Settlement of Open Access fees: significant relief for researchers

The SNSF has been conducting a pilot project with service provider ChronosHub since 2021 which aims to simplify the financing of freely accessible publications. Given the positive evaluation, the cooperation is being extended.

The Open Access (OA) principle is gaining traction in Switzerland: some 55% of scientific articles based on SNSF-funded research are now freely accessible – and the trend is pointing upwards. To make the process of publishing via OA as lean as possible, the SNSF launched a collaborative venture with the service provider ChronosHub in 2021. Researchers can use this organisation's platform to settle the so-called APCs, the fees that arise when articles are published in OA journals.

Pressure taken off researchers – added value for the SNSF

Nine months after the launch of the pilot project, the cooperation was evaluated. The gratifying result based on over 1000 publications: settlement of fees via ChronosHub is considerably simpler, thus reducing the workload for researchers. Moreover, it is an uncomplicated way for them to obtain an overview of the OA offering of the various scientific journals. In that way, they can quickly find out how a journal enables them to meet the SNSF's requirements. What's more, researchers can use the data from ChronosHub for their reporting to the SNSF or to their university. Last but not least, ChronosHub checks the metadata in the article and ascertains whether the funding provided has been mentioned in accordance with the rules. That helps to improve data quality and visibility.

Cooperation extended and deepened

In light of the positive evaluation, the SNSF has decided to continue its cooperation with ChronosHub. "The aim if possible is for all results originating from SNSF-funded research to be freely accessible," says Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council. "The easier we make OA publication for researchers, the closer we'll get to that target. And ChronosHub is helping us a long way in that direction."

Christian Grubak, CEO of ChronosHub, also has a positive view of the results: "We are very pleased about the productive and close collaboration with the SNSF and the demonstrable relief that ChronosHub brings researchers, who can devote the time they gain to their research."

Processing of APC invoices is to become even more efficient in future. One possibility is that the publishing houses will send their invoices directly to ChronosHub.