Open Access

Public funding aims to make scientific knowledge as widely accessible to the public as possible. However, scientific journals are becoming more expensive every year (8% per year on average!). For those with limited budgets it is difficult to gain access to scientific literature.

The large national supporters of the sciences (e.g. SNF, DFG, ERC, NSF) have therefore recently started to oblige recipients of funds to make their scientific publications publically accessible on the internet free of charge (Open Access Publication).

There are two different Open Access strategies:

  • The green road – self archiving – describes the simultaneous or subsequent archiving of digital publications on an institutional or disciplinary Open-Access document server. This concerns preprints or postprints of publications which appear in traditional journals (online and/or in print). The science libraries pay fees for online access to these journals.

  • The golden road – publishing – describes the first publication of scientific articles in Open Access journals. These articles go through a quality control process in the form of a peer review. As a rule, a publication contract is entered into with the publisher. Most Open Access publishers charge publication fees which the author (author fees) or their institution (institutional fees) pays.

Open Access Policy of Eawag and Empa

The green road - self archiving

Empa and Eawag call on their employees to make Postprint-PDFs of their scientific publications available to the public on the document servers of the Lib4RI.

A Postprint is the accepted manuscript following the peer assessment process (peer reviews). It is the author's final draft and has been accepted for publication by the publisher. In terms of content it is equivalent to the published version, yet without the layout, logos, etc., of the publisher.
Following the publication of publisher PDFs, most publishers allow the authors to make Postprint PDFs on their own websites or on an institutional document server available to the public. The regulations of the publishers governing this practice can be consulted under:

Document server for the Lib4RI:

If the corresponding author is an employee of Eawag or Empa, then they are responsible for passing on the Postprint to the library. If the first author is an employee of Eawag or Empa but not the corresponding author, then the first author is responsible for passing on the Postprint to the library. In all other cases, it is up to the departmental heads concerned to decide both whether the Postprint should be sent to the library and who is responsible for that task.

The library assumes that all authors have agreed to the publication of Postprints on the document server of the Lib4RI.

The authors are themselves responsible for the quality of the PDFs.

Postprint PDFs must be passed on to the library via the form «Submit your Publication».

The Lib4RI checks for possible legal restrictions imposed by the publishers and stores the data in the Refshare database accordingly.

When storing individual publications in the Refshare database there are generally three links:
1. The link to the publisher PDF on the Publisher-Server
The link to the publisher PDF on the Eawag-Empa Intranet

3. The link to the Postprint PDF on the publicly accessible Eawag-Empa Internet

The golden road – 
Publication in an Open Access Journal

Empa and Eawag encourage their researchers to publish in an Open Access Journal and cover any publishing costs under the following conditions:
1. The Journal is listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded [see also here ]
2. The first author is an employee of Eawag or Empa.

3. The publishing costs cannot be borne by other parties (e.g. SNF, ETH Zürich).

Bills are paid by the library.

Eawag and Empa do not contribute to the costs of publishing in Hybrid Open Access Journals. These are journals which only make publications of authors freely accessible after the authors have paid for this right. Because generally only a small number of authors do this, the libraries are obliged to continue paying for access to the journal, that is, one would be paying twice.

12. May 2009
Author: Bas den Brok

TEL. +41 58 765 5700 

Dr. Jochen Bihn

t +41 58 765 5228

Dr. Lothar Nunnenmacher

t +41 58 765 5221