Open Access (OA)

As publicly funded institutions the four research institutes within the ETH domain are committed to disseminating their research and scholarship as widely as possible. In line with these considerations 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.

Many national and international research funders now have policies in place that require 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. Lib4RI provides DORA for the researchers at Eawag, Empa, PSI and WSL. This is a secondary publication, mostly as accepted version, in addition to the publication of the “version of record” in traditional, subscription-based journals. The vast majority of publishers allow this green road of OA. For most academic journals you will find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement in SHERPA/RoMEO.
  • 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.

Submit the Correct Version of Your Article to DORA

Most articles in DORA can be made freely accessible to everyone without any additional costs, neither for you as the author, nor for the reader (Green Road to Open Access). This gets you a wider audience to increase your research impact and facilitates compliance with Open Access policies of research funders. However, it can be a bit tricky to choose the right version of your work to share. Here we outline the different versions of your article, each version corresponding to the different stages of the peer review and publication process.

There are three distinct versions that authors should become familiar with when submitting their work to DORA: the submitted version, the accepted version and the published version.

Submitted Version ( example )

The submitted version, also called ‘preprint’, is the author’s original manuscript that has been submitted to a journal for consideration for publication. If published in a peer-reviewed journal, the submitted version does not reflect any revisions made during the peer review process. It also does not reflect any layout or copy editing done by the publisher in preparation for publication.

According to the content policy of DORA ( Eawag, Empa, PSI, and WSL ) submitted versions are not accepted for inclusion into DORA. There are, however, many specialized preprint servers (e.g. arXiv, bioRxiv, or OSF Preprints ) available to disseminate your findings as soon as they are ready.

Accepted Version ( example )

The accepted version, also called ‘postprint’, is the author’s final manuscript, which has been accepted for publication by the editor. It contains all revisions made during the peer review process. As for the submitted version (see above), the publisher has not yet started any copy-editing or typesetting in preparation for publication of the manuscript. It is important to note that proofs and offprints sent to the author from the publisher are not accepted versions. As the content of the accepted version is largely identical to that of the published article, we highly encourage authors to submit their accepted versions to DORA. Most journals allow this version of your publication to be made Open Access in an institutional repository such as DORA.

Once the DORA team receives the accepted version of your publication for deposit to DORA:

  • We add a citation to the final published article and a statement saying that the PDF is an accepted version.
  • We check the Open Access and copyright policy of the publisher ( SHERPA/RoMEO provides an overview of publishers’ copyright and Open Access policies). We will only make the full text of your work publicly available as per the terms of that policy, including implementing any required embargo on public access.
  • We convert the document into PDF/A, suitable for long-term archiving.

You can submit accepted versions to DORA by sending the document (PDF or Word) to Please include the full citation for the final published article in the body of the e-mail. You can submit your manuscript as soon as it has been accepted. If the publisher requests an embargo on the accepted version of the publication, it will only be available in the intranet of Eawag/Empa/PSI/WSL until the embargo period has expired.

There are no formal requirements concerning the format of accepted versions as long as the content of the document is identical to the content of the article accepted for publication by the journal. You might even enhance the accepted version by placing figures in desired positions within the text, removing double line spacing, or removing colours and comments that you have added to mark changes for the reviewers. It is not mandatory that you use the PDF of the accepted version as downloaded from the journal submission system, which the publisher marked as the accepted version. However, if you have trouble finding the accepted version of your paper on your computer, many journal submission systems store the accepted version for years. This handy guide provides simple-to-follow instructions for (corresponding) authors wishing to obtain an accepted version of their manuscript from the journal submission system of many publishers.

The green road is mostly known for self-archiving of journal articles; nevertheless, some publishers allow the self-archiving of book chapters as well. Have a look at the conditions some publishers set and send us the accepted versions of your book-chapter publications to increase your visibility even further!

Published Version ( example )

The published version is the final version of your article produced by the publisher with the journal's typeset and branding. In the digital environment, the published version is usually a PDF available through the publisher’s website, although for some online publications, the published version may be in HTML or other web-compatible file formats. Only a small number of publishers will allow this version to be made Open Access, even after an embargo. A few publishers, however, do allow this and we will make the published version of these articles Open Access in DORA on your behalf.

TEL. +41 58 765 5700 

Dr. Jochen Bihn

t +41 58 765 5228

Dr. Lothar Nunnenmacher

t +41 58 765 5221

Dr. Laura Konstantaki

t +41 58 765 5590