Open Research Data

ETH Domain Open Research Data (ORD) Program. 5 Measures to foster and improve ORD Practices.

Open science practices are becoming a prevalent paradigm in academic research worldwide. The ETH Domain has already assumed a leading role in adopting the emerging open science practices that allow scientific research outputs – including publications, data and software – to be disseminated and made accessible. Open Research Data (ORD) is at the core of open science: new technological developments are facilitating the sharing and exploitation of large and small data sets. In mid-2020, the institutions of the ETH Domain set out their vision for ORD in the ETH Domain in a position paper, promoting a pragmatic approach towards open research data in Switzerland. By doing so, they affirm their readiness to play a leading role in the implementation of ORD.

The institutions of the ETH Domain believe that ORD has the potential to further increase the visibility and the impact of their research within the scientific community, the economy and society as a whole. The vision of the ETH Domain is to foster a research environment that supports ORD in research practice and creates an environment that values ORD.

The ETH Domain are planning to invest a total of CHF 15 million in implementing these measures between 2021 and 2024.

By doing so, the ETH Domain is also fulfilling the Federal Council’s mandate that requires it to assume a leading role in respect of ORD in the context of data policy in Switzerland. Implementation of the ETH Domain’s ORD measures is coordinated with the national Open Research Data strategy that is developed under the auspices of swissuniversities and with ETH Domain participation. The national strategy was published on 1st July 2021 and has been consolidated further by way of an action plan.

With the broader aim of advancing Open Science among ETH Domain researchers and institutions, the Program defines five Measures with the following goals:

  • Measure 1: Support researchers engaging in, or developing, ORD practices with and for their community. Assist these researchers in becoming Open Science leaders in their field.
  • Measure 2: Improve the ecosystem of research data management (RDM) services and infrastructure that support ORD practices, through Domain-wide, coordinated action focused on interoperability and access.
  • Measure 3: Raise availability and quality of training on RDM in application to ORD practices.


The last two measures aim to develop an environment conducive to Open Science in the ETH Domain institutions by considering the following aspects:

  • Measure 4: Legal aspects of RDM and
  • Measure 5: Careers of staff supporting ORD practices.


Steering committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for the program. Its members are as follows:

  • Ashton Alun, PSI
  • Brandao Rui, ETH Zurich
  • Dubochet Gilles, EPFL
  • Fantner Georg, EPFL (chair 2021-2022)
  • Finger Robert, ETH Zurich (chair 2023-2024)
  • Plattner Gian-Kasper, WSL
  • Pratsini Eleni, Empa
  • Schubert Carsten, Eawag