Open Access Publication Fund at the University of Bern

The OA fund of the University of Bern has been supporting its researchers OA gold publications since 2020. As of 2022 and until 2024, the University of Bern participates in the national OA Fund initiative of swissuniversities which means that the overall volume of the fund has increased.

As part of the Swiss Consortium of Academic Libraries, the University of Bern was able to extend the agreement with Frontiers for 2024. Until the prepaid balance is exhausted, the  eligible APCs will be paid directly to the publisher and a separate application is unnecessary. For further information please visit the tab "Frontiers".

Let us know if you have any questions:

Criteria of Eligibility (as of January 2022)


  • Article Processing Charges (APCs) for peer-reviewed journal articles in a pure open access gold journal. Maximum amount of APC is 2’500 CHF
  • Book Processing Charges (BPCs) for book projects (monographs incl. dissertations, conference proceedings and edited volumes) and book-chapters. Maximum amount of BPC is 8’000 CHF
  • Hybrid open access
  • Open access publishing charges that are eligible for support by the SNSF or other research funding organizations
  • Open Access Journal articles with APCs higher than 2’500 CHF (excluding VAT)
  • APC covered by Read & Publish Deals 
  • Costs for a more open publishing license
  • Costs for open access green
  • Additional publishing costs (e.g. color charges, page charges) 
  • Corresponding author must be eligible and apply
  • Peer-review or equivalent discipline-specific quality control mechanism
  • DOAJ membership (or – in case of a newly founded journal – fulfilling DOAJ criteria)
  • The publication is licensed with the Creative Commons (CC) license CC-BY. Please note that we do not accept any more restrictive cc-licences (e.g. CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND).
  • Author or editor must be eligible and apply
  • The work undergoes a discipline-specific quality control mechanism
  • The publisher is a member of DOAB or OASPA or at least follows their principles.
  • The work is published under a Creative Commons (CC) license, preferably CC-BY
  • Teaching and/or research staff employed by the University of Bern; lecturers (DozentInnen), assistants (AssistentInnen) and doctoral candidates employed by the University of Bern, as well as employees of the Insel-Spital provided they have a university campus account (doctoral candidates and higher). Faculty and emeriti accounts are not eligible.
  • Emeriti, students and university employees, who are not in positions of teaching and/or research, are not eligible 
  • Applicants can submit their application once the bill has been issued by the publisher but before the bill is paid
  • The invoice must be issued in the current calendar year
  • Payment procedure will be communicated to successful applicants along with their notification of funding

Applications must be made online via an application form


A version of record of the funded open access gold publication must be deposited and made available immediately after publication in the University of Bern’s repository BORIS

The decision regards the eligibility of a funding application rests solely with the management of the publication fund at the university library of the University of Bern

  • First come, first served until fund is depleted

  • Funding amounts will not be reserved for later payment
  • An author can be granted a maximum of 3 applications per semester (In the event that the application volume is very high in the first semester, the fund-management reserves the right to decrease the maximum amount of granted applications per author in the second semester)
  • There are no pre-payments
  • The publication fund will pay the publisher's bill directly
  • Reimbursements to authors or institutes can be only made as an exception
  • The publisher bill has to contain information about the publisher, the journal, corresponding authors etc. See the recommendations of ESAC (Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges)

Before you submit your application, make sure to check the eligibility criteria. It is particularly important that:

  • the chosen journal is a pure open access gold journal (we do not support hybrid or predatory journals) 
  • the applicant is either corresponding author or single author 
  • you have the original invoice as a PDF and the invoiced amount is no higher than 2'500 CHF (for journal articles) and 8'000 CHF (for book processing charges) . Please apply for funding BEFORE you pay the invoice. If approved, we pay the publisher directly.

All applications must be submitted via the online form.

ATTENTION: you do not need to apply for funding, if you publish an article in a FRONTIERS journal. See tab "Frontiers"

You can find more information under the tab "Criteria" and "FAQs" as well as the Open Science Website. 


With its Open Access (OA) Publication Fund, the University of Bern supports researchers at the University of Bern in publishing articles in OA Gold journals or books in OA Gold. 
As of 2022, the OA Fund of the University of Bern is part of the national Open Access Fund. Funding is currently secured until 2024.

  • Check whether the funding criteria of the OA Fund are met.

  • APCs and BPCs for articles in OA-only journals and for books and book chapters in OA can then be applied for using this web form.

  • We are also part of a national contract with the publisher Frontiers. As soon as the contract is signed (probably April 2022), the library will pay article processing charges for articles directly to Frontiers for as long as the designated Frontiers-fund lasts. 

The fund runs on a first-come-first-served principle. The date of the application submission is decisive particularly once the fund is running low.
When the fund is depleted, publications can no longer be supported until the following calendar year.
You can check the balance of the fund anytime on our website.

