The library coordinates all activities of the WZB in the area of “Open Access” and, in addition, offers numerous services and consultation.
Open Access means free access to academic literature and other material (for example, primary data for research) via the Internet.
The Open Access movement stems from a backlash that grew from the excessive increase in fees charged by commercially marketed academic and scientific publications. Further, providing free access to scientific literature via the Internet should partially curb the manifold subsidization and commercialization of publicly-financed research.
Advantages of Open Access
Open Access publications offer advantages to both authors of scientific literature and data and the recipients of this information:
- immediate access to information at no charge;
- increased citation and visibility of documents;
- good exposure of the document through relevant search engines, e.g. OlAster, BASE, Google Scholar;
- protection of authors’ exploitation rights.
Forms of Open Access (OA) publications
In general, scientists and academics may provide access to their research findings as Open Access publications in two ways:
- Green OA: Secondary publishing of a document on one’s own or on one’s institutional homepage; the document server of one’s own institution (institutional repository) or a server with full text from various sources, however with a shared thematic relationship (subject-based repository). A prerequisite for using Green OA is that secondary publishing does not violate contractual agreements, i.e. publishing contracts. In many cases, in place of a publisher’s edition of a publication, a preprint or post-print version of the literature in question can be made available online at no cost. Introductions to which forms of secondary publication that are allowed by journal publishers in particular are provided by SHERPA/RoMEO database. Furthermore, it is possible to stipulate the right to secondary publication of research findings through appendices to publishing contracts.
- Gold OA: Publishing research findings in original OA journals, that are online periodicals whose entirety of content is accessible online at no cost, whereby, along the lines of print journals, content-based assessment usually precedes publication. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides a good outline of OA journals with content-based assessment for publishing articles.
Open Access in Germany
Today the Open Access movement in Germany is supported by a number of university and non-university research organizations, specifically within the framework of the Alliance of German Science Organizations. Their activities are consolidated in the Priority Initiative "Digital Information".
The WZB is a member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community (WGL), a recognized cosignatory of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and an avowed supporter of the principles of Open Access. The WZB has also joined an Open Access work group of the WGL that was established as a result.
The WZB adopted an Open Access guideline in July 2010. A number of measures serve the purpose of providing as many WZB publications as possible online, free of charge:
- actively informing and consulting WZB scholars on questions of Open Access publishing;
- providing WZB publications in full text through the Publications heading on the WZB website and library catalogue;
- cooperation with relevant subject-based repositories, specifically the “Digital archive for economics and business studies” (EconStor), the Open Access platform “Research Papers in Economics” (RePEc) and the Social Science Open Access Repository (SSOAR);
- providing WZB publications through the open access platform of the Leibniz Association, LeibnizOpen.
For any questions, please contact Sebastian [dot] Nix [at] wzb [dot] eu (Sebastian Nix) (Ext.: -518).