Publication in OA journals: the SNSF enables financing via project budget


The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is redoubling its efforts to establish open access (OA) in Switzerland: as of 1 October 2013, researchers receiving SNSF funding can cover the costs of publishing articles in pure OA journals via the project budget. With regard to self-archiving, the SNSF is in favour of short embargo periods.

With regard to Open Access, researchers funded by the SNSF are obligated as before to, at least, self-archive their work in addition to having it published for the first time in a journal (Green Road to OA). In line with the policy of the European Research Council, the SNSF is recommending solutions that involve short embargo periods of no more than six months. If there is an option to publish directly in an OA journal, the SNSF encourages researchers to choose this Gold Road through a new supporting measure: as of October 2013, researchers will be able to cover the corresponding publication costs through their project budgets. Along with most other European research funders, the SNSF continues to reject the option of OA of already published articles in a journal against a fee (hybrid OA) as it involves double payment for the same service.

Gold Road: desired support not possible

In its Multi-Year Programme 2012-2016, the SNSF had proposed a transition to the Gold Road to OA and financial support for publications in OA journals. Due to the budget envisaged for the SNSF until 2016, it was not possible to implement the proposed measures because of a shortage of funds. Instead the SNSF has decided that publication costs in pure OA journals of high scientific standing may be covered by SNSF grants. In so doing, it aims to encourage researchers to publish research results in OA journals.

Maximum of 3,000 francs per OA publication

The funding measure, which has been introduced provisionally until the end of 2016, involves coverage via the project budget of a maximum of CHF 3000 per OA publication during the running time of the project. The publication must be related to the SNSF grant or, in the case of follow-up grants, to the preceding application. It applies equally to projects that are already running on 1 October 2013. In the case of new applications, the OA publication can be included in the proposal, although this is not mandatory and no formal request is required. In the case of existing applications, the costs of OA publication may be claimed as long as sufficient funds are available in the budget. Reporting for the costs of Open Access publication will be done in the scope of the financial reporting in line with the existing procedure for eligible costs. The researchers indicate the OA publications when entering their output data.

Executive Staff / Legal Department