  • You need a campus account to be eligible. Faculty and emeriti accounts are not eligible.
  • We can only accept invoices that are dated in the current calendar year.
  • Make sure to check the journal you wish to publish in (see “Journal” below on this webpage).

The conditions are defined in our criteria


  • The fund will pay for APCs provided they do not exceed 2’500 CHF (not including VAT)
  • BPCs will be covered for up to 8’000 CHF.
  • Charges will only be paid, if the application fulfills the criteria

Please submit your application as quickly as possible after you get the invoice and expect a turn-around time of two weeks.

Should the application be successful, the fund will pay the publisher directly.

Do not pay the amount via the online payment form.
Request an invoice as a PDF from your publisher and hand it in to us with your application. Do not pay the invoice.

Please allow for a turn-around of two weeks.

Checking ahead of time whether all criteria are fulfilled and all information was filled in accurately (including attachments) will minimize the risk of lengthy follow-up correspondence and clarifications.

In agreement with the Grants Office we allow for exceptions, when applicants who receive(d) funding from the EU no longer have any funds in their “dissemination budget” to cover APCs or BPCs for open access publications.
We will need an official letter from the PI/Supervisor of the applicant that confirms that the author has depleted their dissemination budget.

If funds are still available, applications with invoices from the previous year can still be submitted in the first week of January. The exact deadline will be communicated on the website in December. After that, only applications with invoices from the current year can be submitted.

Applications for the new year can be submitted as of the first of January.


  • The fund supports only publications in pure open access journals.
  • Articles must be published with a CC-BY license. Please note that we do not accept any more restrictive cc-licences (e.g. CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND).
  • Publications in hybrid OA journals or predatory journals will not receive funding.

A hybrid journal is a subscription journal that also publishes articles in open access, for which the authors pay an APC (see the section "How does Open Access work" on our website).
You can tell whether a journal is hybrid if

  • Only some articles are in open access, while others are behind a paywall
  • Access to the journal requires a subscription
  • The journal is not listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (

Should the journal in which you wish to publish be hybrid, we recommend you check our Read & Publish website to see whether there is a consortial deal that would cover the cost of publishing in the journal you chose.

A journal is probably predatory (and thus not a credible scholarly journal) if

  • The journal is not listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (
  • The journal is not listed in the usual indexes such as Web of Science, Scopus or Index Medicus
  • You find complaints of researchers (e.g. about e-mail spamming)
  • Lack of transparency of the publisher
  • No professional invoicing

The following checklist will help you to recognize a predatory journal. We also recommend that you check each new journal that you consider publishing in against the criteria on the website Think.Check.Submit

Payment procedure

Once your application is approved, we will send you the correct billing address. You will then have to request an adjustet invoice from the publisher to reflect this billing address. 


Send us the invoice as a PDF.
Do not pay the APCs or BPCs with a credit card.
Once your application is successful, we will pay the publisher directly.
Make sure to send us the application as soon as you can after you receive the invoice.


It is possible that you logged on with your student account. To upload publications in BORIS you need to log on with one of the following two account types:

  • Members of the University of Bern with a campus account
  • Members of the Insel-Spital with an I-account

If you log on with one of these two accounts, you can upload your publication in your user area.

You only need to upload your publication and submit the record. The BORIS-team will then check all your information and select the correct license and embargo length. Only after the record has been checked for correctness will the entry be published.


Acknowledging funding from our fund will be most appreciated. Please use the following text:

  • German: Diese Open Access Publikation wurde von der Universität Bern und swissuniversities gefördert.
  • English: Open access funding was provided by the University of Bern and swissuniversities.

Should you not find an answer to your question in these FAQs or if you are unsure about how to proceed, we are happy to help.
You can reach us at

As part of the national Open Access Fund initiative of swissuniversities, the agreement with Frontiers was extended until the end of 2024. It concerns all publications in Frontiers journals, as long as they fulfil the OA Fund's criteria and as long as the Frontiers fund is not depleted. Such publications benefit from:

  • 10% Discount on APCs

  • Direct payment of the APCs without separate application procedure  

  • Frontiers "Partner Journals" are part of this agreement, as long as they are mentioned in the publisher's journal list

Please note:  

  • If you publish with Frontiers as a corresponding author and you are affiliated with the University of Bern, you do not submit an application for APC funding. The OA Fund team will check your eligibility and you will be automatically informed whether  your APCs will be paid or not. Please make sure that you use your adress when you submit your manuscript to Frontiers.

  • The annual pre-paid budget for the support of Frontiers APCs is limited. Once the fund is depleted, no further Frontiers APCs will be paid for the rest of the year.  

  • The discount of 10% only applies to APCs paid by the fund.  

Let us know if you have any questions: