (URICI) and is part of “Frames” Action Line in CSIC Strategic Plan 2010-2013. The new Law of Science includes article 37 over the requirement to self-archive publications resulting from research projects that have been funded by General Public Budget, which in practice is an open access mandate for most CSIC research outputs. 

CSIC hosted the seminar that led to the making of Alhambra Declaration in May 2010. In October 2011, URICI and Digital.CSIC organised a meeting that convened all State-funded Research Organizations (OPIs) and Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation to discuss over open access advances in each institution and implementation of new Law of Science. Collaboration with other publicly funded research institutions at European level takes place through participation in EUROHORCS and ESF Open Access activities. CSIC is a member of COAR.

Digital.CSIC organises, preserves and enables access to a wide variety of scientific outputs and counts with the active participation of CSIC scientific community and its network of 73 research libraries. This library network manages a large digital collection including 9,000+ e-journals, 220,000 e-books, databases and scientific portals and more than 1,000,000 digitized images from CSIC’s heritage collections. Digital.CSIC repository raises awareness and trains CSIC community on a broad range of OA issues (open standards and interoperability, copyright and author’s rights, advocacy and policymaking, dissemination efforts etc). With 40,000+ items, it is the largest and most widely visited open access repository of scientific resources in Spain.

Communication: Digital.CSIC Technical Office, Unit of Information Resources for Research (URICI) -Spanish National Research Council, C/Joaquín Costa 22; Office 308, 28002 MADRID, email: isabel.bernal[at]

Revistas CSIC

Revistas-CSIC is a project developed since June 2007 by the CSIC Press Department; it aims to increase both visibility and usability of the scientific Journals published by the CSIC, thereby promoting their increased international diffusion and impact.

Revistas-CSIC provides free full-text access to the online edition of 37 CSIC Journals, most of them founded back in the 1910-1930’s and 1940-1950’s. Currently, 28 Journals provide immediate, free online access to its contents, and 9 Journals provide 6-months delayed access to full-text research articles.

Revistas-CSIC is continually updated with new content, publishing current issues of CSIC Journals and post-print papers in advance to the print edition. Back Issues are also added progressively to the online edition.

Revistas-CSIC has become a reference site for Journals in all areas of knowledge, with more than 13,0 million PDF normalized downloads (more than 17,0 million total downloads) since its appearance.

Some features of Revistas-CSIC:

  • 37 peer-reviewed Journals, 34 of them indexed by  Scopus® and/or ISI–Web of ScienceTM.
  • More than 16,000 scientific papers and other documents available in open access.
  • Multiple subjects: Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
  • Multiple languages: English, French, Spanish and others.
  • All content distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non commercial Spain 3.0 License. 
  • Dublin Core metadata (DCMES) and interoperability (OAI-PMH). 
  • Long-term preservation and permanent access.

e-Revistas (Open Access Platform for Spanish and Latin-American Scientific Journals) provides access to summaries, metadata, and links to full-text content of more than 550 Journals, selected by the accomplishment of the Latindex criteria for scientific edition. Journals are organized by subject matter, and users have different tools for simple and advanced search.

Editors have the choice to upload metadata contents manually or automatically via OAI-PMH. Access is transparent for the user: full-text files are accessed at the jounal’s websites, so avoiding unnecessary duplications that may obscure the relevance of the journal itself.

e-Revistas is one of the most used Open Access platforms in Spanish language, with more than 2,5 million page views in the last 3 years.

RECOLECTA is a nationwide infrastructure of open access scientific repositories. It is a platform that gathers all the national scientific repositories together in one place, and it is meant to be the national reference for the Open Access movement in Spain. Based on DNET software, the aim of RECOLECTA is to promote and coordinate the national infrastructure of open access digital scientific repositories in an interoperable manner based on the standards adopted by the global community. Also, to foster, support and facilitate the adoption of open access policies by Spanish universities and R&D organizations. RECOLECTA also aims to give a greater visibility and impact to the Spanish national research outcomes.

Along with creating, maintaining, supporting and improving the national repositories infrastructure, RECOLECTA provides with services to repository managers, in order for them to be updated with technical requirements, to be compliant with international interoperability guidelines, and to be accurately informed with the latest news on how the open access movement is advancing worldwide.

RECOLECTA also provides with services to researchers and to decision-makers through advocacy, dissemination and high level technical advice. It facilitates open and free access to all scientific production openly deposited in Spanish repositories. It brings support services for users and strengths the national open access community. It promotes activities to spread information and fosters collaboration. Also, it spreads information on Spanish participation in European projects related to open access, whose results could benefit the Spanish open science repository community. RECOLECTA has an active website with daily updated information and news, and with Spanish and English version. ( RECOLECTA is currently working in the implementation of a national statistics module for getting repositories’ usage-data. Moreover, RECOLECTA has three Working Groups that are contributing to achieve the project’s near future challenges:

  • Working Group for OA Policies: More than 20 national experts and members of universities and research centers with an OA institutional policy are contributing to the definition of the roadmap for the implementation of the Article 37 of the Spanish Law on Science, Technology and Innovation, and its follow up and monitoring procedures.
  • Working Group for Statistics: It is working along with FECYT in the development of a standardized measurement of institutional repositories usage data. The service will provide aggregated repositories statistics. The successful and effective implementation of a statistics system will enable a proper compliance of the OA national mandate
  • Working Group for Repositories’ Evaluation: This WG works for ensuring the interoperability of repositories along with DRIVER and OpenAIRE guidelines. This WG is responsible for updating the "RECOLECTA Guide for the evaluation of institutional research repositories" first published in 2010.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

National Level: 1 National Open Access Mandate

The Spanish Law 14/2011, of June 1st, on Science, Technology and Innovation. The Article 37 titled “Open Access Dissemination” compels the Spanish researcher to archive in an Open Access repository all the scientific publications made under the National Public R&D funding scheme.

