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Open Science

Open Access

Melanie Röthlisberger, Open Access Ambassador SNF: «Publishing your own research Open Access means creating more equality: in accessing research, in the publishing system and in society. »

What is Open Access?

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.

How can I publish Open Access?

Ideally, a publication should be freely accessible immediately. There are several ways to publish Open Access.

Platinum Open Access

Platinum OA means 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 publisher is funded in different ways.

Gold Open Access

Gold Open Access also refers to the publication of a scientific text in an open access journal, as an open access book or as a contribution to an open access collection. In contrast to diamond Open Access, the author usually pays a fee (article-processing charges, APCs).

The University Library can support you financially with Gold Open Access publishing: Funding for Open Access publishing

Green Open Access

Green OA means manuscripts are published in conventional subscription-based journals and also made freely accessible through secondary publication in institutional or subject-specific repositories (also called self-archiving). 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.

Self-archiving in UZH's institutional repository ZORA

Publishing green Open Access with ZORA (PDF, 235 KB)

Difference between the accepted manuscript and the publisher's PDF (PDF, 441 KB)


Many publishers now also offer the option of publishing a single article in a conventional journal Open Access. This means that the published version of the manuscript is freely accessible, but also entails publication fees (APCs) for authors. This route is also known as the hybrid route and is not supported by publication funds. It is, however, often recognized as fulfilling the open access requirements of funding agencies (e.g. SNSF).

Whichever route to Open Access is chosen, Open Access publications reach a larger audience and are also cited more frequently.

Further information: Where to publish Open Access? (University Library)


Does something speak against it?

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.

How do I find a suitable Open Access journal?

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. 

Where to publish Open Access? (University Library)
Think Check Submit
Directory of Open Access Journals

How do I finance an Open Access publication?

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

What does a publication in a classical journal cost?

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. 

Where can I find more information about Open Access?

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

I want to support Open Access. What can I do?

  • Whenever possible, publish in platinum and gold Open Access Journals, and talk about it.
    Directory of Open Access Journals
    University Library: OA Publication Channels
  • Publish your preprints in an OA archive, such as arXiv.
  • Always publish your scientific contributions in the Zürich Open Repository and Archive, ZORA (Green Open Access).
  • You can also publish your research data in an open data archive. Link your published articles to your research data and vice versa.
  • Accept requests from OA journals to work as a reviewer for scientific articles or to participate in the editorial team.
  • If you work for a journal that is not Open Access, initiate internal discussions on how the transformation to Open Access can be made.
  • As a student: discuss Open Access with your professors.
  • As a lecturer: teach your students about Open Access. Get involved in your faculty to ensure that Open Access is known and incorporated as best practice in your research area.

Weiterführende Informationen

Open Access Support

The University Library supports UZH researchers with their Open Access publications.