Second Publication Right
How to distribute an already published scientific article?
When publishing scientific publications, authors usually assign their copyrights to publishers. Currently, the possibilities for second publication by authors - whether with publishers or in repositories - are limited. Universities and research funding organisations have long been demanding that knowledge created and published with public funds should be freely accessible to all interested parties. Free access to scientific publications is the basic idea of Open Access. However, the implementation of this idea has proven difficult in Switzerland - not least because the relevant legal foundations are lacking.
Regulatory Framework is a project funded by Swissuniversities, in which a group of legal scholars, together with other experts, including CCdigitallaw, investigate whether and how Switzerland could provide for a (mandatory) second publication right for scientific publications and what regulatory challenges arise in connection with Open Access.
You can find the final report of the project containing analyses and proposals for legal solutions concerning secondary publication rights and the OA as a regulatory challenge right here.
Read through the two chapters “4.2.5 Second publication right” and “3.4.2 Publishing contract” and of the Knowledge Base to learn more about the second publication right and how it is currently anchored in Swiss law. Look through the available FAQs to find answers to frequently asked questions and explore available training resources (short explanatory video, webinar recording, etc). You can also find useful external resources on the topic.
According to art. 382 para. 3 CO you are allowed to re-publish your scientific article already after 3 months from its first publication. However, there has never been a decision by a judge so far, on whether in such a case the contract or the law prevails.
You may choose the gold road of open access, which means that the publisher must immediately grant open access to the work. This usually happens in exchange of a publication fee to the publisher.
Only if this is foreseen by the publishing contract.
If the publisher is not in Switzerland and the governing law defined in the publishing contract is not Swiss, you must apply the rules of the second publication right of the country determined in the contract.
No. In this case you should apply the rules of the German second publication right.
No. You can apply the Swiss second publication right only if the Swiss jurisdiction is defined in the publishing contract.
Video about Second Publication Right
This video tells you if and under which conditions researchers can re-publish their scientific articles in Switzerland.
Produced by USI CCdigitallaw and eLab, within the projects "Regulatory Framework" and "Universities as learning institutions" funded by swissuniversities.
Webinar about Second Publication Right
Inside the training catalogue you can find a vast selection of training topics and formats, among which also a course on "Publishing academic articles as Open Access and second publication right" (p. 15).
For any questions please do not hesitate to contact us either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (+41 58 666 49 30).
- Handout on self-archiving rights, in German, made by Open Science Services, Universität Zürich Universitätsbibliothek
- Scientific article providing arguments in favor of the law (art. 382 para 3 Swiss Code of Obligations, which sets an embargo period of three months for scientific articles) prevailing over a publishing contract: Grégoire Geissbühler, L’Open Access dans le Code des obligations, in : Jusletter 17 mai 2021.
- A comparison between the second publication right in several EU countries and the Italian attempt to introduce it: webinar recording made by reCreating Europe, project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
- A checklist-tool to discover what you need to know when assessing whether or not a publisher is suitable for your research