SERVAL is an answer to the problem of explosion of the costs of scientific publications. This is due to the increasing commercialization of editorial activities. Academic libraries are thus everywhere in the world in the problematic situation of not being able to buy scientific production – sometimes even from their own university – even though the research is financed by the public funds. The creation of an institutional server makes it possible to make the results of Lausanne research free of charge, via the Internet, without commercial barriers.
The term “open access” for scientific documents means that they are made available free of charge on the public Internet, allowing anyone to read, download, copy, transmit, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, use data for a software, or use it for any other legal purpose, without financial or technical barriers other than those inseparable from accessing and using the Internet, as far as the original contribution is cited appropriately.
There are two possible (non-exclusive) channels for an open access document, commonly known as the Green Road and the Gold Road:
- The Green Road is a self-archive. The author of the document submits his publication (published article or postprint) in a database that can be consulted by all and can generally choose an embargo period before its publication is visible. This allows him to transfer his publication to a publisher who will have the monopoly on this publications for a certain period only.This step is entirely free and corresponds to the operation of Serval.
The Gold Road corresponds to direct publication in an open access journal. The journal then takes care of copyright and archiving to make the publication instantly searchable.
- This procedure entails procedural costs of between 50 and 6000 CHF, which the author or the associated university must pay.
Open access represents an advantage for the author and for the scientific community.