What does Open Access mean?

Open Access means free access to scientific and scholarly publications, i.e. the texts are available free of charge and public on the internet. They can be read, downloaded, copied, distributed and printed without financial, legal or technical barriers. The author retains the copyright in any case.


Why Open Access?

The high cost of journals and texts from the big academic publishers is currently having a major effect on the journal acquisition process for libraries, particularly those in the university sector. Some libraries have been forced to unsubscribe prominent journals due to the exorbitant costs demanded by publishers. Since most research is funded publicly, libraries cannot justify the high cost of subscriptions and repurchasing of critical research papers and other documents. Disseminating of scientific texts is therefore limited.
Major funding organisations such as Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG = German Research Foundation) and other leading international and German research institutions have agreed to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
In this agreement, the involved research organisations motivate their scientists and scholarship holders to publish their research results according to the principles of Open Access. Furthermore, the acceptance of Open Access publications in the academic community will be promoted.


How can I publish Open Access?

There are two ways of publishing according to Open Access policy: the 'golden road' and the 'green road'.
Going the 'golden road' means to publish in open access journals or via open access publishers. For more information and how to finance publication fees click here.
The 'green road' means a publishment to an institutional repository alongside a publishment in a traditional journal. The University Library of Würzburg runs a repository called OPUS to which all members of the university can publish. Thus, the visibility of documents is significantly improved. Both search engines and other services will easily find the documents. Click here to find out more about parallel publishing


Further information

Information Platform Open Access
The open-access.net platform aims to meet the growing demand for information on the subject of Open Access (OA). Our editorial team gathers information which is scattered across many sources and bundles it thematically for presentation to various target groups.

Publishers‘ Copyright Listings

Guide to Open Access     
The handbook on Open Access published by the German UNESCO Commission informs about chances and challenges of Open Access and views it from different angles. The handbook is available for download on the UNESCO webpage.


Tel. +49 (0)931/31-84637,


Kristina Hanig, Tel. +49 (0)931/31-85917,

Dr. Diana Klein, Tel. +49 (0)931/31-85910,