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University Library Zurich

Open Access

Open Access means that scientific publications are freely accessible online. This ensures that research results can be disseminated and received without restriction.

With innovations in information technology and online publishing, open access has developed into the standard in scientific communication since the early 2000s.

How Does Open Access Publishing Work?

What Are the Benefits of Open Access?

  • better visibility of results
  • higher citation rate
  • easier international knowledge transfer
  • more innovation through increased visibility of research results from distant disciplines

  • more transparency & efficiency in research
  • the public has access to the research it funds

What is the Reputation of Open Access Publications?

Research publications are subject to high scientific quality requirements. Depending on the discipline, these are ensured by different review procedures during the publication process. The careful selection of suitable publication organs is an important task for researchers.

Requirements of Funding Agencies

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

The SNSF requires its grantees to publish their publications and research data openly. The SNSF has been a member of cOAlitionS since 2022. Grantees funded as of January 1, 2023 must adhere to new guidelines. You can find more information about the SNSF's requirements in our UBlog and on the SNSF homepage.

To fulfill the requirements of the SNSF, the University Library provides the institutional repository ZORA and various tools to find Open Access journals.

ZORA (for self-archiving in Open Access)

How to find Open Access journals


Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU's framework program to promote research and innovation and it is the successor to the Horizon 2020 program. It obliges its researchers to ensure open access to their publications. Switzerland currently has the status of a non-associated third country with regard to "Horizon Europe".

Horizon Europe

Open Access at UZH

The University Library Zurich promotes and supports the implementation of the UZH Open Science Policy. For scientific publications, the OSS team runs ZORA (Zurich Open Repository and Archive) and the journal platform HOPE.

Open Access Strategy in a Nutshell

  • Publications are considered Open Access if they are “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions”.
  • UZH expects its researchers and staff to publish all their scholarly output Open Access. As far as possible, scholarly output should be made available immediately, without restriction, under an open license, preferably in the version of record and not subject to an embargo.
  • UZH expects its researchers to deposit all their published scientific works in the Zurich Open Repository and Archive (ZORA). The UZH Academic Reports are based on ZORA.

Practical Implications

As a researcher at UZH, you always (also) present your scientific publications in ZORA. This does not limit your publication options. Just bear this in mind:

  • Obtain legal protection from the publisher so that you can make your work accessible in ZORA - if necessary after the expiry of an embargo period.
  • If this is not possible, you can only deposit the bibliographic data in ZORA, if necessary with protected full text.
  • The transfer of the bibliographic data from ZORA to the Academic Reports takes place independently of the full text.

Open Access in Switzerland and the EU

You can find more information at