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Research funded by the public should be publicly accessible as far as possible. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) increases its efforts to reach this goal and now financially supports the gold path to Open Access, i.e. publishing in pure Open Access (OA) journals. While most OA journals do not charge any costs to authors, many of the better known OA journals require the payment of Article Processing Charges (APC). As of 1 October 2013, researchers receiving SNSF funding can cover these costs of publishing articles in pure OA journals (not hybrid OA journals) via the project budget. This allows researchers to ask for a sum of maximum 3000 CHF per OA publication during the running time of the project. This new measure also applies to SNSF projects that are already running on the 1 October 2013, but only within the already available funding. The SNSF states that the desired support for open access, as envisaged in its Multi-Year Programme 2012-2016, is not possible due to budget constraints.
Independent from this new policy, the SNSF requires grantees to provide Open Access to all research results obtained with the help of SNSF grants since 2007. This means that after your publication has been published in a scientific journal, you need to self-archive a version of your paper in an institutional repository or repository of a specific discipline, or on your personal website (according to Article 4 of the Regulations on information, valorisation and rights to research results).
Many other funding bodies have already established extensive support for OA publishing. For example, since 2001 the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) provides dedicated funds that cover the article processing charges for publications in OA journals up to 3 years after the end of the project. The financial support for Open Access in Austria amounts to about 0.8% (CHF 1.8 million) of the organization’s annual budget.
The German Research Foundation (DFG) follows a different strategy in its support for the golden path to Open Access. The DFG’s funding instrument Open Access Publishing aims at enabling universities to create open access funds and does not pay APCs for its grantees directly.