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Open Access means making scientific findings, information and data freely accessible as quickly as possible, free of charge. In this way, research results can be disseminated and checked and further research can be advanced. This means that scientific findings are also available to the public who financed the research.
Ideally, a publication should be freely accessible immediately. There are several ways to publish Open Access.
Gold and Platinum OA mean that a scientific text is first published in an open access journal, as an open access book or as a contribution to an open access collection. Platinum OA is free for the author, as the magazine is funded in different ways. In the case of Gold OA, the author usually pays a fee.
Green OA means publications are made freely accessible through secondary publication in institutional or subject-specific repositories. When publishing in conventional journals, the publisher's open access policy should be checked, so that not just the accepted version, but also the published version of the article can be deposited in a repository. The Sherpa / Romeo database provides good information on this topic.
Since 2008, all researchers at UZH have been required to deposit their scientific work in the Zurich Open Repository and Archive (ZORA).
Zurich Open Repository and Archive
The publication of preprints is also highly recommended.
Whichever route to Open Access is chosen, Open Access publications reach a larger audience and are also cited more frequently.
Many research sponsors such as the Swiss National Science Foundation or the EU Horizon program are already requiring that researchers publish Open Access. Since 2008, UZH researchers have also been obliged to make their publications at least accessible in the Zurich Open Repository and Archive (ZORA). The most common argument against Open Access publications is that they do not have the same prestige and impact factor as publications in traditional journals and are therefore not beneficial for an academic career. By signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), UZH and many other universities have committed to changing their evaluation culture and undertaking a holistic assessment of academic work.
It is important to ensure that the open access journals practice some form of quality control such as peer review. Platforms that support researchers in choosing trustworthy open access journals are helpful. This also prevents publishing in predatory journals.
There are various helpful platforms that support researchers in choosing funding options:
• University Library: OA publication support
• Papago: Search engine for OA publication opportunities, including rights and funding options
• Swiss National Science Foundation: Information about OA requirements and funding options
Anyone who publishes in a classic, not freely accessible journal does not have to pay anything for the publication, but usually hands over the rights to their own article to the publishers. Universities and researchers then have to pay high subscription prices to get access to these articles. In addition, not everyone can afford this, and research is unnecessarily hindered.
You can find answers to general questions about Open Access on the Open Access website of the SNSF. You can find information about the services offered by UZH on the university library website. The Open Science Services team will be happy to advise you on questions about scientific publishing:
+41 44 636 11 11