Report Open Access

Bibliometric study of the Swiss Publication System, 2016

Alexander Machado, Laura Hoppmann, Johannes Knaus, Margit Palzenberger

The following study was commissioned by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the swissuniversities within the “Scientific information: access, processing and safeguarding” program (SUC P-2) and was executed by the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL).

The analysis focuses on the international journal publishing activities in Switzerland with special emphasis on gold open access publishing.

The main data source describing the publishing activity in Switzerland was Scopus, an abstract and citation database for peer reviewed scientific articles provided by Elsevier. The raw data provided were processed, cleaned and enriched from the Directory of Open Access Databases (DOAJ) and MPDL in-house databases to derive a data warehouse appropriate for the intended analytics.

Additional to the analysis for Switzerland in total, 10 institutions selected by the contractor were prepared for a separate analysis. The idea was to build up a selection that would be representative for Switzerland as a whole. Thus, the two Polytechnic Federal Institutes were selected, as well as the six biggest cantonal universities. Furthermore, a University of Higher Education and a University of Applied Sciences were chosen for the selection.

• Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

• Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

• Universität Zürich

• Université Genève

• Universität Bern

• Universität Basel

• Université Lausanne

• Université Fribourg

• Berner Fachhochschule

• Hochschule Luzern

For this selection, MPDL conducted an individual unification of Scopus affiliation strings.

Publication data were analysed with respect to the number of articles published and aggregated at the levels of the publishing journal and the publisher for Switzerland in total and the 10 selection institutions. Gold open access publishers and journals were compared to subscription journals at all aggregation levels. For the estimation of open access costs, the share of articles with a reprint affiliation from Switzerland or selected institutions was calculated. Open access numbers from Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Austria as well as from worldwide publishing are presented for comparison.



Swiss National Science Foundation

Ingrid Kissling-Näf, Head of the Humanities and Social Sciences division

Tel.: +41 (0)31 308 22 56; E-mail:


Scientific Information programme (SUC P-2, swissuniversities):

Gabi Schneider, Deputy Programme Manager

Tel.: +41 (0)61 267 29 90, E-mail:

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