University of St.Gallen
research platform alexandria

Open Access at the University of St Gallen

The 'Reglement zur Open Access Policy' (signed December 15th, 2008 by the Senate, the academic governing body of the university) contains rules for the researchers at the University of St. Gallen. These rules concretize the former 'Open Access Policy' (signed November 12th, 2007 also by the Senate). The new regulations are mandatory. There are three parts in the new regulations: General provisions, Obligations and Rights of researchers.

General statement: The results of the research at the University of St. Gallen should be open to public access.

Obligations: The researchers are obliged to retain the necessary rights for self-archiving under OA (Open Access) prior to publication. If this is only possible with a temporally limited embargo, they have to fix this period in the contract. If there is a possibility to deposit the publisher's PDF under OA instead of the author's refereed, accepted final draft, the researchers have to choose the former.
There is, however, a phrase in the regulations "soweit möglich", meaning "where possible", because the university is aware of the situation that there are publishers who do not allow self-archiving under OA.
The full text (the author's postprint or the publisher's PDF) has to be deposited in the institutional repository of the research platform of the University of St. Gallen (Alexandria) at the moment of acceptance by a publisher. Further, the university encourages the researchers to publish in OA-journals.

Rights: The university supports the researchers concerning all matters of OA.

You can find the new Rules and the Policy of the University of St. Gallen here:

Tools for Authors

On the initiative of its Main Library, the University of Zurich commissioned Professor Dr Reto M. Hilty and Dr Matthias Seemann to draw up an expert opinion on Open Access. The author of an academic paper, such as an article in a journal, that deals with a topic in depth can publish it in a repository or other server three months after it has been published in full. Reports with a topical relevance, such as newspaper articles, can be published by the author in a repository or other server at any time.
The author's version (accepted manuscript) can certainly be used for this purpose. According to the expert opinion by Reto Hilty and Matthias Seemann, the version published by the publisher can also be used (publisher's pdf), but without the publisher's logo, which is protected by trademark law or similar.
If an agreement on copyright was concluded when the article was published, such as a written publishing contract, the provisions it contains will apply. In the case of an article with a number of authors the consent of all the authors must be obtained for the publication on a document server.
The legal opinion can be found at the website of the ZORA-repository in german, english or french. There's also a section with frequently asked questions (FAQ) based on the legal opinion.

The policies of important publishers on copyrights and self-archiving can be found on the following page:

An Addendum to publication agreement for retaining the right of self-archiving (international publishers):
oder (Online-Version zum Ausfüllen)

Template for Swiss publishers: Addendum for Swiss Publishers (.doc, in german)

The University of St. Gallen provides a powerful server for self-archiving in the form of the research platform Alexandria.

Background of Open Access

The lack of licences for scientific periodicals continues to be a major impediment to the fast access of current research results and thus not only hinders the swift spread of knowledge but also the research itself. In the last few years a movement was established under the keyword "Open Access" which aims to make scientific articles available to interested persons over the Internet free of any charge. The focus is especially on those publications which appear in approximately 24’000 scientific journals (peer-reviewed) world-wide. To achieve this ambitious goal, two approaches appear feasible:

a) The so-called "green road": The authors continue to publish in the known scientific journals (peer-reviewed) but the publisher grants them the right to archive one copy of their article themselves (pre-print or post-print). In the case of the University St. Gallen this is on the research platform Alexandria. It is of utmost importance in this context, that the right to perform this "self-archiving" is clearly stated in the publishing contract.

b) The so-called "gold-road": The authors publish their research results in Open Access Journals. These journals are characterised by the following features: I. No subscription fees are charged. II. They are accessible over the Internet free of charge. III. The authors pay for the publication. IV. The authors retain the copyrights.

Looking at the practicability of these two approaches it becomes apparent that the barriers for alternative a) are considerably lower. The majority of the publishers (more than 90 percent) are already permitting the self-archiving of one’s own publications.
Please note that the right to self-archiving must be stated in the publishing contract.
Whereas the supply of Open Access Journals (alternative b) is still limited, only five percent of scientific journals are offered as open access publications. Rapid growth does not appear to be imminent, as some questions, e.g. concerning long-term financial feasibility, remain open.

More Information:

1. Swiss National Science Foundation - Dossier on Open Access:

2. Recommendations of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences SAGW (checklists, FAQ etc.), in german:

3. German information-platform on Open Access:

4. A directory of available Open Access Journals an further information on Open Access is available under:

5. A historical overview is presented on: