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Publishing and Open Access

An Open Access publication allows you to reach the broadest possible readership: fellow researchers, practitioners or potential partners. You can also take advantage of the funding opportunities offered by research promotion agencies and programmes.

What is Open Access?

Graphic representation of the open access routes, enlarged picture.

Open Access publications ensure that scientific findings are freely available to a broad public. Basically, there are two Open Access models: the “Green Road” and the “Gold Road”.

Green Road

The Open Access green road, also known as self-archiving or green Open Access, refers to the practice of publishing scientific documents, either post-prints or pre-prints, in institutional or disciplinary repositories. A large number of scientific publishers allow this practice, but authors are required to clarify the situation in advance with their first publisher according to their respective publishing agreements.

Gold Road

The Open Access gold road, also known as gold Open Access, refers to the practice of publishing scientific documents in OA journals (or in an OA book publication). OA journals appear in the same way as conventional (closed access) electronic journals published by scientific publishers and undergo a peer review process.

The difference lies in how the journals are funded: conventional publishers finance their journals through subscriptions and pay-per-view, while gold Open Access charges the authors and/or the institutions they are affiliated to. This means that gold OA publications are freely available to anyone.

Controversial: Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid Open Access refers to the strategy adopted by conventional publishers of providing unrestricted access to some of the content in their subscription-based journals. In practice, this means that authors can ‘buy the freedom’ of their own articles by paying a high publication fee so that everyone can access them. Access to research results is thus paid for twice over (continuing subscriptions and extra publication fees). For this reason, hybrid Open Access is regarded as a very controversial practice.

So-called Read&Publish agreements with publishers are an exception. This means that the universities continue to have access to a publisher's range of journals and at the same time have the possibility of publishing in this free Open Access.

Open Access policies and funding

ZHAW Open Access Policy

The ZHAW Executive Board adopted an OA policy on 22 October 2015. The ZHAW commits to publishing its scientific findings according to the principles of Open Access in order to make them freely available to a broad public, provided that no legal restrictions apply.

All ZHAW members are asked to deposit a version of their publications in the institutional repository ZHAW digitalcollection. Primary OA publications are endorsed by the ZHAW and supported by the University Library as point of contact for Open Access.

Additional Open Access mandates and funding

Open Access publishing

How and where to publish in a green Open Access journal

A degree of open access (the "green road") can be provided for publications by employees of an academic institution through their institutional repository. This secondary form of publication is permitted by a large number of academic publishers under certain conditions. Any document upload is subject to legal clarification with the publisher.

The University's institutional repository ZHAW digitalcollection is available for secondary publications. The relevant Wiki (in German) offers comprehensive support for the whole publication process.

The databases SHERPA/RoMEO and Journal Database (JDB) provide information on publishing conditions for secondary publications. Discipline-specific information is available on the information platform

How and where to publish in a gold Open Access journal

Basically, gold OA publication platforms have the same requirements, such as reliability and evaluation in a discipline-specific database as conventional journals and publishers.

The University Library supports ZHAW researchers with funding for gold Open Access (OA) publishing through membership agreements with publishers and a publication fund. Nowadays, there are also many renowned specialised journals that do not charge publishing fees.

Open Access searches

Search for scientific publications that are worldwide freely available, also known as open access publications.