#Ukraine: providing and receiving support

Melanie Röthlisberger, Switzerland: Making my research open is a matter of equality

We continue introducing members of the Eurodoc Open Science Ambassadors’ cohort 2019/20 who have been promoting openness and transparency in their national, local and institutional communities as we are moving through the International Open Access Week 2020. Meet Dr. Melanie Röthlisberger, Eurodoc Open Science Ambassador for Switzerland.

Why are you supporting Open Science?

I believe that making my research open is a matter of equality, among researchers, in the publication system and in society. ‘Equality among researchers’ means that you give access to science to all researchers around the world; ‘equality in the publication system’ means that researchers and not commercial publishers own their science; and, finally, ‘equality in society’ means citizens who financially support science with their taxes should also have access to it.

What are the main challenges for Open Science implementation in your country?

I think one of the main challenges in Switzerland is that my country is not part of the EU, hence regulations that are implemented in EU countries are not automatically implemented in Switzerland as well. While we do have an Open Science vision similar to the ERC and Plan S supporters, the interests of our funding agency and umbrella organisation (swissuniversities) and those of Swiss researchers do not carry the same weight as when all EU countries work together. Also, early career researchers (ECRs) are organised in Switzerland as in other countries but Open Science is not a crucial point on the organisation’s agenda (since job security and financial issues are still troubling us ECRs).

How are you addressing these challenges?

With regard to the first challenge, Switzerland could either become part of the EU (not likely to happen) or research institutions (and libraries) would need to work closely together with Europe and this is happening quite extensively already. It is also helpful that we can provide the necessary infrastructure for Open Science platforms and activities.

Regarding the second point, I am currently becoming more involved in the ECR organisation of Switzerland (Actionuni) regarding their Open Science strategy. Due to the way I was recruited as OS Ambassador for Eurodoc, I haven’t had much contact with them yet.