University of Freiburg


Open Access

Open Access describes the goal of making knowledge and information accessible and usable in digital form for the user without any financial, technical, or legal barriers. Open Access focusses on providing free access quality-assured text publications and other digital information, such as research data generated as part of publicly funded research. Open Access is being implemented by means of two complementary strategies: the Golden Way and Green Way.

Open Access has grown in recent years in a number of different ways depending on the discipline: while Open Access is clearly increasingly important in the natural sciences, some disciplines have reservations about using it, especially in the humanities. The challenge is to highlight the benefits of Open Access for the different publication cultures of each respective discipline.

Service-oriented and user-friendly services and infrastructure can help promote the acceptance of Open Access. In this sense, the partner organizations in the Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen (Alliance of German Science Organisations) support Open Access in many ways. 

Benefits of Open Access:

  • Increased visibility
  • Fast, zero-cost access for users
  • Good findability via search engines and reference services
  • Promotion of international and interdisciplinary cooperation
  • Free access to publicly funded research results
  • Facilitated communication and discussion of research results

The Golden Path

Through the Golden Path of Open Access, the first publication of scientific articles is done via an electronic medium, such as a journal, which is operated under an Open Access business model. Open Access publications are subject to the same standards of quality as traditional publications.

The business models of the Golden Way change the way publications are funded: currently, research organizations and sponsors finance the publications through so-called publication fees. A number of Open Access journals are published and funded as part of the scientific activities of individual organizations. Publication fees are generally not charged for these journals. Thus, the Golden Path promotes the decoupling of information demand from the financial budget constraints of the recipient.

Many scientific publishers operate using so-called hybrid Open Access models: for publications in a subscription-based (and therefore not freely accessible) journal, a single article can, with payment of a supplementary publication fee, be published under Open Access.

The Green Path

The Green Path is dedicated to aggregating already published commercial publications and other digital information in repositories (open access databases). A discinction is made between institutional and disciplinary repositories. While institutional repositories represent the scientific activities of individual institutions, disciplinary repositories are used to store the publications for an entire discipline. Institutional repositories serve to make the research visible under the "brand" of a particular institution. The vast majority of academic publishers allow the delayed publication of the author's version of an article in repositories.

[Source: "Open Access : Positionen, Prozesse, Perspektiven" / published by the Arbeitsgruppe Open Access in the Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen. 2009.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany License Agreement ]

Open Access Resolution of the University of Freiburg

On 3/31/2010, the Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg enacted the Open Access Resolution.

The Open Access Publication Fund

Within the framework of its funding program Open Access Publishing, the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, or German Research Foundation) makes funds available for the establishment of an Open Access Publication Fund. If you wish to publish your work in an Open Access journal you will be able to request to have your publication costs covered by these funds. » mehr

For More Information on Open Access

Download Brochure

Broschüre "Open Access: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der Universität / Elektronisch publizieren" (PDF: 1,7 MB)

(Brochure: "Open Access: Open Access Publication Fund of the University / Electronic Publishing")

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