Open Access

Open Access (OA) refers to the free and worldwide access to publicly funded research and its findings. OA, including scientific articles, monographs, and other academic forms of communication is gaining more and more significance.

An important foundation for this development is constituted by the Open Access Strategy of Berlin) which envisages 60% OA for scientific articles by 2020. In this context, the HWR Berlin has established a central OA coordination office, the Open-Access-Büro, as well as various working groups that jointly construct OA infrastructures for Berlin.

OA opens up many positive opportunities for the HWR Berlin’s Higher Education Development. As a result, publications and projects of the HWR Berlin are made more visible and accessible. Thus, OA can contribute significantly to the international and innovative communication culture at the HWR Berlin.

Open Access: Basic concepts

OA provides free and worldwide access to publicly funded research and its findings, including scientific articles, monographs and other academic forms of communication. This goal can be achieved in different ways: the two most common models are labelled "Gold OA" and "Green OA".

Gold OA signifies the situation in which scientific publications are made immediately available via OA upon their first publication. This can be done by paying Article Processing Charges (APCs) per article, or via cost absorption by scientific communities or consortia. To achieve Gold OA, Open Access journals can be utilized (see the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) for a comprehensive listing). Additionally, the Think. Check. Submit. check list provides a good starting point for researchers to examine the quality of a journal they potentially wish to publish in.

Green OA means the self-archiving of academic publications via publication servers (also called repositories) after the potential embargo periods (during which an article may not be posted outside of the initial subscription journal) have elapsed. These publication servers enable a free and worldwide access to scientific information as well as serve as its long-term preservation.

Among others, institutional publication servers can contain academic articles and e.g. (un-)published final theses (such as Bachelor’s or Master’s theses). The institutional publication server of the HWR Berlin, the OPUS publication server, has been used predominantly as an archive for final theses of the HWR Berlin. However, increasingly scientific articles and other publication forms are being added. Subject-specific publication servers, such as EconStor (in the fields of economics and business studies) or <intR>²Dok (for (international) law and legal studies) also allow for OA publications. In addition, there are universal publication servers (such as Zenodo) and preprint servers (such as arXiv) that offer possibilities for open academic communication.

How can I gather further information on Open Access?

Central OA actors in Berlin and Brandenburg are, among others:

  • AG Open-Access-Strategie Berlin
  • Arbeitskreis der Berliner Open-Access-Beauftragten
  • Open-Access-Büro Berlin

Further interesting OA information can be found via:

  • Information Platform Open Access, e. g. concerning the following disciplines:
  • OA in economics and business studies
  • OA in law and legal studies
  • FAQ der Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen zum Thema Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht (2015; please note that this text is written in German and with the specific German legal situation in mind)
  • Overview of academic OA journals with quality insurance measures: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

By signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the HWR Berlin’s President Prof. Andreas Zaby placed an emphasis on OA as early as 2018. Leading HWR Berlin’s OA development are Vice President Prof. Dr. Claudius Ohder, Chancellor Dr. Sandra Westerburg, and Open Access Officer Frank Wehrand. The Open-Access-Büro der HWR Berlin (Open Access Office of HWR Berlin) was established in 2018 as part of the academic library of the HWR Berlin.

Next to providing OA support to all interested members of the HWR Berlin, the Open Access Office of the HWR Berlin is working on an Open Access Policy and the corresponding strategic implementation. The aim is a comprehensive OA infrastructure for the HWR Berlin.

The Open Access Office of HWR Berlin is constituted by Frank Wehrand, Head of the Academic Library, Campus Lichtenberg und OA Officer of HWR Berlin; Cornelia Rupp, Head of the Academic Library, Campus Schöneberg; and Lea Maria Ferguson, OA Project at the Academic Library.