Open Access

Open Access means free access to scientific publications via the Internet. Open Access is supported by scientific organisations, academic institutions and libraries around the world.  The aims of efforts are:

  • rapid, worldwide dissemination of scientific information
  • free access to the results of publicly funded research
  • increased visibility and citation frequency of documents
  • simplified use for further research
  • promotion of interdisciplinary and international cooperation
  • long-term availability of documents

Are you an academic at the University of Basel and would like to make the results of your research visible?

We support you with various options in order to make your publications openly accessible.

Contact and Support

In practice, a distinction is made between two Open Access strategies:

  • Green Road: Self-archiving or secondary publication of conventionally published contributions on subject-specific or institutional servers (repositories). At the University of Basel, the edoc document server is available for this purpose.
  • Gold Road: Primary publication of academic articles in quality-assured (peer reviewed) Open Access journals.

Open Access at the University of Basel and in Switzerland

The University of Basel is a cosignatory of the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" and has had an Open Access policy since 2013.

In 2006, the most important scientific institutions in Switzerland signed the Berlin Declaration. Since 2007, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has required recipients of its funding to publish their research results in the form of digital publications that are freely available on the Internet (Open Access publications).

In 2017 and 2018, swissuniversities and the Schweizerische Hochschulkonferenz adopted a national Open Access strategy for Switzerland and a corresponding action plan, with the goal that by 2024 all scientific publications financed with public funds must be freely accessible on the Internet.


Open Access journals cover the same quality spectrum as conventional publications. Special features are:

  • The digital publication has priority over the printed format.
  • The articles are freely accessible on the Internet from the time of their publication (no embargo period for the latest issues).
  • Instead of subscription or license fees, publication costs are covered by alternative funding models.
  • Around a quarter of Open Access journals require that publication fees are paid (pre-financing model).

Financing of Open Access publication costs (pilot project 2020-2022)

From January 2020, the university has made a complimentary fund available for Open Access publications, for which the Article Processing Charge (APC) is not covered by third-party funding. Members of the University of Basel can apply for funding if their publications meet the following criteria:

  • Main authors or corresponding authors belong to the University of Basel (unibas email address).
  • The publication is a journal article or a book contribution.
  • The contribution appears in a purely Open Access publication.
  • The journal has a peer-review process or fulfils equivalent evaluation criteria as established for that subject.
  • There is no third-party funding that also cover the costs for Open Access publications.

Funding of up to CHF 2500 is possible. Partial funding of higher publication fees is possible.

Hybrid Open Access publications and entire Open Access books are not funded.

Please submit your application via

Applicants will be informed promptly, whether the publication will be funded or not. Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. The date of receipt will be used for consideration, should the funds be used up ahead of schedule.

All major research sponsors support Open Access publications. Information about the application options may be found on the sponsors’ websites:

If you have questions, please contact

Publisher / DiscountDetails / Procedure
AAAS - Science Advances: 15%

As a member of the GASCO Consortium, the University of Basel offers its members a 15% discount on the Article Processing Charges in Science Advances. AAAS members are entitled to an additional 4% discount.

Procedure: The discount is subtracted at the time of payment of the publication fee (Apply discount -> Affiliation discount). AAAS members must also enter their "Member number" under "Membership discount".

American Chemical Society (ACS): 18.75%

Members of the University of Basel who are members of the ACS, pay USD 3250 instead of USD 4000 for the Author Choice Open Access Option for ACS journals.

Procedure: If you wish to publish your paper as Open Access, select the option "Apply Discount" when submitting your manuscript. The University of Basel must be entered in the "Affiliation discount" field.

Biochemical Society/Portland Press: 15%University of Basel authors benefit from this discount for all Portland Press journals. Additional information: Portland Press - Open Access Policy
BioMed Central (BMC): 15%The affiliation of University of Basel authors is automatically recognised by their IP address when submitting their manuscript. Additional information: Membership University of Basel
British Medical Journal (BMJ): 25%

University of Basel authors benefit from this discount on all BMJ journals with Open Access options. Additional information: Institutional Membership - Open Access Programme

Procedure: Use your email address

Special case: BMJ Case Reports journal: The University of Basel has an institutional fellowship. Affiliated corresponding authors do not have to become individual Fellows themselves. The institutional Fellowship Code can be obtained from the University Library.

Cambridge University Press (CUP): 100% from 2021For Hybrid Open Access and Gold Open Access Journals. List of the participating journals. The option will be offered to the corresponding authors from the University and the University Hospitals of Basel during the publication process.
Cogitatio Press: 100%

University of Basel main authors ("corresponding authors") do not need to pay a publication fee for publishing articles in the Publisher’s journals

Procedure: When submitting your manuscript, the publisher will check your affiliation to the University of Basel based on your email address.

