Open Access

Open Access (OA) refers to the free and worldwide access to publicly funded research and its findings. Open Access is gaining in significance and offers interesting options for HWR Berlin.

Open Access opens up many positive opportunities for HWR Berlin’s Higher Education Development. Resulting from OA, the visibility, findability, and reception of publications and projects of HWR Berlin can be augmented. Thus, OA can contribute significantly to the international and innovative communication culture at HWR Berlin.

By signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, HWR Berlin’s President Prof. Dr. Andreas Zaby the importance of Open Access at HWR Berlin was emphasized. In this context, the Open Access Office of HWR Berlin, already implemented in summer 2018, actively pursues Open Access. Next to providing Open Access support to all interested members of HWR Berlin, the Open Access Office is working on an Open Access Policy and the corresponding strategic implementation; the aim is a comprehensive Open Access infrastructure for HWR Berlin.

Open Access: Basic concepts

OA is the 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 through (many) 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 in the sense of OA upon their first publication; this can be done through the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) per article or cost absorption by scientific communities or consortia. To achieve Gold OA, OA 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) has elapsed. These publication servers allow the 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 HWR Berlin, the OPUS publication server, has been used predominantly as an archive for final theses of 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. Further, 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-Brandenburg are, among others:

Further interesting OA information can be found via:

Leading HWR Berlin’s OA development are Vice President Prof. Dr. Claudius Ohder, Chancellor Dr. Sandra Westerburg, and OA Officer Frank Wehrand. In cooperation with these actors, the Open-Access-Büro der HWR Berlin was established in 2018 as part of the academic library of HWR Berlin.

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