Open Science Office

In line with the National Open Access Strategy and the Swiss National Strategy for Open Research Data of swissuniversities, the BFH has declared the promotion of Open Access and the implementation of Open Science at the BFH to be a strategic goal. A focused specialist service serves as a central point of contact for general questions relating to Open Science.

Open Access

Open access means unlimited, free access to scientific information.

Open Access has many advantages:

  • global, free and fast access to research findings
  • good retrievability of open access publications via search engines
  • increased visibility and citation of open access publications
  • increased research efficiency by promoting international and inter-disciplinary cooperation
  • transfer of research into practice is promoted

Paths to open access

Gold open access means immediate, direct publication or accessibility of research content through open access publications (journals and monographs). There are no longer embargo periods or subscription costs (fees).

Possible costs are linked to processing charges, APCs (Article Processing Charges), BPCs (Book Processing Charges) or BCPCs (Book Chapter Processing Charges).

Selecting the right journal

The number of open access journals is constantly growing. It is not always easy to find an appropriate journal for a publication.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) offers information on open access monographs.

Information on open access monographs can be found in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).

For further information see: ThinkCheckSubmit



The green path refers to self-archiving or secondary publication of publications that have already been published in another way, e.g. in analogue form. These are filed in an institutional or specialist repository. The BFH repository is called ARBOR

In the hybrid model, which is not supported by the BFH or the SNF, publications are published in journals that charge a fee. To make publications freely accessible in open access terms, researchers can pay additional publication fees to ensure their work is free. This means that double payment is made for research findings (double dipping).


Support for funding publication fees

The Bern University of Applied Sciences has signed an Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP) with MDPI, which grants all BFH researchers a 15 per cent discount on open access publication fees. The contract will run provisionally until 30/09/2020.

The Swiss universities have concluded a Read&Publish contract with Elsevier Publishers. This will have positive repercussions for researchers at BFH.

Researchers at Bern University of Applied Sciences can publish Open Access without additional costs in the following Elsevier Journals provided that the authors of submitted articles are employed at BFH. To submit a manuscript you are required to enter your BFH e-mail address.

swissuniversities has entered into a new Read & Publish agreement with John Wiley & Sons. This agreement will remain valid until 31 December 2024. Under this agreement, as of 1 May 2021, authors of BFH can make their primary research and review articles openly accessible in any of Wiley’s nearly 1,400 hybrid journals immediately upon publication.

For more information: click here.

BFH staff can find further information on financial support on the Intranet


The Swiss National Science Foundation, SNF, makes contributions to promote scientific publications with direct, unlimited, free access (gold open access). Applications for grants to cover costs arising in the form of publication fees or processing charges can be made via the open access platform of the SNF (mySNF). Hybrid open access is not covered by this financial support.

The Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries and SAGE have a ‘read & publish’ agreement. The deal began on January 1, 2021 and will last until December 2022. BFH researchers have unlimited open access publishing rights in the following journals at no cost to themselves.

For more information: click here.

The Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries and Taylor & Francis have a ‘read & publish’ agreement. The deal began on January 1, 2021 and will last until December 2023. BFH researchers have unlimited open access publishing rights in the following journals at no cost to themselves.

For more information: click here.


The BFH institutional repository is called ARBOR (Applied Research Bern Open Repository).

A repository is a publicly accessible document server for all types of publications.

ARBOR promotes free access to BFH research findings and increases visibility and citeability.

Publication types in ARBOR

  • Journal articles
  • Newspaper or magazine articles
  • Books
  • Book contributions
  • Reports
  • Conference contributions
  • Working papers
  • Academic theses or dissertations
  • Journals and series
  • Visual, audio, or audiovisual materials & recordings
  • Software and other digital objects
  • Patents
  • Sheet music
  • Other
  • Student projects
  • Documents in progress (drafts etc.)
  • Open research data