"Remove paywalls on scientific publications!"

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, swissuniversities, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries appeal to all publishing houses to make their publications freely accessible.

The pandemic highlights how important it is that scientific publications be accessible around the world. Accessibility is all too often limited by licences and subscriptions. Scientific results need to be shared immediately and transparently to bolster the fight against the new virus. Doctors and scientists need to be able to access all scientific literature without delay. Since scientific libraries are closed, students and researchers of all disciplines need access to scientific information. Otherwise they will find it difficult to pursue their studies and their research in the currently difficult circumstances.

The Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, swissuniversities and the SNSF support the appeal of the International Coalition of Library Consortia ICOLC. In the current exceptional circumstances, they are asking scientific publishers to make their publications accessible without charge and stand shoulder to shoulder in efforts to tackle the crisis. They would also like to remind everyone that free access to scientific publications is one of the goals of the 2017 national open access strategy.

The appeal is signed by Yves Flückiger, president of swissuniversities, Matthias Egger, president of the Research Council of the SNSF, and Wilfried Lochbühler, president of the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries. The signatories thank all publishers who have already taken action and removed their paywalls. They appeal to all other publishers to follow suit and to act collectively in the interest of society.