Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 10, 2007

Swiss National Science Foundation adopts an OA mandate

Yesterday the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) announced an OA mandate to take effect on September 1, Open Access: Der SNF erlässt Weisung für die Umsetzung.  Read the announcement in German or in Google's English.  (Thanks to Susanne Göttker.) 

The policy requires OA archiving for the results of SNF-funded research.  Grantees may deposit their work in institutional or disciplinary repositories, and must apparently respect any embargo imposed by their publisher.  The SNF does not have its own repository and does not apparently plan to launch one.

The SNF encourages without requiring publication in an OA journal, and at least sometimes will pay the publication fees at fee-based OA journals.


  • Kudos to the SNF.  This will be a boon to Swiss research-authors and to all research-users.  It also comes at a good time, when both the US and the EU are considering OA mandates, and adds to the growing momentum for public funding agencies to mandate open access for publicly-funded research.
  • I’m reluctant to comment on specifics until I see a good translation.  But it appears that the policy requires grantees to respect any embargo requested by their publisher.  If true, this is a self-defeating mistake, since a very long embargo can effectively vitiate an OA policy.  SNS should put a cap on the maximum embargo, such as six or 12 months after publication.  It should also require immediate deposit even if switching access from closed to open is delayed until the embargo runs.

Update (8/11/07). Klaus Graf sends this addition and clarification: "In a nut-shell: Established embargos have to be respected. If no such embargo exists SNF will accept TA-only if the author has tried to get OA rights." (Thanks, Klaus.)