At the beginning of 2017, swissuniversities adopted the National Open Access Strategy for Switzerland. A year later, an action plan for implementing the OA strategy was approved. The Universities of Applied Sciences and of Teacher Education signed as well. However they have a very heterogeneous publication culture: while some of the publications of their staff are well covered by the provisions of the action plan, others are only partially so. Especially publications in local languages (German, French) with practical oriented content are not the focus of the plan.
The aim of the project OA-EASI was to take the first steps to fill in these gaps. Knowledge transfer into the broader society is especially urgent and relevant for practical oriented institutions – but the possibilities offered by Open Access are far from being exhausted by this alone.
The project consisted of three stages:
- Publication analysis: Through a survey of publications at Universities of Applied Sciences and of Teacher Education the most important journals, magazines and publishing houses were determined.
- Based on expert interviews with representatives of these journals, of magazines and of publishing houses as well as with publishers of existing Open Access journals an evaluation was done to determine the needs for a transfer to OA.
- In a third step, two of these specialist journals were accompanied in the process to a possible flipping to Open Access. The lessons learned were put together in a checklist with recommendations for successful transformation to OA.
The project was officially terminated at the end of June 2021. All results are freely accessible on Zenodo.
Two other swissuniversities projects are directly or indirectly linked to OA-EASI: SOAP (Shared Open Access Platform) project, led by the University of Fribourg and involving the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts as well as the Lucerne Central and University Library as project partners, aims to establish a platform for the publication of OA journals, including services for smaller institutions. This takes up a finding of OA-EASI, namely that the lack of technical infrastructure is a hurdle to Open Access, especially for smaller institutions (the project has already been approved). GOAL (Unlocking the Green Open Access potentiaL in scholarly and professional journals in Switzerland) is a follow-up project of OA-EASI, it was submitted by ZHAW while the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the FHNW are project partners. The project decision is expected by the end of September 2021.