Frequently asked questions

Open Access Publishing (OA)

At EPFL, we believe that research funded by public money should be accessible to all, without legal barriers and for the benefit of society. This means no unecessary paywall restrictions or embargo periods. National funders such as SNSF already require grantees to make the results available in an open access (OA) publication or database.

Gold Open Access: Immediate and unrestricted access to scholarly research by publishing in open access journals, with a fee for authors known as Article Processing Charge (APC). These APCs vary greatly from one publisher to another.

Green Open Access: Free access to scholarly research by self-archiving author’s work in a repository, such as an institutional or subject-based repository. The author may thus publish in a closed-access journal and then provide the pre-processed manuscript openly. At EPFL, this is typically done using the institutional repository Infoscience. No charges have to be paid by the author as the repository is directly supported by EPFL.

Diamond Open Access: No fees for reading or publishing scholarly research, costs are covered by the publisher or external funding sources. These platforms are usually researcher-driven, or developed at an institutional or national level.

We view the practice of “hybrid” access, where authors have the choice to pay an APC to make their article openly accessible while other articles in the journal remain behind a paywall, as an unfair implementation of open access. It perpetuates the existing paywall system and disadvantages authors from institutions or countries with limited funding.

The EPFL Open Access policy states that all members of the EPFL scientific community keep their academic freedom and can select the periodical in which they want to publish their research outputs, regardless of the publication model. To comply with the policy, EPFL authors are required to deposit a version of each of their publications in the institutional archive Infoscience

Contact the library services for more information.

You can find more details on the different kinds of open access and the procedure to follow here

Open Research Data (ORD)

As a general rule, we strongly recommend using a CC-BY licence. It allows others to use, modify, and share your work as long as they give you credit. This means that anyone can use your work for any purpose, as long as they provide attribution to you as the original creator.

The rationale we believe in is that any knowledge coming out of EPFL should be accessible to all, whether it is to disseminate knowledge or facilitate innovation.

Find more information about CC licenses here

Open Research Data is more than simply dumping your data on an accessible repository. In order to give value to your data to be reusable by other people, your outputs need to be curated and documented in a diligent manner. This means starting to think about how to organise it before starting your research project.  

This may seem like a hassle to some people, but providing reusable data, beyond its obvious ethical implications, can actually be incredibly beneficial to a researcher’s career. It enables better visibility, while enhancing collaboration and community building.

The EPFL library provides a set of resources to guide you through your ORD journey. Find out more information here.

They also offer training related to data management, to acquire the skills to implement FAIR principles in your daily work. More information here.

Other resources are also available online. The Turing Way, for instance, is a collaborative, open-source project. It includes a range of practical tips, tools, and resources for making data science workflows more transparent and reproducible, as well as guidance on best practices for data management, collaboration, and ethics. Check out their handbook for more info.

Open-Source Code

Several actors on campus are working on these issues.

ENAC’s IT4Research service has developed nice guidelines for making clean code that complies with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) standards. Also check out their Poster Cheat Sheet !

For specific questions, you can also contact the EPFL data champions. They are a community of EPFL researchers and staff who are also data enthusiasts and can provide advice on data management.

The Technology Transfer Office provides comprehensive resources to help managing your software and choosing a license.  Do not hesitate to contact the TTO directly at [email protected] if you need advice on open source or licenses for your software.

Here is also a useful guide to choosing licenses.

The student association GNUGen is also full of passionate students who can answer your doubts and questions related to open source and free software ! They sometimes organize workshops, which are featured on our events page. Find out more information about the association and who to contact here.

Open Educational Resources

Yes ! Several EPFL courses are accessible via MOOCs, you can check the list here.

The Center for Digital Education (CEDE) is also launching the Open Education Initiative to build an infrastructure that will foster a collaborative hub for sharing learning resources.


You can find a list of funding opportunities here. We are regularly adding new opportunities as they come along, but if you know some that are not on the list, send us an email !

Learn more, act and react !

Yes !

We organize different types of events:

  • The OS Showcase Seminar series aims at showcasing great projects and people shaping the landscape of Open Science at EPFL. Come and chat with inspiring figures of our community !
  • The “EPFL shapes Open Science” series plans to federate an Open Science community through debates and common discussions around how to reshape scientific culture on campus and beyond.

Stay tuned for upcoming events by checking our Events webpage and subscribing to the Open Science memento !

Here is a page dedicated to extra resources (opinion pieces, policy documents) to expand your understanding of Open Science !

If you have any other enquiry, please contact us at [email protected]