Open Access

As publicly funded institutions, the four research institutes within the ETH domain are committed to disseminating their research and scholarship as widely as possible. Lib4RI is committed to offering a range of Open Access (OA) services and has taken several actions to increase the percentage of freely accessible research.

What is OA?

Open Access is an international movement seeking to grant free and open online access to academic information, including publications and data. This means access without financial, legal, or technical barriers so that it can be read, downloaded, copied, distributed, printed, searched, or used in education or in any other way. As opposed to the traditional subscription model (in which readers have access to scholarly information by paying a subscription usually via libraries), OA is a publishing model that makes research information available to readers at no cost. 

Many national and international research funders have policies in place requiring grant holders to make any resulting publications Open Access. Examples are the requirements of SNSF, ERC and H2020, and many others.

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 OA document server.
  • The golden road – publishing – describes the first publication of scientific articles in OA journals. There are more than 10.000 OA journals listed in the DOAJ and several thousands of OA journals are already covered by Web of Science and Scopus. These articles go through a quality control process in the form of a peer review. Most OA publishers charge publication fees which the author (author fees) or their institution (institutional fees) pays. There is a fund in place to support researchers at Eawag, Empa, PSI and WSL and also from various funders, e.g. at SNSF.

Eawag, Empa, PSI, and WSL have signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Additionally, an OA Policy has been implemented by Eawag (intranet only), Empa (intranet only), PSI (AW-11-21-693; intranet only), and WSL (intranet only) to support OA to the publications of its researchers in the firm belief that this maximises the visibility, chances of usage and impact of research outputs.

Do you have any questions about OA publishing?

Get in touch with our Publication Services team. They are happy to help!