New open access initiative of European research funders

A new initiative by eleven national research funding institutions, the European Commission and the European Research Council aims to achieve 100 percent open access by 2020.

In accordance with the so-called "Plan S (external link)", the participating funding institutions announced that from 2020 onwards, scientific publications that result from their grants would be published exclusively in open-access-journals or on open-access-platforms. The green road, i.e. the secondary publication in repositories and the publication in so-called hybrid journals (subscription journals with open access options), should no longer be accepted as fulfilling the open access obligations of the participating funders from 2020 onwards.

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has signaled its support for the European initiative, but has not yet signed it. In a recent statement (external link), the SNSF points out that for the time being it will adhere to its new open access strategy, which acknowledges the green road and took effect in spring 2018.

For researchers from ETH Zurich with publications that stem from SNSF- or EU-funded projects, the announcement does not currently lead to any concrete changes or legally binding obligations.

You can find further information on the research funders’ open access guidelines applicable to current projects on the Open Access at ETH Zurich website. Please contact us at with any questions.


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