Elsevier: 100%Authors from Swiss academic institutions submitting an article to one of the publisher Elsevier’s journals from 1.1.2020, can select the "Gold Open Access" option free of charge. The University Library recommends that you select this option and select the CC BY 4.0 version. A corresponding note "I do not have to pay an APC. ... the agreement between Elsevier and Swiss institutions will cover the APC." will be displayed during the submission process (manual). A prerequisite is that you enter "University Basel" or "University Hospital Basel" in the author address. Excluded are Cell Press journals, The Lancet... journals and various society-published titles (List of participating journals). The quota of eligible articles is limited and is expected not to be sufficient for all articles submitted in 2020.
Karger: 100%Procedure: Please complete the information under "Open Access Agreements" when submitting your article. A prerequisite is the addition of "University Basel" or "University Hospital Basel" in the author’s address. List of participating journals.
MDPI: 25%, 20% from 2021In order to benefit from this arrangement, authors must select the University of Basel from the list of institutions ("Institute") which have an MDPI membership, and thereby confirm their affiliation. Additional information: Institutional Members
Nucleic Acids Research (NAR): 50%Thanks to an institutional membership, University of Basel authors only pay half the Article Processing Charge, i.e. EUR 1118 instead of EUR 2237, for the publication of an article in the Gold Open Access professional journal NAR. A prerequisite is that the "submission site" must be accessed from the University of Basel’s computer network: Test link
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS): 25%

University of Basel authors pay USD 1150 instead of USD 1500 for the Open Access option.

Procedure: There is no automatic system that recognises authors whose institutions have a site licence. This must be indicated when completing the accounting information.

Royal Society 25%The discount is relevant for all journals from this publisher (hybrid and full open access) and must be validated at OAM at Additional information: Open Access Publishing and Open Access Membership
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC): 100%

Thanks to a "Read&Publish" contract, University of Basel articles are made freely accessible in the publisher’s subscription-based (hybrid) journals, without the corresponding authors being required to pay Article Processing Charges. This applies to the first 20 articles that are accepted as of 2020, no limitation from 2021. List of participating journals. Procedure: Instructions

SAGE: 20% - 100% from 2021100% in Hybrid Open Access Journals, 20% in Gold Open Access Journals. List of participating journals.
Springer: 15% - 100%

Hybrid OA Springer Open Choice (100%): Authors at the University of Basel or the associated University Hospitals submitting a manuscript, will be recognized by their affiliation, their mail address Mail-Adresse, and the IP-range. They will see the notice «Special open access agreement», and may select the free option  "Open Access». This applies to the articles accepted from 1. July 2020 for the journals on the platform Springer LINK offering the option «Open Choice». Limited quota of eligible articles. List of participating journals. More  Informationen, journal list, and a "Guide for authors" by Springer

Gold OA SpringerOpen (15%): Membership University of Basel
Procedure: The affiliation of University of Basel authors is recognised automatically when submitting a manuscript from their IP address

N.B. Nature Research Journals are excluded from these agreements with the publishing house Springer Nature.

Taylor & Francis: 100% from 2021For Hybrid Open Access and Gold Open Access Journals. "Premier Tier 2 Journals" are excluded. List of participating journals. Limited quota of eligible articles. The option will be offered to the corresponding authors from the University and the University Hospitals of Basel during the publication process.
Wiley: 0%Ongoing negotiations by swissuniversities.

SCOAP3 - Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics: The financial support of the SCOAP3 Initiative by the University of Basel enables free publishing in the most important journals for particle physics, with publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, IOP Publishing, Oxford University Press or Hindawi. The University’s membership fees are paid by the Department of Physics.

A list of participating publishers and journals is found here.

The University Library offers researchers of the University of Basel guidance and infrastructures to enable them to publish their work Open Access on the "Gold Road" (primary publication) as well as on the "Green Road" (secondary publication).

  • edoc: You would like to make your previously published publications available Open Access? Here you will find information about secondary publication on the edoc institutional repository of the University of Basel.
  • eterna: You are the editor of a journal and would like to publish it Open Access? The University Library Basel’s eterna periodicals portal is available to you and we would be happy to advise you further.

emono: You would like to publish a book or a series Open Access from the outset? The University Library Basel’s emono publication platform is available to members of the university and we would be happy to advise you about additional options.

On 8 October 2019, the Rectorate of the University of Basel adopted the revised Open Access Policy.

Your contacts for Open Access at the University Library