Open Access

An open access document is the one that provides unrestricted and free disposition of its content.

Unrestricted: visible for all, in every moment, and everywhere in the world.

Free: with no cost to the reader.

This way of sharing knowledge offers advantages not only to users. Thank to this model, researchers have the opportunity to make their works and publications more downloaded, read, and cited; so that their research has more impact worldwide.

The University of Costa Rica recognizes the importance of making available its results to the community in general, in return of the public funding received and in consistency with the social action as a cornerstone of its work.

Having open access to this knowledge, users can obtain the results of university work, assess the quality of the production, and reuse it to generate new knowledge.

Steps to divulge knowledge in the University of Costa Rica

Literary, artistic and scientific works, created by teachers, researchers and staff related to research programs or projects registered with the Research Office (Resolution 2970-2011) must have the widest public dissemination.

In exchange for access to university production, users are requested to maintain the integrity of the work and the recognition of the authors and the University, as well as respect for the integrity of rights reserved, according to the license the work has been released.

As a recommendation, the works should be released under a Creative Commons: Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works Costa Rica 3.0 License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). If the user wishes to make a different use from the allowed by this license, he/she must request it to the corresponding university counterpart.

Academics and researcher are requested to make a preferential use of institutional repositories for public communication of university research and its results, which is to ensure maximum exposure with the least amount of limitations or legal, financial, and commercial constraints. For this, units can use their own repositories or associate their products directly to Kérwá Repository.

The Research Office distinguishes some exception criteria to decide what and when to publish. For example, special actions on sensitive or strategic information, monitoring of confidentiality clauses, industrial applications or ongoing information are made.

  • Industrial Property: when researches contain aspects of industrial property it has to be respected the researcher's will, as long as there is viability of running a protection or product development. These aspects encompass, among others:
    • Susceptible information of being protected by trademarks, patents, geographical indications or appellations of origin.
    • Domain Names.
    • Protection of undisclosed information.
    • Industrial secret.
    • Industrial models and designs.
    • Layout designs (topography) and integrated circuits.
  • Defining an adequate protection strategy: another exception to the immediate publication of research is the development of scientific articles. These leave explicit authorship of a work and protect the author against undue or improper uses before publication. Scientific articles should be easily accessible for everyone to consult them, provided that they have the rights of disclosure.
  • Embargo Periods: when a researcher indicates that his research is still in progress and do not want to make it known to keep publication novelty, he/she may maintain partial and final reports unpublished for a reasonable period or until he/she concretes the proposed publications.
  • Categories of protection: literary, artistic and scientific works are under the copyright. Within the category of related rights are included, broadly speaking, the works of artists and performers such as:
    • Rights of producers of phonograph records and similar electrical appliances.
    • Rights related to the issue of broadcasting.
    • Rights of actors, interpreters and performers.
    • Rights related to sketches of skits.
    • Rights related to photography.
    • Rights related to epistolary correspondence.
    • Rights related to the portrait.
    • Rights related to engineering projects.
    • Rights related to the title of the work.
    • Rights related to the external appearance of the work.
    • Rights related to news and information (See Castro Lobo (Manuel) (Copyright and Related Rights in Costa Rica, San José, Editorial Alma Mater, 1999, pp. 127-153).
  • Agreements or confidentiality clauses: In co-funded research, contract research or performed under a cooperative relationship research, there could be agreements or confidentiality clauses affecting self-disclosure and publication of all or part of the research or its results.
  • Type and nature of research information: it should assess the presence of sensitive information from people such as religious beliefs, sexual preferences, and private information in general. In such cases it will be necessary to address the terms of informed consent (if there is any) or purposes for which the information was requested. It is also considered the existence of information on strategic issues of an organization, production or competitiveness of enterprises or institutions somehow affecting economic, profitable or image aspects. In these cases it will be necessary to assess the impact of the information and content of agreements or contracts that give rise to the relationship with the University.

In the case of works whose ownership belongs to students, there must be expressly authorization for release, publication, or mediated deposit.

These criteria are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary they should be considered in a comprehensive analysis that seeks to give the best possible reply in each case.

Creative Commons

In the repository Kérwá, authors have the option of divulge their jobs using a Creative Commons license. The Research Office recommends using the Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works Costa Rica 3.0 License of which the details can be read at

Creative Commons International is a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization that develops plans to help in the reduction of legal barriers of creativity, through a new legislation and new technologies. It was founded by Lawrence Lessing law professor in the University of Stanford and specialist in ciber-law. Licenses try to reestablish the balance between the rights of authors, cultural industries and public access to culture through the express cession of certain rights over the works.

This seeks to increase the quantity and quality of intellectual works that circulate digital electronic networks and having a common character [works that can be copied, shared, derived or remixed]. (Ariel Vercelli, Creative Commons Licensing Guide, Version 2.0, p. 2)

The use of any Creative Commons license means that anyone wishing to make a different use allowed by the license must be in direct contact with the author or owner of the rights to the work.