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As of 2020: 100% Open Access to SNSF-funded research in Switzerland

Based on a decision by the National Research Council, all publications produced in SNSF-funded projects are to be freely available in digital format as of 2020.

"Research findings funded by public money are a public good," says Matthias Egger, the President of the National Research Council. Open Access is quickly becoming the accepted standard in science. Until now, less than 50% of the publications produced in SNSF-funded research have met this requirement. But as of 2020, the SNSF will expect all publications (100%) to be available free of charge in digital format.

Researchers will be able to publish their results in OA journals and OA books. This is the gold road. Alternatively, they can archive their publications in public databases, e.g. a university database - the green road.

Until now, the SNSF has covered the costs of publishing in OA journals. As of April 2018, it will also pay for OA books and as of October 2018 for OA book chapters. In addition, it will simplify the application process for publication grants, making it easier for researchers to meet the Open Access requirements.

The SNSF's new Open Access policy fits in with the national strategy (English version) defined by the Swiss higher education institutions in January 2017. According to this strategy, all publications financed with public money will need to be freely accessible as of 2024 (

The SNSF is realizing a range of measures and issues new regulations that will enter into force on 1 April 2018:
Changes to OA policy
  • Gold OA for books as book processing charge (BPC)
  • Gold OA for book chapters as book chapter processing charge (BCPC)
  • Embargo of 12 instead of 24 months for books in green OA
Incentives and support
  • Upper limit for article processing charges (APCs) of CHF 3000 is not applicable for the time being
  • New platform for processing OA grants separately from ongoing projects
Compliance and controlling
  • Systematic monitoring of OA compliance
  • Automated feedback on OA compliance to grant holders
  • No more exceptions from the OA commitment for articles
  • Active communication of the OA policy to researchers, in mySNF and on the SNSF website
  • Personal letter to grant holders
  • Further communication measures as of 2018

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