Main Content

National Strategy and Action Plan

In January 2020, the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI) commissioned swissuniversities to develop a Swiss National Open Research Data Strategy, an associated action plan, a background report as well as a mandate for project-related contributions for Open Research Data activities from 2022–2024. This mandate is part of the Open Science programme and complements the activities in the Open Access field.

In July 2021, the Swiss National Strategy for Open Research Data (ORD) was published, representing a further step for swissuniversities towards Open Science. The Action Plan for Open Research Data (ORD), published in January 2022, concretises the measures of the ORD Strategy. The ORD Strategy and Action Plan were developed jointly by swissuniversities, the ETH Domain, the SNSF and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, and have open access to research data at their core. The partner organisations will continue their collaboration through the ORD Strategy Council established under the ORD Strategy.

ORD Strategy

The FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) are to be applied to publicly financed research data, and the ORD Strategy formulates principles specifying that research data should be as open as possible, respecting disciplinary diversity, interoperable, internationally networked, and enabled to be sustainably financed. Researchers and research communities are central to the ORD Strategy. Access to research data is handled in a variety of ways in different disciplines and institutions. One of the main objectives of the ORD Strategy is targeted at the development and support of ORD solutions based on ORD practices from the respective research communities.

The ORD Strategy also formulates the following additional objectives: consolidation and strategic development of infrastructures and services, on the basis of a coordinated governance while safeguarding the autonomy of institutions; skill development and the sharing of best practices between researchers; and the development of systemic, supportive framework conditions for institutions and research communities.

ORD Action Plan

Based on the objectives set forth in the ORD Strategy, four action areas are defined in the ORD Action Plan. The action areas are structured further into action lines. The action lines lie in the primary responsibility of one of the partner institutions, which implements them in coordination with the others. The Action Plan covers the years 2022 to 2028.

A key characteristic of the Action Plan is the participants’ common will for coordination, and thus for a collaborative approach. For this reason, a broad-based Strategy Council has been set up to provide strategic leadership for the ORD Action Plan. The Swiss ORD community will also be involved in the strategic development of ORD: Two sounding boards, consisting of researchers and service providers from the ERI institutions, provide decentralised support for the implementation of the ORD measures (see also ORD Strategy Council).

The ORD Action Plan is funded over two ERI periods. The latest version of the Action Plan contains the planned federal funding for implementing those measures scheduled from 2022 to 2024. The partner institutions use funds they have already budgeted for ORD, of which some are federal project contributions from the Open Science I programme. The Action Plan will be updated in the summer of 2022 for the 2025–2028 period on the basis of the partner organisations’ multi-year plans.