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Around 40% of Swiss research is open access


According to the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), 40% of scientific publications produced with the support of public funding are openly accessible, which makes Switzerland “progressive” compared with other countries.

Research that is funded by public money should be made available by Open Access – so publicly and free of charge. This will involve nothing less than a complete transformation of the current publication system, the SNSF explained in a statement on Tuesday.

Internationally, there is a big drive to move scientific publications towards Open Access, added the SNSF.

“The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is also strongly committed to Open Access and follows a progressive Open Access policy compared to institutions in other countries. In doing so, it follows the pioneering role of the Netherlands, which has launched a major push to advance Open Access as part of its current EU Presidency,” its statement said.

One of the goals of the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science is to achieve full open access for all publicly funded scientific publications by 2020. This will only be possible if European countries quickly set about transforming the publication system by implementing national Open Access strategies that are synchronised with each other, the SNSF said.

National strategy

The SNSF and swissuniversities have been working on a national strategy since 2016, at the request of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.

One step in implementing this policy has been an Open Access monitoring report covering the period from October 2013 to August 2015. 

SNSF is currently implementing two different strategies to achieve this. The Green Road strategy involves obliging researchers self-archive their publications in institutional or specialist libraries. The Gold Road strategy is an incentive where the direct costs of publishing in an Open Access journal are included in the project budget up to a ceiling of CHF3,000 ($3,088).

The open access issue has been on the Swiss research radar for some time. In 2014 the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) called on publishers and scientific actors to facilitate and expedite the transition to open access, in order to maximize the benefits of medical research for society.

The average open access publication percentage for the countries in the European Commission’s FP7 (7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) is approximately 54%. 

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