Open access (Publications and data)


Definition of "Open Access"

"The literature that should be freely accessible online is that which scholars give to the world without expectation of payment. Primarily, this category encompasses their peer-reviewed journal articles, but it also includes any unreviewed preprints that they might wish to put online for comment or to alert colleagues to important research findings. 

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. "

Source: adapted from the Budapest open initiative

Two options to ensure open access to publications

The "Gold Road": researchers publish directly in an Open Access scientific journal that allows electronic access, free, cost-free and direct to all its articles. The author, his/her institution or any other funding body usually covers publication costs, otherwise known as «Article Processing Charges» (APCs).

The "Green Road": researchers carry out self-archiving of their scientific publications, contributions or books in an institutional or field-specific repository, usually after an embargo deadline.

It should be noted that the "hybrid" approach is an alternative form where researchers publish in a subscription-based journal but pay an additional APC to make their publication openly accessible. Access to the scientific result is thus charged twice ("double dipping"). 

National strategy: aiming for 2024

By 2024, publications funded in Switzerland by public funds will have to be accessible free of charge. On 31 January 2017, the plenary assembly of swissuniversities adopted the national strategy on Open Access, which was subsequently ratified by the Conférence suisse des hautes écoles (CSHE, Swiss conference of universities). The next step is the setting up of an action plan.

Swiss national strategy on Open Access (PDF, in French)

Policy of the Swiss National Science Foundation

The SNF supports researchers in their effort to make their publications accessible free of charge by means of the Gold Road. Hence, publication costs (APCs) may be attributed to SNF grant costs up to CHF 3000 per OA publication.

The Green Road OA approach consists in auto-archiving a scientific publication stemming from a SNF grant in an institutional or field-specific repository, at the latest six months after publication by a publishing house.

More: Polititque et dispositions du FNS relatives à l'Open access;  l'Open access en quelques mots (UNIL); Libre accès (SERVAL)



Data (open research data)

Research data should be freely accessible, for scientists as well as for the public, to increase impact, transparency and reproducibility of research results.

Thus, research data must be made available in scientifically acknowledged data repositories. The IUMSP owns a repository for research data from projects carried by IUMSP researchers (data@iumsp)

The Swiss National Science Foundation supports the principle of Open research data and has set up guidelines on this topic.  More.

These guidelines feature the obligation to submit a Data management plan together with grant requests. More about the Data management plan. 



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