Open Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is defined as free access to scientific information on the Internet. Access is free of charge and documents can be used in a variety of ways, i.e. downloaded, printed and saved. By granting free licences, authors can grant specific rights of use which, for example, allow the documents to be modified, reproduced and redistributed.

There Are Two Ways of Open Access Publishing:

Gold Open Access
This refers to the first publication in an Open Access journal, whereby the scientific articles are freely accessible as soon as they are published. Articles should undergo a quality assurance process before publication, usually in the form of peer review or editorial review. The "golden way" can also be chosen for the publication of monographs in an Open Access publishing house, with parallel publication in printed form.
In respect to Gold Open Access the granting of free licences (such as the CC licence) means that the rights remain with the authors. Many Open Access journals charge a article processing charge which must be borne by the author or their institutions. The situation is similar for Open Access books. However, there are also other financing models, such as the assumption of costs by a scientific society.
A search for and in original Open Access journals is possible via the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) fulfils a similar function for Open Access books.

Green Open Access
The green way, also called "secondary publication", refers to articles published in subscription-only journals that are made available, for example on a private homepage, on the website of a research institution, or on a freely accessible publication server (also called "repository"). This offers either access to the publications of an institution or, across institutions, to publications from a specific area of research. Accordingly, there are institutional publication servers and publication servers for specific areas of research. We particularly recommend secondary publication via publication servers. This ensures the best possible visibility and permanent searchability of publications on the internet.

Secondary publication can take place either before the publication of the paid publication, parallel with it, or after the expiry of an embargo. As a rule, use of the publishing house version is not permitted. Here, however, the conditions for the secondary publication vary to such an extent that a case-by-case assessment is highly recommended. The SHERPA/RoMEO database provides an initial, though not legally secure, overview of the secondary publication conditions of numerous research journals.

Since 1 January 2014, the German Copyright Act §38 (4) gives authors whose research is publicly funded by at least 50 percent the right to secondary publication of the accepted manuscript version of their research contributions. This applies to works appearing in periodicals that are published at least twice per year, e.g. research journals and collections. Therefore, this regulation is of particular importance for the secondary publication of research journal articles. This right to secondary publication, which is legally guaranteed in Germany, is "indispensable", i.e. it cannot be annulled by other agreements in the publishing contract.

Open Access in the Max Planck Society (MPG)

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003), co-initiated by the Max Planck Society and signed by all major European research and funding organisations, is a clear commitment to promote Open Access. In addition, the Max Planck Society is involved in numerous Open Access projects and participates in various Open Access publication platforms. The Max Planck Society also provides practical support by paying Article Processing Charges for the publications of its researchers and scientists in a large number of OA journals. It also operates the publication server MPG.PuRe which can be used for secondary publications of previously published articles. An overview of Open Access in the Max Planck Society can be found here.

How Is Open Access Supported at the MPIB?

Open Access publication of research and scientific results is also supported at the MPIB. All researchers at the Institute are requested to report publications that are produced in connection with their research at the Institute to the Library and Research Information. These publications are recorded on the publication server of the Max Planck Society, MPG.PuRe. A systematic workflow for secondary publication on the "green road" of Open Access helps to support an even faster and easier visibility of publications.

The Open Access team at MPIB also advices on suitable Open Access publishing options, funding for publication fees for the "golden road" and for secondary publication, as well as the corresponding copyright questions. It also informs the researchers of the Institute about new agreements that enable Open Access publishing in the Max Planck Society. The Open Access Team is also responsible for allocating "Digital Object Identifiers" (DOI) to Open Access publications for the in-house platform History of Emotions - Insights into Research.

In 2020, the Library and Research Information of the MPIB set up – initially as part of a pilot project – its own Open Access publication fund, which, on the basis of clearly defined funding criteria, makes it possible for researchers to finance publication fees also in such cases where there are no central financing agreements for the MPS as a whole. Within certain price limits, the fund can be used to cover not only the full or partial costs of journal articles, but also of monographs, edited volumes, dissertations and contributions to edited volumes. The publication fund has been made permanent as of 2022. The funds for this are made available from the budget of the Library and Research Information.

Web Portal for the History of Emotions

The bilingual online portal History of Emotions - Insights into Research is an Open Access internet platform for historians. In short essays a concrete source example is used to show which sources and methods as well as questions and perspectives can be used to research a history of emotions. In this way, the scope and potential for insights of a history of emotions can be concretized. These "insights into research" should also be impulses for (interdisciplinary) communication about a history of emotions. The freely accessible materials can be traced permanently via a "Digital Object Identifier" (DOI).

Information on Open Access and Open Access Research Tools

The platform offers comprehensive information on Open Access for various target groups. The scientific search engine BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) can be used to search for Open Access publications.
The service Unpaywall enables the installation of a free browser extension. When calling up a research journal article that is not freely accessible the service shows whether an Open Access version of the article exists.


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