Open access publications

The SNSF, like other major funding agencies, requires grantees to make the results of SNSF-funded projects available in an open access publication or database. As of 2020, all results have to be available in open access.

The different open access models

For publications, there are different open access models that are all compliant with SNSF regulations.

  • The gold route: the article is published in journals that are openly, freely and immediately accessible in the Internet; the list of gold open access journals can be found on DOAJ. Usually, journals invoice article processing charges (APC) to cover publishing services linked to quality control, editing, publishing and digital archiving. The SNSF covers these APC only in the gold open access route. APC can be paid directly by the SNSF through the online platform mySNF in a straightforward process and so these costs shouldn’t be charged to MARVEL funds. When researchers don’t have to pay any APC, we speak of the diamond or platinum route.
  • The green route: researchers self-archive their scientific articles, contributions or books (publisher version or accepted version after peer-reviewing, the submitted version is not enough) in an institutional (e.g. EPFL InfoScience, ETHZ Research Collection, etc.), disciplinary or preprint repository, usually after an embargo period. The green route is compliant with SNSF regulations as long as the embargo period is at most 6 months. It is important to keep the accepted version of the manuscript and to deposit it at once and a soon as available, regardless of embargo lengths etc. on an institutional or a disciplinary repository, which usually allows to specify an embargo at deposit.
  • The hybrid route: researchers publish in a subscription journal, which only provides open access for those individual articles for which the authors pay APC. These APC cannot be covered by MARVEL or other SNSF funds. The hybrid route is nonetheless compliant with SNSF regulations. – pros and cons

Useful tools

  • ChronosHub and Journal Finder Beta are tools to help selecting a journal, checking the compliance with different funding agencies, and guiding in the submission process (more than 40'000 journals). From 15 June 2021, the SNSF is launching a pilot collaboration with ChronosHub to handle directly the APCs through this platform without submitting a request through mySNF. More information here.
  • To further promote open access publications, SNSF is developing the SNSF Open Access Check web application, which indicates which publications of a given author are openly accessible. This prototype searches articles that have been published since 2015. More information is available in this article published by the SNSF in early June 2020. In particular, it appears that researchers can often use the green route to make articles that are currently behind a paywall publicly available. 
  • Unpaywall is a plugin to be installed on Chrome or Firefox to find the open access version of a publication.
  • The publisher copyright and open access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis can be found online on Sherpa Romeo.

Switzerland Read&Publish agreements with three major publishers

  • As of 1 May 2021, swissuniversities has concluded a new Read&Publish agreement with John Wiley & Sons. It will provide students and researchers access to over 1’450 journals. At the same time, this agreement enables all MARVEL authors to publish in the group open access journals at no charge to the authors.
  • Since July 2020, Switzerland has an open access agreement with Springer. Researchers affiliated with a participating institution (including all MARVEL-related academic institutions) can publish their articles open access at no cost to them in more than 1’850 Springer hybrid journals. Established by the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, this agreement also covers reading access to over 2’300 subscription journals via institutional access.
  • In May 2020, swissuniversities and Elsevier have adopted a similar agreement, combining reading and publishing.

More general APC fundings

The list of the full APC funding or discount on APCs can be found by the library of your institution, as for example for EPFL.

Predatory journals

Predatory journals are journals, often open access, employing unethical business practices such as using fraudulent impact factors or copying the names and designs of established journal, with

  • no guarantee of quality or scientific integrity;
  • scarce peer-review, proofreading and editing steps;
  • manuscript often published immediately after submission.

The consequences are:

  • very little scientific value;
  • damage to your reputation;
  • damage to your institution’s reputation.

In case of doubt consult e.g.:

Have a look at the SNSF open access dedicated website for more details.