Regional level: 2 Regional Open Access Policies

  • The Regional Government of Madrid has a harvester for all 7 Universities’ repositories based on Madrid. The harvester is called e-ciencia. It was created in 2005. In 2009, the Region launched a regular call for R&D funding, where an open self-archiving mandate was included for Technology and Biomedicine areas. The Madrid Region is now in the process of evaluating the call and evaluating its open access mandate. Its intention is to extent the self-archiving mandate to further calls. (
  • The Regional Government of Asturias operates a regional repository called RIA, which was created in 2009. Since that date, the Regional Government has included an open access self-archiving requirement in its calls for R&D funding in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The Regional Government is now in the process of evaluating the level of performance of these open access regulations in its public calls for funding. (

Institutional Level 

There are 15 Institutional Open Access Policies & Mandates: Barcelona Autonomous University, Alcalá de Henares University, Alicante University, Barcelona University, Cantabria University, Lleida University, Girona University, Vic Universit, Zaragoza University, Oberta Catalunya University, Politechnic University Cartagena, Politechnic University Cataluña, Politechnic University Madrid, Politechnic University Valencia, Pompeu Fabra University.

Details of Key Organizations:

Network of Academic and Research University Libraries of Spain (REBIUN)

Overview: Open Access and repositories are REBIUN strategic objectives. REBIUN has created, together with FECYT, the portal RECOLECTA; almost all universities have an institutional repository in place, and 10 universities have already established a self-archiving mandate:

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Universidad de Salamanca; Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Universidad Rey Juan Carlos; Universitat de Barcelona; Universitat Oberta de Catalunya; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya; Universitat Pompeu fabra.

Communication address: Plaza de las Cortes, 2-7 ª planta,28014 Madrid 28014 Madrid, Spain; e-mail: rebiun(at)

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)

Overview: FECYT coordinates OA policies and projects in Spain. It runs RECOLECTA, the Spanish national project for the constitution of the federated infrastructure of open institutional repositories.

FECYT is the national desk for Spain in the OpenAIRE project, and was the coordinator of the seminar taken place in 2010 about Open Access in Southern Europe that gave place to the Alhambra Declaration (, comprising recommendations of OA experts to foster OA in the South of Europe.

Communication address: Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología, C/ Pedro Teixeira, 8 (planta 2), 28020 Madrid, Spain; e-mail: comunicacion(at)

Secretariat of State for Research, Development and Innovation within the Spanish Ministry for Economic Affairs and Competiveness. It holds the responsibilities for scientific and technical research, development and innovation, including the management of international relations in this area and the Spanish representation in international organizations and in the European Union. 

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

May 2015: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universitat Politècnica de València: “Sharing European research outcomes: Raising awareness on open access, open research data and open science.” This was a FOSTER-supported training programme organized in partnership with EIFL with the aim of setting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to Foster Open Science. This was one of the 24 training programmes organized in 2015 for the the research communities of 17 other EU countries.

28-30 April 2015: Special Session on Free Open Source Software for Geospatial: Enabling Open Data and Open Science- FOSS4ODOSS 2015; Barcelona, Spain. 

21-23 October 2014: Training Young Researchers for for an Open Future; Barcelona and Madrid, Spain.

21-23 October 2014: First International Workshop on Open Research Data; Valencia, Spain.

16-17 October 2014: Open Access- The Politics of Publishing in Anthropology and Beyond; Madrid, Spain.

27-28 April, 2014: "Open Access Days" workshop organized by The American University in Cairo (AUC). Nicholas Cop from SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), spoke about their bibliographic database of open access journals. SciELO initially started in Brazil, 15 years ago, yet it now have presence in 12 countries most of them are in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Mr. Cop also shed the light about the status of Open Access in that region by showing some statistics. For example, in Chile, 88% of the journals are Open Access ones. Similarly, in Brazil, 63% of the articles there are OA. On SciELO’s blog there is also a study about academic journal publication models in Brazil and Spain.  He also spoke about the language barrier for researches done in Spanish or Portuguese which is limiting the access to the papers published in the OA journals there, thus they translate the papers’ abstracts. Mr. Cop also spoke about a new project they are working on to promote OA books and to allow ways for easier citations between papers and e-books.

24-27 April 2014: Second Conference on Data Journalism and Open Data; Madrid, Spain.

Spain has held several influential conferences and seminars on Open Access. There have been a series of REBIUN Workshops at several universities of Spain.

The portal and the national distribution list Os-repositorios are main channels of OA dissemination and discussion.

List of Publications



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